Saturday, April 9, 2011
Gutsy's Living with IBD are AMAZING!
Hey Gutsy Gals and Guys,
I really gotta hand it to everyone - You are all REALLY GUTSY! Its very challenging to be a youth living with IBD! And even though we all have our slightly different symptoms - we're all going through some really really tough times... I know thats an understatement... sometime's are so horrific, we look back thinking: how did I do that?
Well, it takes alot of COURAGE to push through those hard times. I know for me, being in the hospital on TPN and a PICC line to my heart was one of my most courageous times. Mind you, I cried the whole time through and begged my mom to stay with me (let me remind you that im 24 years old.... I know I know, I should probably be able to do this on my own but... it was rough... I needed someone there to show me love, when I was going through a time where I felt that all I had inside was anger and sadness). I remember, one of my biggest victories was being able to give the blood nurse blood! LOL I can laugh about it now, but at the time it was the scariest thing: I was super dehydrated, and my IV lines had gone interstitial in both hands (my veins collapsed) and the nurse kept poking around in my arms and hands and couldnt get any blood. She needed the blood checked everyday to analyze the electrolytes, iron, and immune cell counts. Being able to just do THAT was a big victory for me. Looking back it taught me a bit of courage. It taught me a lot of courage.
Living with IBD takes a lot of HOPE. How many times are we faced with a flareup and immediately we think of the one before and how horrific it was! We can't possibly pull through another one... and yet... most of us do. It takes a lot of hope and faith to still push through those flareups and hope for a long-term remission or a cure. I think HOPE is at the heart of every person with IBD... because until we find the relief of maintaining remission, we never give up trying.
That brings me to the one of the other big things everyone with IBD holds deep inside: Leadership. Most times during a flareup, we're going through it by ourself. Yea, I know, mom and dad and all your friends may or may not be there for undying support... but they don't know what it FEELS like to be going through a flareup. I swear my mom felt IBD (or the emotions of it) whenever I have a flareup, and her support is amazing. But unless they have IBD also, there's so much more to IBD than we can put into words sometimes. And THAT is what brings great leadership - we're leading ourselves through one of the most challenging diseases there is ! As a youth, it brings great insight and maturity our way... every person I know with IBD thats under 25 years old sounds like they've lived much longer than what their driver's license says. They sound so mature. That they've seen and experienced more than what the average teenager or twenty-year old has... and it's true... YOU HAVE! Everyone with IBD is a leader because without knowing it, they influence and inspire those around them with their courage, hope and strength. I'm not using 'flowery' words here, I truely mean it... there isn't ONE person that I've met with IBD that hasn't inspired me immensely.... and I have IBD!
I hope that every youth out there, and every adult... EVERYONE WITH IBD... can see how MUCH it takes to live with IBD... how hard and challenging it is... but also how much their influencing those around them... how special it makes them.... how great they are! I know being a youth is tough - you're trying to find yourself and find where you belong, or where you feel you fit in... school is tough with all your peers... its not easy in the least.... but please don't give up! I think you're amazing, without even having met you... I think everyone with IBD is amazing.