Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The First Rule of Crohns Disease

I realised after my throat clearing on how I deal with Crohns last month that acceptance of my five rules of Crohns disease has left me only taking 'basic medication' but I did not explain what that particularuy drug was.

A packet of granules each morning with a glass of water is all the drugs required to keep me on the straight and narrow.  It is called Mesalamine; an anti-inflammatory for the bowel. 

Normal anti-inflammatories (e.g. paracetamol) take all the blood that has engorged your cells to make them red, painful and inflamed (in your head, or in your back or wherever is causing you grief) and re-directs them straight to the bowels.  Mesalamine essentially does the opposite.  It might surprise you to learn that normal anti-inflammatories can be so devastating to the bowel when on the back of the box the phrase ‘do not take on an empty stomach,’ does not seem that severe a warning.  Clearly there is a mismatch between what the bowels can take, what drug companies suggest, how the people around you feel and how you feel.  For that reason alone, I have made rule one of Crohns the following:

Rule 1: Trust Yourself Over Others
Your bowels do not behave like the rest of your body in terms of stimulus and response.  Do not waste time trying to think otherwise.  Do not take advice from people who do not accept this.  If you feel ill - tell a doctor.

Bear in mind this also includes the medication you take.   I remember bumping into a fellow sufferer out shopping who looking like she would burst into tears at any moment.  She told me that she was finding the corticosteroids she was on were making her feel manic and unable to sleep.  The doctor's response was, "Hmm...well they shouldn't."  Well: I can tell you that they absolutely do.  Anyone who has ever taken steroids will recognise that feeling not long after the first pill is swallowed where your body feels like it begins to vibrate and does not stop until you finish the course.  If anyone ever tells you that should not be feeling the way you do - that needs to be explored by them as much as you, otherwise try to reduce their influence in your life.

If something works for you and yet there is no received wisdom that it should - embrace that. Because your bowels are so different from the rest of your body.

Rules two and three will follow shortly!