This past weekend had me thinking about those friends I have that suffer from severe IBD. Over the Memorial Day weekend, my wife and I went away to Atlantic City. Our first day there we had fun and looked forward to the next day. However, things would take a bad turn.
On Sunday morning, my wife got really sick. She had been suffering from either a cold or allergies so I figured things just got worse for her. Mid-day, during my relaxing massage, my stomach started having spasms. Soon I would be really sick myself. Now, when either of us get sick we very rarely give it to each other. So the fact that we were now both horribly sick led me to believe that it was an illness but food poisoning.
On Saturday for lunch we decided to go to the buffet at the hotel and one of the dishes that we both ate was cold when it should have been hot. I should have known better but we both ate it and I am convinced that the product was the cause of our illness.
Now of course we didn’t see a doctor or get our blood tested so I can not say for 100% certain that it was food poisoning but it really looks like it was. Since there is no proof, I won’t mention the hotel or where we ate so as not to slander them.
As I was laying in bed and then often running to the bathroom I thought about the days when I was really sick with my Crohn’s. It made me think of some people I know that still suffer badly with the disease. I know we all hate when people make comparisons like “I know how you feel. I had the flu once”. But seriously, food poisoning is a little like the problems we have with IBD.
First, it affects the same area, the digestive track. My guts and stomach had horrible pains and spasms and at times it was hard to tell if it was the food poisoning or my Crohn’s acting up. Second, it saps all of your energy to the point that you don’t want to do anything but stay in bed. Then there is the nausea and vomiting.
So as I am in lying in bed in pain, waiting for what fever I had to break and hoping my wife doesn’t need to run into the bathroom the same time I need it, I started thinking about how some people I know live like this all the time. I have been lucky and have a pretty normal life. I don’t normally have pain with my Crohn’s. My worst symptoms is the bathroom use. Many people though have pain everyday and struggle to get out of bed. I never truly understood the struggle until this past weekend.
It is now Thursday and I still have not fully recover. I start to feel better and then my stomach will lurch and spasm. I was sitting at work yesterday, in pain, again thinking of my friends. Many can’t hold down a job. I have been lucky and can. I have a desk job and am lucky not to have eyes watching me all the time. If I feel sick I can rest my head for a bit. I can take it easy if I need to. If I had the time to take off, I would have taken a day or two but I don’t have it yet so I had to go into work on Tuesday. Again, many people can’t seem to work and I thought of them.
It isn’t often that we can take the time to walk in another person’s shoes. This past weekend helped me to remember what others are going through and help me to remember that there are so many out there struggling and need help. I took some time off from advocating and working in charities to sort out things in my life. I now remember why I started all of this and even why I started this blog. Sometimes we have to fall to remember why we were flying. The people I know that suffer, they are always in my mind but are even more on my mind now.
It’s nice to remember why you started to do things and I know remember why I started down this road. The side trips I took over the past year have been interesting but it is now time to get back on the main road and continue the journey.
Time to continue the advocacy.