I am way to familiar with doctor appointments, lab tests, emergency visits, follow ups…shall I go on? Basically I spend 1 to 5 times the amount a regular person does on my health. Being chronically ill I have been exposed to a multitude of doctors, specialists, nurses and those that just want to help. I have flashed my ass (sorry but it’s true) to more medical professionals then I care to remember (except for that super cute intern in the emergency who I had to show my possibly infected fistula site which after 8 years of being on public display for the medical community caused me to blush just a tad) for more reasons than I can count. Up until my diagnosis I was able to get by with only needing to get a yearly physical. At 22 I was baring all to what I felt was the entire world in hopes of finding out what was wrong with me. Crohn’s disease is not a glamorous disease and to be diagnosed and treated you go through an assortment of tests to check your digestive tract. After a few years of living with the disease dropping my pants and talking about bowel function became second nature and embarrassment wasn’t even a thing anymore. I could deal with this no problem. I was feeling pretty invincible when it came to meeting doctors and jumping through testing hoops..hell I even designed my own medical binder.
Well today that all changed. A boobie ‘grab’ left me in a state of confusion, fear, and even a bit embarrassed. No it wasn’t harassment. I actually did ask for this. I wrote my appointments in my book, went to my follow-up just like I do with all my medical things.. but nothing could prepare me mentally for the emotional roller coaster that happened today. On Sunday I went to my family doctor to have her check out a sore spot on my left breast. I couldn’t feel a lump but it has been sore off and on for a couple of months. She filled out a requisition for an ultrasound which I booked today as I wanted the results before I left on my trip. I was totally fine up until I had to lay on the table and the next 5 minutes (felt like an hour) passed in silence as the technician checked it out with the ultrasound. Today I realized my limits when it comes to my health. Those 5 minutes wondering what the hell could be wrong with my boob were worse than googling my symptoms when I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s. At the end of it I was a semi sweaty mess and waited anxiously for the doctor. Apparently nothing is wrong, although they couldn’t pin point the reason for the pain there is nothing going on to be overly concerned about other than some density changes likely due to age or hormones. I have to follow-up every 6 months for the next two years to make sure no changes as per their protocol.
During that 5 minutes I learned the limit of my emotional capacity to deal with my health. Colds, stomach bugs, routine check ups.. I can handle that. Crohn’s Disease.. yeah it’s shitty at times (pun intended) and yes I am stuck with it for the rest of my life.. but I can handle that. One chronic disease is about my limit. Today reminded me I am still human and vulnerable and I counted my blessings when I left that despite living with a chronic disease my life is pretty great even with all the unknowns of when my disease will flare up. Which brings me to my last and most important note, if you are feeling like something is ‘off’ get it checked out, it may be nothing, but the sooner you act the sooner you can take action. The process of getting cleared or in some cases diagnosed with an ailment, illness or disease is scary but information is power and early detection is usually always better for treatment options no matter what you’re facing.