Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ignorance is not bliss

This past weekend my family and some of my extended family all drove a few hours away to go to the big zoo in our state. Now that I am just 8 weeks from my due date and getting quite big, I waddle everywhere. Even though I still have two months to go, I have already passed the size I was when my first son was born. I think the difference is I am not in a flare this time. I definately have a lot more energy this time around even though I am busy keeping up with a toddler.

The zoo trip was a lot of fun. By the end of the day, I was pretty stiff from having walked so much with the extra weight, but it hadn't effected the trip at all.

Being there brought back memories from my last trip to that zoo. It was several years ago in the B.C. period (before children).

That trip it was just my husband and I, escaping for the weekend for some couple time. It was miserable. I was miserable. I remember being at the zoo and visiting the bathroom more than the exhibits. I could only walk short distances before I would have to curl up with intense cramping. I would sit on the ground and wait for the pain to subside before going on. We didn't dare venture too far past the public restrooms. And even when we did go to look at things, I had so little energy my husband had to pull me along the walks. What was supposed to be a romantic weekend was. . . not. We took a few pictures on the trips and the forced smile on my face says everything. It was horrible. Thank goodness for a wonderful husband that has endured so much and still stayed by my side.

I will never be at the place mentally or physically again though. It doesn't matter if my UC flares up again, I will NEVER be in the place I was then because I have something I didn't have then--a diagnosis.

I was actually on medication when we went to the zoo all those years back. I was on sedatives. After seeing multiple doctors, they all had said that intense anxiety was the cause of my "stomache ailments". But, I never felt any better. No matter how many sedatives I took or how many hours I spent relaxing/meditating, trying to clear my life of stress, I never felt better. It wasn't until years later when I had my first colonoscopy (something I had unfortunately purposely avoided previously), was told I had UC, and received the proper medication that I felt better. And boy, did I ever feel better! It wan't over night, in fact it was months before I felt normal again (it has taken that long for each subsequent flare as well), but I could tell things were improving after just a few weeks.

But now I have knowledge. I know what it is that is wrong and what my options are to treat it. Knowledge really is power. So even if I have another bad flare up (still in remission!), it will never be as bad as it was then because I know now what is wrong. And I know I'm not crazy.

And in the words of G.I. Joe, "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle."