I have – and still do for that matter. There are times when Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can feel like it has completely taken over my life. Constant trips to the bathroom, cramping, pain, bleeding, emotions take a toll on a person. When a patient’s IBD is flaring, there is almost nothing that can be done. But what about times when it isn’t flaring or is relatively controlled?
We owe it to ourselves to live life to the fullest, especially when we feel our best. I recently spoke with a friend who told me that she was always happy to see me out and about, doing so much. She knows it isn’t always easy and, more often than not, extra work has to go into the active lifestyle I lead.
The conversation grew and we began to talk about people with chronic illness and the effects it can have on a their life. It’s devastating that so many people with different diseases have their quality of life diminished. Sometimes, it’s hard to see what it has done to their mindsets. It’s note easy to stay positive during such difficult times.
I’ve been low before as a result of my Crohn’s disease and sometimes it felt like there was only a spec of light at the end of the tunnel. I’m so relieved that I held on to the hope that days would get brighter. Without that hope, I don’t know where I would be now. Our conversation then led to us reflecting on my mindset. I truly believe you only live once (YOLO) and I also have a fear of missing out (FOMO). We realized that this is why I do so much with my IBD.
Which leads me to my 70.3 for IBD training. I finally got out for my first outdoor run of the season. I was planning for a short run, but I still had to plan and prepare properly for it. So I prepped my backside with TP padding just in case I drained from the area where I had my proctectomy. Then I prepped my front side to make sure that my ostomy was ready for running. Of course I also had to make sure it was empty before I started. Okay, now I’m ready…right? Thankfully, that was all I had to do today but it’s still more than most people do before a run.
After all the prep for the run, I was a little down. I know how much extra work it takes for me to just get out for a few miles. But then I got going and realized I can do things healthy people can. I proved to myself Crohn’s didn’t have to keep me from being active. I can’t tell you how happy I was to get outside to run – I even passed a few deer along my route. The reason why I was out running was my YOLO and FOMO attitude. I know that if I didn’t have Crohn’s disease, I would love to compete in triathlons, so that’s what I’m going to do.
The highlight of my day turned out to come just after the run. When I was done I walked over to a bench just to relax and take in the fresh air. I sat down on the bench without any hesitation. It was an outdoor wooden bench – I know other IBDers can feel my pain. Butt there was no pain! (See what I did there?) Didn’t even have to lower myself slowly. It’s amazing how the smallest part of the run made the day great and it was something as small as sitting down after.
I beg of my fellow IBDers, don’t forget to enjoy the little things in life. When you’re feeling well remember that YOLO and it’s healthy to have a FOMO, if it motivates you to live a full life!
Please consider a donation to my 70.3 for IBD half Ironman. Your contribution will go towards helping the IIF assist those with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and ostomies.
Thank you so much for your support. -Brian