How Does It Feel To Get Your Week?

It’s an interesting feeling when Congress passes that a week for the disease you have been diagnosed with will be set aside to recognize the disease and the people who deal with it. As I think about this, I find myself doing some thinking.  

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the fact that you have a disease, that you forget about living. One of the things about dealing with IBD is the fact that we get caught up in the symptoms.  Even though I face very little pain at this point and time, I still have the honor of dealing with that “D” word. Let me tell you something, rather than hide, I live my life.  If I have to get up in the middle of something, so be it.  I will not let something other than God himself dictate how I live my life.  I did the same thing with my ileostomy.  Why let something like that control us?  I understand that at times it truly can be hard, but let me tell you something, there are many of us out there thriving.

It is time to quit giving the disease more credit than what is due.  If you just change your perspective on the situation, it’s crazy what can happen.  You can’t be stupid, and just go out, and act like you don’t have it completely.  You have to be smart, watch what you put in your body, and get the proper rest and exercise that you need.  When we start treating our bodies like the temple they are, it’s crazy what can happen.

Honestly, how does it feel for me to get my week? It makes me feel angry.  Angry that I would even need a week. I don’t know about you guys, all I know is I’m taking control, and no longer giving anymore credit to it.

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What if you didn’t have to be sick?

Kind of interesting to think about. Hard to believe sometimes that our health is something that we have that much control over. The truth is, we really do.

How many times do you read about many of the diseases occurring now in the Bible? Almost never. My next question is does that mean that they were still happening? I don’t think so. The Bible very clearly mentions different diseases. So then we must ask ourselves what is different now.

One of the biggest things that has changed is how aware we are of what we put in our bodies. We are so willing to put chemicals and things in our bodies now. The irony is that by doing this we are actually doing more harm than good many times.

God gave the Israelites a guideline for a reason. By following it, people had a better quality of life. They lived longer. They had fewer diseases. Why?

A very successful person I respect a great deal says that you see what everyone else is doing, then do the opposite. What if we started doing the opposite? That is what I am doing. Truth be told I am most likely healthier than most of you reading this. What have I done?

When you go to your doctor, I go to my chiropractor. When you are drinking soda, I am drinking water. When you put death in your body, I am putting life in mine. DO THE OPPOSITE!

Being sick is not something we have to be. Praise God for that! My prayers are for you guys to have the most incredible health possible.

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What if you could change your circumstances overnight?

Is this something that is even possible to do?  Very simply the answer is yes.  Your mind is a very powerful tool.  I know that this is something that we have heard over and over again, but it is so true.

A person goes from being nearly dead to better health than your average person while on drugs that suppress their immune system, how?

It’s simple all they had to do was refuse to accept that a life-long illness was something that they had to have.  So often we are told that we will have different diseases for our entire lives, this especially applies to autoimmune diseases.  Let me tell you guys something, that is a lie straight from the pits of hell.  Stepping on some toes I know, but that’s good.

My doctor continues to remind me that what I deal with will be a lifelong thing.   This same doctor also told me that I would be having a colonoscopy this month.  Let me tell you something, over a year after being diagnosed and I have dodged the bullet for another year.

How are we able to do this then?

It’s easy peasy.  When our bodies line up with the living Word of God, then we have life in our bodies.  How many times in the Bible did we read about many of the diseases we have now? NONE!  Why?  THEY DID NOT EXIST BACK THEN!

God writes out very plainly how we are to take care of our bodies.  That is something that I, with the help of several people, have started doing.  Let me tell you something, I am the guy who rarely gets a cold, has the sniffles, or anything like that, yet I’m the one with the “suppressed” immune system.  Does that make sense to you?

Don’t you think you might want to see what that guy is doing?  I have a long way to go, but with each day my health gets progressively better while it gets worse for many around me.  Don’t be stupid with your health.  Do your research on things.  Get into the Living Word, and find out how they did things, and then replicate them.  It will blow your mind away the results that you will see.

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With enough faith you can conquer anything

One thing that I have learned while having Crohn’s Disease is that it will test your faith.  Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” That word “hope” does not mean “wish”.  It is an expectation that we know God will do what He says he will do.  So often people wonder how a person who has a chronic disease can go through it, and not complain about it.  The answer is simple. I serve a God who is bigger than my disease.  I serve a God who cares enough about me that he calls me HIS child, and not just a child.

