I’m chronic and incurable. That’s what they told me at age 30. I remember age 30 very well. It was the age of my first divorce. It literally kicked the crap out of me. Very shortly after my very traumatic divorce, I ended up in the hospital, thinking my life was ending. With every drop of blood that gushed out into the toliet, I was sure something vital had burst inside of me and I was bleeding out. After about 5 days and 20 pounds later, I was given the good news. I wasn’t going to die. I had Crohn’s Disease.
Crohn’s Disease? WTF? I had never heard of it before, so it couldn’t be so bad, right? Hey, great weight lose program! 20 pounds in days! However, 50 pounds later and a liquid diet for 3 months, it wasn’t so funny. Neither were the meds. Specifically, steriods. Miracle drug, but nasty ass side effects. Stress was usually the precursor to set off a flare.
Eventually, I got back to normal. A NEW normal. My life would never be the same again. I was young and dumb. I didn’t realize that “chronic” meant lifetime. It wasn’t just an occasional inconvenience. It was EVERY DAY. Some days, you forget. Then it comes roaring back to bite you in the ass. Literally. Semi-annual emergency hospital stays, hooked up to IV’s, looking forward to broth for dinner for a week. Regular courses of steriods, antibiotics, immune suppressors, chemo drugs. Lots of quality bathroom time. Complications that included pancreatitis, malignant melanoma, hysterectomy, fistulas, small bowel resection etc. Nice.
Time goes on. Another marriage. Another failure. Equally bad luck with choice of new job. Bad economy. Cancellation of health insurance. I felt like I had a flashing sign on my back, NO HEALTH INSURANCE, HAVE CHRONIC INCURABLE DISEASE, PLEASE KICK ME SOME MORE. Incredible stressors associated with job. Constant turmoil, constant abuse, constant crying. STRESS. More bad stuff, that I cannot go into at this point. Let’s just say, lowest of the low. Cannot go to GI doctor, cannot afford medicine, cannot go to hospital.
I finally hand myself back over to God, once again. He sends me my guardian angel, and sets forth a chain reaction of events to bring me back into the light. He takes charge and removes me from an impossible job situation and makes my Crohns bearable with no drugs, and a kind GP doctor that helps me, both physically and mentally. Slowly but surely I got better.
I still have no insurance. I still have no job. I still have, and will always have Crohns Disease. But I do have what really counts. I have family, I have friends, I have a smile on my face (usually) and most importantly, I have God, who keeps me going from day to day.
Welcome to a chronic incurable life.