May became June so quickly I almost forgot a very important anniversary in my life. The anniversary of my diagnosis of Crohn's Disease. I did the math (I used a calculator and everything!) and realized it's been 16 years since my actual diagnosis. 15 years since my resection. Wow! Just wow.
Here's a few things I have learned over the years:
1. It doesn't get any easier the longer you have a chronic illness.
2. You have to laugh at yourself.
3. You have to listen to your body and do what's right for it (I still struggle with this one!)
4. You need a good support system. Without it you will not survive.
5. You are many other things...not just someone with a disease.
6. Rest when you need to. Rest when you think you don't need to.
7. Express your frustration, your fears, your saddness in creative ways...like a blog!
8. Make friends with others who share the disease. It helps to know you aren't alone.
9. Always bring extra underware.
10. Things can and will change along the way. Don't be shocked by this.
11. If you aren't getting the treatment and care you think you deserve, change doctors.
12. Liquid diets will forever suck!
13. NEVER be ashamed about having this illness even though the world wants you to be.
14. Prednisone will forever be evil.
15. It isn't fair that you have this disease. It never will be, and it's okay to feel this way.