Surviving the Holidays with IBD
By: Kristin Harris
Graphic Designer & Editor
No matter what you celebrate, you have to admit that it’s one of the best times of the year. That being said, the holiday season can also be a depressing time for those suffering from IBD. Up until having my colon removed, I didn’t know if I’d be able to do simple things like go to the tree farm with my family, go to any family events, or be able to sit and enjoy time with family without running to the bathroom. I watched my sisters happily participate in things I was too sick to do. If this is you, please know you’re not alone.
I’m so thankful for my health with my Jpouch. This past year marked 3 years since my takedown surgery — 3 whole years with a functioning Jpouch. Each year has gotten better and better, and each year I keep learning little do’s and don’ts for my body. I imagine the next few years will still be the same. This year I’ve traveled more than I ever have been to Disney World (something I wouldn’t have dreamed I could have done with a colon) and savored every moment with my family. I’ve kept my business running, I’ve taught Pilates classes, and I’ve upped my personal fitness game. It’s been a year of making myself the healthiest I can be because I know how quickly that can all change. It wasn’t long ago that I was 100lbs and struggling to put any food in my mouth, and I will never take my current health for granted.
Yet I still have bad days. I still pull my heating pad out. I still have major anxiety. My Jpouch gets angry at times and makes me take an off day. I still push myself too hard and have to remember that I still have an autoimmune disease and have to live life a little differently.
As this year comes to a close, remember to take care of your body. Don’t be ashamed of the things you can’t do. Don’t be ashamed if you have to spend the day in bed. And if you’re feeling exceptionally well, don’t be ashamed that you can go out and have fun when you know others are suffering. Take all the good days you can get, but remember to listen to your body. Without your health, you have nothing.
Thank you for allowing our team at Companion Magazine to let your voices be heard around the world with IBD. We want every patient to be able to connect with someone and feel less alone. Great things are to come. Here’s to a healthier 2018!
-Kristin, editor & graphic designer