Posted in personal
February 10, 2017

It’s 2017, and I’m falling apart.

The irony is, it isn’t even the political stuff.

My name is Whitney Drake, and I’m probably in the worst shape I’ve been in the last 4 years. I apologize to anyone who liked hearing about my progress, because there’s a reason I haven’t written about living with Crohns – 2016 was a year of frustration and that’s hard to write about.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. If you’re new to my blog, I have Crohns disease. It’s an IBD, an inflammatory bowel disease – which are a family of diseases where your body attacks part of your digestive system. I have Crohns, and my body is attacking my small intestine.

Nobody knows what causes Crohns for sure – the best lead is that it has something to do with the bacteria you do and don’t have in your intestine. But there is no cure and mostly people just treat it, aim for remission, until they have to have their intestine removed completely.

This time last year, the medicine I’d been taking stopped working. That was budesonide aka Entocort (a steroid). My doctor put me on a new pill, Pentasa, which is this big pill I have to take 2 of, 4 times a day. It worked alright?

But probably in the last few months I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting fatigued more easily, and cramps have started to come back. Partly, this has been due to my not exercising. The one thing we’ve known is that my running and staying active has helped remission immensely. But once I start getting more fatigued, it’s hard to stay active, which just feeds it. (It’s a nasty cycle)

I’m due for another visit with my gastroenterologist, so I’m going to ask about a new medication. I admit that we still have a lot of options before I’m out of non-surgical options. I am very lucky in that aspect, and I haven’t shown the kind of damage that would lead me to surgery.

But it’s hard to ignore that I’m not healthy right now. My weight is…. too low. I’m down a cup size, and I’m getting a lot bonier than I like to be. I actually don’t like looking in a mirror right now – which actually accounts for the lack of selfies from the last couple months, as well as the amount of days I wasn’t wearing makeup.

The weight of all this is heavy, and I think I might talk to a therapist about it. Because when you’re diagnosed with something that has no cure, it’s hard not to see this endless road that is filled with pain and discomfort ahead of you. I am a very positive person, and I’ve done my best to stay positive and focus on where I’m at – but the last few months have made it hard for me to not keep that road ahead in mind.

The political stress certainly hasn’t helped. Crohns is fueled by stress, so all I can do is stay on the diet of things I know don’t aggravate it and do what I can to stay active.

I’ll try to write a little more about it.

(I didn’t include my symptoms other than fatigue. Mostly because, like all things related to digestive issues, none of them are fun to discuss. In the last 5 years I’ve become extraordinarily comfortable talking to my doctor about all of it. I’ll spare you that)

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