No honestly, am I? You see I am not sure.
I was definitely sick last week. I know for a fact that I had Crohn’s last week. The vomiting, gut wrenching pain and tears were a dead giveaway that I was unwell.
But am I still sick now? I’m not actually sure. You see now, I am a totally normal functioning human being (well, as normal as I can be). There is no pain, no outward sign that there is anything going on.
I think I have developed something I am trademarking ‘health bio-polar’. This is a totally made-up, not medically factual or supported definition what would be something like;
“The craziness you experience when you are deathly sick one minute and running through a field of daisies, farting donuts the next..”
Before I started with the Humira injections I always had some sort of pain or daily noise that reaffirmed that there was something going on in my gut and therefore I firmly fell into the ‘sick category’. I would be talking to people and the next moment I was breathless from the pain and everyone could tell I was sick.
Now, I have nocturnal sickness (again, made up). I seem to be getting ‘sick’ of a night generally between the hours of 8.30pm – 6am, the time when no-one is there to ‘see’ that I am sick.
Every second Monday night I take that little vile of drugs and jab it into my stomach. Over the weeks since I started the injections, the length of time between the injections and my outwards display of sickness has gotten shorter and shorter.
I spend the evening throwing up the contents of my stomach and praying that I don’t blow chunks out of my nose. Sometimes I get really lucky and have to choose what end goes where – I now have this down to a fine art and tend to keep the porcelain throne warm with my lady lumps while offering my partly digested dinner to the mini esky that takes up residence in my lap. It takes some real coordination to be ‘tootin’ from both ends, but I feel like I am now a master at it.
The hubby slept through the first two instances of the nocturnal sickness but the last one was a real doozy! He was right there with me, mouth breathing through the horrendous smell and ‘wishing’ he could do something to help.
The issue I have with my bi-weekly festivities, is that when the sun rises and the birds start chirping their merry little song, my nocturnal sickness is over. Like a crime scene, the clean up crew has been in and you would have no idea anything has happened.
I look fine. Sometimes I look better than I did the day before.
My cheeks are often red from the tiny burst veins that started exploding when I started with the vom fest. My skin looks dewy from the sheen of sweat and tears that have dried up numerous times over. And aside from the tiredness I LOOK okay.
I almost wish that I could unzip my skin and show you the inside. I am wrecked beyond belief. My stomach muscles are normally so sore it hurts to breathe. My legs, fatigued as they spent the night shaking or running me back and forth. My teeth hurt, if not from the force that everything passes by them, then from the multiple scrubbing sessions to get rid of the taste in my fur ball mouth. My head aches from dehydration and with nothing in my stomach, panadol becomes the devil that I can’t keep down.
Then one day turns into two, then three and there is nothing. Nothing to indicate what happened a handful of nights ago. No noises. No pains. Simply nothing. And I start to wonder – am I sick?
Is this nothingness the end? Am I cured? Have I finally reached what ‘they’ call remission?
The most ironic thing is – this blog has literally taken me over a month to write. You see, every time I revisit it to finish it off, I get sick. It has become my curse. The name has been mocking me!
Like all things Crohn’s, I am gently lulled into a blissful nirvana of health and happiness and I feel like I can almost cancel all the doctors appointments, forget the humira schedule, reminders to order, pick up or inject myself. I can almost, almost be ‘normal’ again – the normal that doesn’t have me checking my schedule for the last ‘poo’. The normal that doesn’t have me counting my medication supply to make sure I am stocked up. The normal that isn’t worried about if I will ever have a month without logging sick leave. The normal where I wake up and feel refreshed instead of a little less exhausted than yesterday.
I have come to the conclusion that I will never be 100% healthy again – I guess on some level, I will be managing my Crohn’s or monitoring my Crohn’s. I will always be checking something – whether it’s the state of my intestine or my general health – I will always be somewhere on the ‘sickness’ scale. The goal now is to try and stay as close to 100% healthy as possible.
So I answered my own question – yes, I am sick… But I’m about 80% healthy… And that’s pretty good if you ask me.