I've spent a while trying to come to terms with bits of this and haven't really wanted to talk about it. I was genuinely taken aback by the results of my last colonoscopy. I hadn't been expecting there to be anything of note, having thought I was in remission. She said so, you see, last time I had one - 5 years ago. And. You know. Remission. Meaning ... gone. And not coming back. And stuff. I went along for tests as a routine check up. Expecting a "nothing to see here, move along" kind of result. When that wasn't the case - and to be clear, the results were minuscule erosion and inflammation in a small area at the entrance to my ileum, and 99% of my gut was clear - I was quite disappointed. I had thought that it was necessary to be as well as possible for a considerable amount of time before getting pregnant which was partly why I had been so determined to be in remission. As though one can control that.
Thing is, maybe they thought that 10 years ago when I was first diagnosed and being treated but medicine moves much faster than that these days. These days they don't think that. And they have medication they are happy to prescribe to a pregnant woman should there be a need. And I also discovered that the way your disease has presented is the way they expect it to continue so that mine has always been mild so they have no reason to expect it to be anything other than mild. So you know no big deal here. I can get pregnant without my current results being an issue. And I can expect things to progress the way they have been. Etc.
Thing is. It occurred to me that maybe, if my disease has always been mild that all these measures I had been taking to combat it might therefore be entirely irrelevant. That flare ups might settle in the time it takes me to detox etc anyway. And it made me contemplate the vegetarianism there for a bit. And I guess realise the lack of control over this that I kinda liked to think I had.
And so it was with this that I then headed off to Worldcon and pretty much had a Crohn's flare up about the day after I arrived. Those around me kinda know the deal and were awesome at forcing water on me. I'm not sure whether it's triggered by me getting dehydrated on the plane and then time passes at this ridiculous pace behind a dealers table and you just don't eat or drink cause you never stop doing things long enough to think about it. By the end of Thursday I was in agony. Some of that gastric distress was alleviated after getting better hydrated by a couple of days later. But I knew I was feeling pretty awful when I just wasn't interested in drinking alcohol or being able to sit in a bar. I went to bed early for a con most nights in the hopes of sleep helping. I also had gone in gluten free and ended up being gluten and lactose free, even switching to soy in my coffee by the end of the con (I never drink soy). And I ate a lot of sushi which is almost the kindest takeaway food I reckon you'll find for a distressed gut.
And I guess this was a bit of a lesson in both, no matter what I do, Crohn's is a disease and I can't control flare ups. But also the reminder again that IBS and Crohn's feel physically different. I always forget that. So all the extra measures I did helped by not compounding IBS on top of Crohn's and even though I felt awful, I could have felt worse, I guess? And that as a flare up is, well, flaring, I just really don't want to put those things - alcohol, gluten, lactose, and even caffeine by the last few days, into my body. And I don't have the energy to be light and social and partying. I feel a bit like I missed out on that side of the con but on the other hand, I felt too rotten to push myself to do it. So it was what it was.
I knew it was serious when I stood in Starbucks the day after the con, ummed and ahhed over all my favourite drinks and opted for a water and a green tea. Though they did have a gluten free slice, which was good.
I stayed home today. Flare up still present. I was hoping that one more day at home might help calm things down. I feel the same. Back to work tomorrow though.