I have been feeling so well the last couple of months that I almost forgot I had Crohn’s: almost. This latest flare up started to rear its ugly head a couple of weeks ago and I did everything in my power to try to beat it. I tried to get as much rest as possible, kept up my usual daily walks, and went back to my “safe” foods. By that, I mean that I started making big batches of chicken soup (bone broth) and big batches of homemade grape jelly using Great Lakes Grass-Fed Beef Gelatin. I tried my usual tricks for de-stressing but alas I had to accept that once again my disease is out of my control. Being on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) for over one year, I’m always thinking, “When will I be rid of flares?” but the truth is that I have come a long way. My flares, though still there, are less frequent and less severe than before and my everyday symptoms have greatly reduced. All that being said, while I was lying in bed suffering this weekend instead of celebrating my birthday I was reminded once again that I have an autoimmune condition and sometimes diet alone is not enough to beat it.
I know that stress plays a huge part in my Crohns’. I can clearly look back over the last few years and see that the times when I had difficult struggles were the times when my disease was at its worst. It makes perfect sense because most people now accept the powerful brain-gut connection. So how do we avoid stress? Well, wouldn’t it be great to know the answer to this! Of course there are many things we can do to help: prayer/meditation, NLP, accupuncture, yoga, exersize. The list is endless. I have tried them all. Of course when you are mid-flare you can’t even think about leaving the house never mind running a marathon.
The last few days I tried not to stress like I usually do about all the jobs I should be doing. I just tried my hardest to accept that I was sick and that I had to stay in bed. The Gilmore Girls re-runs helped a lot! When I began to feel a little stronger, but still not enough to launch back in to household chores, I enjoyed having the time to play with my daughter, read her stories, draw and colour together and she even helped me with my food photography scrap-booking! When I felt a little bit stronger again, we ventured out for a short family stroll. I needed some fresh air so badly!
Bottom line: what have I learned this time around? Coffee and me may not be best friends for a while and I may just have to accept that (sob!). Sometimes, there is just nothing that can be done to avoid a flare and I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Try to stay positive (ok this one is soooo difficult when you feel so unwell) but keep thinking that tomorrow will be better. The last one has to be: know when it’s time to phone the doctor. Trying to go it alone may seem tempting but so often is just not an option.