Let me tell you one scripture that I live by.  In John 9 Jesus is with his disciples, and they come upon a blind man.  The disciples ask him who sinned in his family that caused him to be blind. Jesus states that no one did, but that he was blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him. Immediately the blind man is healed. Why do I go through each day with a smile on my face, even when I was in the hospital ultimately battling for my life? That is why, so that you might see how awesome our God is.

Most people who go through a major surgery are in pain for weeks.  I was never in pain.  The nurses commented on the fact that I barely used my pain pump.  I did not get the prescription for my pain meds filled, after the first surgery, and only took one pill the second due to a tooth ache.  Yes I have a high pain tolerance, but I do not think that has anything to do with it.  I serve a powerful God who was showing how awesome He is.

I am an ordinary man.  However, an ordinary man can become extraordinary when he is being used by God.  Over a year ago, I was inches from death.  Now, I am thriving with a disease that most people who have it are suffering from.  Why?  Because the God I serve is bigger than my disease.  How big is the God you serve?

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You are making an impact

We all want to think that some way, some how we are doing something to make an impact on some one. We like to think that what we go through is not in vain. It is so easy for people to make that impact. We are all being watched by people. Even if all you can do is get on your computer, and post things of Facebook. People notice what you are posting, the tone that you are writing in, and the attitude that you have while writing.

People are looking for things. Many are looking for that sense of hope. That feeling that when everything is going against them, that there is hope to come out on top because others have done it before them. Strong people are wanting to follow the trail that even Stronger people blazed before them. It is such a hard trail to blaze at times.

When I was first diagnosed, I was looking for a trail to follow, and when I found one, I was so excited. Now as I have dealt with many issues, I am finding myself seeking to be the trailblazer so that I can help out others who need it. There are no easy trails. There are just trails that are less hard. By having to follow one of these trails you are making an impact. So many people crumble at the thought of even having to go down one. We are not like some. We have NO choice. We HAVE to go down one. We do have the choice on how we go down them.

You are making an impact in everything that you do. People are watching to see if you will rise up, or fall down. I am going to encourage each of you reading this to always rise up. You are stronger than the situation that you are in.

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You define your circumstances

We have a choice we can either let our circumstances define us, or we can define our circumstances.  Let me show you an example of how this works.  Below is a picture taken one week after I was diagnosed with Crohns Disease.

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I was presented with a mountain to climb.  I refused to let my circumstance define who I was.  So I vowed in my heart that no matter what, I would beat it.  I define my circumstances.  The next picture was taken almost a year later.  That is me thriving with a disease that is at times crippling.

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So many people are facing the same issues, yet there are some who seem to be thriving while others seem to be struggling.  I ask you, why?  If you are reading this, you are already one of the strongest people I know.  You don’t have to settle for your circumstances.  The trick to changing your circumstances is simple, you just have to tilt your to the side a little, and change the way you look at them.

When you start changing how you look at your circumstances, your whole world will change.  Things that bothered you won’t.  You look at things as building blocks rather than stumbling blocks.  You look at things as an opportunity for growth.  It is at that point where you start thriving.

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It’s not the end of the world, it is only the beginning.

It is scary to be diagnosed with a chronic disease.  One of the first things that goes through a person’s mind is the fact that they will have the disease for the rest of their life.  Immediately they are labeled as a sick person.  They are labeled with a disease that strikes fear into the hearts of many people.  Society has put in them a mindset that their life will only go downhill.

Try being in the prime of your, and given one of those diagnoses.  You are on top of the world, and then all of the sudden, the rug is taken out from under you.  So many things cross your mind.  It is whirlwind.  So many things you haven’t done, so many things society says you won’t be able to do.

Let me tell you one thing.

SOCIETY IS WRONG!!!

Your life is just beginning.  Being diagnosed with a chronic disease is a reason to live, not die.  It is a green light to take nothing for granted, and to live life to the fullest.  You have no excuse not to.  We choose not to live because we are afraid of things.  Guess what, most of you guys reading this who have a chronic disease or symptoms of one, already deal with extreme amounts of pain or have dealt with it.  Most of you guys have at some point nearly been on your death bed.  Most of you guys have been down to your last dollar.  What is stopping you from living?  Better yet, what is stopping you from thriving?

To deal with what we deal with mentally and physically you have to be almost near superhuman at times.  I will tell you guys that the strongest people I know have this disease, or are undiagnosed with many of the symptoms.  Society says we have to be defeated.  I say we don’t.  Having a chronic disease is not the end of the world, it is simply the beginning.

