A Valentine letter for Crohn’s

Yes, you read that title correctly. I used the word ‘Valentine’ and Crohn’s in the same sentence. I’d be lying if I said I would have been able to do that years ago. Hate would have been a more relatable feeling and word. IMG_8476 (1)As Valentine’s Day approaches and love is in the air, I’m choosing to look at my disease with my whole heart and to share my feelings with you.

If it weren’t for my Crohn’s I wouldn’t know my strength.

If it weren’t for my Crohn’s I wouldn’t have my perspective.

If it weren’t for my Crohn’s I wouldn’t know the meaning of a “feel good” day.

If it weren’t for my Crohn’s I wouldn’t be able to empathize with others on the same level.

If it weren’t for my Crohn’s I wouldn’t be able to see people’s true colors.

If it weren’t for my Crohn’s

photo by J Elizabeth Photography www.jelizabethphotos.comI may have ended up marrying a person who really wasn’t about being with someone in sickness and in health.

If it weren’t for my Crohn’s I’d feel invincible and take my health for granted.

If it weren’t for my Crohn’s I wouldn’t be me.

In life there are triumphs and there are challenges. There are stresses and there are successes. There are highs and there are lows. I find embracing the good, the bad and the ugly enables us to reach our potential. The painful, low points are difficult in the moment, but in hindsight they push us to our limits and show us all what we are capable of.

People often ask me if I wish I didn’t have Crohn’s disease. I find it to be a loaded question. I’ve gotten to the point in my patient journey where I wouldn’t change a thing. So much of taking on this chronic illness is your attitude. remedy-nsmith-stlouis-1212There’s no sense in wondering and wishing for something that is not possible. Once you take a deep breath and stop living in your healthy past you come to realize that you were given this hand of cards for a reason.

Your voice, your experience, your journey has the power to inspire. You have the ability to change lives. You have the opportunity to show that invisible illness and everything that comes along with it doesn’t need to destroy your dreams.

While I know some days, weeks and months are going to be treacherous in this journey, do yourself a favor and stop being so hard on yourself. Love yourself. Love all of you. Even the part of you that is broken on the inside. I’ve been through the flare ups and the scares. I’ve overcome pain that causes me to pass out. I’ve weathered the storm of being wheeled into surgery. I’ve done hundreds of injections and blood draws and pokes and prods. At the end of the day, you rise. IMG_6282You take those steps to heal. You focus on getting better. You do all you can to make it through. Crohn’s and any chronic illness for that matter gives you this opportunity over and over. So, while we all tend to have negative feelings about our health and worry about what the next hour will bring, try and pause and stop for a moment. Think about all the beauty and insight it’s provided—and love yourself and your disease for a second.

XOXO,

Natalie

5 thoughts on “A Valentine letter for Crohn’s

  1. blogmomrocks2 says:

    This is a positive that people with the disease, need to read. I was diagnosed with it around 17 years ago. I have gotten my days, but I have never had surgeries or anything like some people have disribed. I don’t even wear “the bag”. I just take my Humira once every two weeks, and I’m off to do what I got to do…work, etc.

    I love this post because of you strength. Keep it up and thanks for writing this!

    Like

  2. Judy says:

    I to feel this way, my disease has made me who I am. I was diagnosed when i was seventeen and that was 1975. It’s been a long time, not saying that I have always been happy to have this. Some days I get really ticked off because I am tired, actually sick and tired. But then I have to remember if it weren’t for all the surgeries, the tubes in the nose, and places you don’t want to mention, the needles, the drugs, the pain, having an osteomy, and other horrible things that goes with this disease, I wouldn’t be the person who I am. It still is a battle almost everyday, I think it’s because of age as well. What can you do? Some people say “why me” which I have also said, but then I think why not me? I really feel I would have turned into a rebellious and wild teenager, but this has kept me grounded, and that is better, right? This is what was suppose to be in my life, and most days I am also thankful. So hope this helps some of you who struggle just like the rest of us. Have a great day everyone, and try to keep smiling and stay positive, no matter how difficult. I understand cause I live this.

    Like

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