The last few years have been a whirlwind. Even though my health issues started 16 years ago, there’s been a lot to cope with. Let’s see if I can timeline this…
2015 – My gastrointestinal problems got worse. I was having a harder time working and came home crying almost every night because of how much pain I was in. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep up the pace I wanted anymore at work and started looking for a new job near the end of the year. I also found a GI doc that actually listened to me and had my first colonoscopy.
2016 – I got a job that was way more flexible and didn’t guilt me for being sick. I was still having a super rough time with multiple health issues and dealing with side effects of medicines. I had a pill cam endoscopy done in March and was finally told I had IBD. In April I had a procedure for a fissure that I had for 5 years, that nobody before had treated like it was a big deal. In May/June I injured my lower back. I was so bad that I could barely walk at times and the pain was excruciating. My husband took a job in another state soon after and we thought we could handle it. With my back not getting better, I could barely keep myself together. I had trouble walking and getting dressed on my own. By August I couldn’t do it anymore and we decided that I would move to be with him. Getting a job was tough; they didn’t want to pass me on the physical and I had to fight for 2 months for the position. It was a part-time job I could handle. I knew I wouldn’t be able to work full-time anymore. At first they said I could only work if I stayed in a wheelchair, but thankfully by my first day I had gotten a doctor to change their mind. The whole back injury put in a really bad place in my head. It’s hard being 20-something and try to accept that you need a walking device and have to jump through hoops to get doctors to do something. I also starting having a lot of other weird pains and embarrassing issues that I had to jump from specialist to specialist about.
2017 – I started physical therapy for my back, finally after almost a year. I was pain every day, but it got better. I was able to manage it better. I was seeing a Crohn’s specialist that made me feel a million times better about tackling my situation. Throughout the year we did a lot of tests to rule out other things to find the cause of my (then) 15 years of joint pain and came to the conclusion that it was indeed a part of my Crohn’s. (One unfortunate event during this process was finding out that I was allergic to sulfa drugs.) I started Humira in August. I was also having a lot of memory issues. It made work terrible and I felt like an idiot. Things started to improve slowly with Humira. I ditched my birth control and the antidepressants my doctors insisted would help with the pain (they didn’t) and, after dealing with the effects of stopping those things (an absolutely terrible month and a half while also dealing with the loss of a family member) a lot of things got better. I got scheduled for a laproscopy for February of 2018 to see if they could find the cause of my weird pains and issues. In October, my husband and I decided we couldn’t wait on my health to back to 100% before having kids because it wasn’t likely to happen any time soon. I ended up seeing a counselor during this year; I had built up so much anxiety, losing family members way too often and the depression that came with trying to accept that I couldn’t keep up with life the way that I used to was all getting to me. Seeing a counselor was also said to “help manage my chronic pain.” Wanna hear something funny? It didn’t help. After a handful of months, my counselor said I no longer needed regular sessions. I haven’t needed to go since then.
2018 – We started off with the best news. We were actually pregnant! I got to cancel my laproscopy, which was a joy because those weird pains and issues had almost gone away already. Since then we have been dealing with waves of tons of issues and short times of barely any problems. My medicines are doing their jobs decently and overall my body has been taking to this whole pregnant thing pretty well. Currently I still have some issues that we have to wait until after baby to resolve. We also have our fingers crossed that I don’t crash after I deliver our daughter. I have high hopes now that we are back home, in our own house and have more control on our environment.
It’s been a goddamn journey. There’s been a lot of obstacles and a lot of fighting to get help. Making this timeline, I still can’t believe how long it took me to get help from my doctors. I’m still never 100%. My back still gives me issues, I still have issues with my GI tract, I still have joint pain and muscle spasms, I still have those weird pains, and I still get the most random bullshit problems. I’ve learned a lot, including my limits (still working on this, forever working on this…). I think we’ve made it out of the dark times, though. I have a lot of hope for my health going forward and for everything else in life.