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Social Networking with IBD

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is often times a debilitating disease making it hard at times for people to be able to leave their own houses. As a result maintaining it becomes hard to maintain friendships with those who do not have the disease. This is where social networking has become a best friend to those who have the disease.

Social networking allows people who have similar interests to be able to come together, and talk about those things. It brings people from all over the world, and all different walks of life together. As a result people who have diseases that make it hard for them to go out very often can feel as though they are still part of the world.

Also this allows for people with different backgrounds, or in this case diseases, to be able to talk with someone who truly understands what they are going through. There are many times where words simply cannot explain how one feels, or people simply do not understand how hard coping with something really is. By going to different social networking sites, a person is instantly able to connect with someone who can identify with the situation.

It is this ability to connect that makes coping with inflammatory bowel disease so much easier. Upon being diagnosed myself, I had no idea what this disease was. I turned to the internet to look for help on how to deal with this disease. The wealth of knowledge that was available from being able to connect with these people helped me out immensely. I went from being scared, and feeling all alone to empowered, knowing that I could handle anything that was thrown at me. It was this empowerment that has shown me that I am more than my disease. At any time of day there are people who are always right there willing to listen, and over a shoulder for anyone who needs one. Race, gender, age, religious background does not matter in these places. Everyone is fighting for the same cause in these places. There is a bond that is instantly formed that cannot and never will be broken between members in these communities. People become brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers to people who they have never met or may never meet.

Social networking has played a major role in how people are coping with chronic diseases. It creates a safe place for people to go who are always there, supporting them. Social networking truly helps people to be able to thrive with their diseases.

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Who I am

I thought I would introduce myself to everyone, and let you know who I am. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease August 28, 2011. I had been having abdominal pain that would come and go for close to 3 years. I had diarrhea for about that same amount of time. I was always tired, I felt like I could never get enough sleep.

Finally one day the pain I was in got so bad that I was nearly screaming. I could not move, I could not sleep, I could not eat, and I could not drink. I would get sick even drinking a little water. It was at that point I knew that I needed to go to the emergency room. I show up there, and it is full. I remember feeling completely defeated at that point. When I checked in, they found a bed for me immediately. It was at that point that I realized that things were becoming serious.

They ran some test, and it was determined that my appendix had ruptured due to them not being able to see it on the CT scan. My nurse came in, and ended up giving me a double dose of morphine that my surgeon had ordered. This was my first time in the emergency room, so I was unaware that you could actually ask for pain medication.

My surgeon then came into my room, and informed me that they would be doing an emergency surgery on me. He let me know that it looked like my appendix had ruptured. He informed me that he would try to get things laproscopically, however if it were bad enough that would have to make a bigger incision.

When they wheeled me down to the operating room, I was not thinking how much my life would change once I woke up.

I woke up that next morning to my mom, her boyfriend, and my aunt coming in to visit me. The anesthesia had not quite wore off yet, so I was still pretty out of it. I remember seeing a look on my mom’s face, and I knew something was not good. She explained to me that when my surgeon opened me up he actually found my appendix completely intact. Ordinarily to most that would have been excellent news, however, the next word out of my mom’s mouth was “but”.

She then proceeded to tell me that my surgeon found that what the actual problem was, was that my colon and small intestine had perforated due strictures caused by a disease called Crohns. She then explained to me that thing attached to my right side was called and ileostomy.

I could barely process all of that. I knew at that point that I had tubes coming out of everywhere, a family who was scared to death, and now something called Crohns Disease.

That next day the anesthesia wore off, and I was able to think a little clearer. My surgeon explained to me what these things called strictures were, and explained about my ileostomy. He also gave me a brief explanation about what Crohns Disease was.

A week later, I was discharged from the hospital. I did not know a lot about Crohn’s disease at the time. I did know one thing, however, I knew that this disease would not defeat me. I apparently had been dealing with this disease for three years. It had taken so much from me. Now that I know what it was, I began a journey to take back everything from it that it had taken away from me. That is when I stopped just surviving with Crohns disease to thriving with it. I want everyone to know that it is possible to thrive with IBD/Crohns. Getting the diagnosis of IBD does not have to be a death sentence. I want you guys to know that it is my goal to do what I can to help each and everyone of you take back from this disease what was taken from you.

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