So, I’m still in the infant stages of my diagnosis, but I’m slowly gathering things that help with my everyday life, and I figured perhaps these might also help someone else:
1. With IBD comes the problem of malabsorption, and we need a high protein diet. I’m a vegetarian, and now, I can’t eat meat even if I want to because it was the final trigger for my first flare, so I need a little help. I use True Nutrition’s soy protein with added vitamins and minerals and blend in lots of frozen fruits/spinach/fresh kale/vanilla almond milk. I do love a good green smoothie.
2. On a related note, I just bought this blender and it pulverizes everything. Perhaps I’ll do a video demo at some point.
3. When I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, the doctor mentioned fatigue as a symptom. I thought ‘Eh, I’m always tired anyway.’ Well, silly, silly me. It’s really more like extreme mental and physical exhaustion on the worst day and freaking tired on the best day. Where I used to be super active, happy to clean and run around and exercise and was even known to do glute kick-backs if I had to get down on the floor to look under something, now I’m more of a ‘drag myself to mandatory appointments and avoid moving if at all possible’ kind of girl (though I do still love my gym). If I hated shopping before, I hate it that little bit more now, but I need clothes for summer since I have nothing that fits and I’m going on vacation in May. Enter Stitchfix. You fill out a profile; they send you clothes. If you don’t like them, you send them back. If you do, you keep them and they charge you. Easy.
4. I got a haircut. I know it sounds silly, but I was really struggling with self-esteem after being diagnosed with a forever disease/losing a bunch of weight in the hospital/gaining back all the weight I lost and then some/feeling like I looked older/finding an entire gray streak instead of my just first gray hair, and the haircut helped me to feel a little better.
5. I asked for a full day off. Between work 5 days a week and school two days a week, I hadn’t had a day off since the beginning of the semester, and that is just not ok for me right now. Maybe eventually, I’ll be able to handle that sort of life again, but right now I simply cannot, so I nervously asked my boss for a full day off and she was happy to oblige. It’s been a little weird so far, but I’m sure I’ll get used to relaxing…at some point.
So, how do you deal?