It’s been very frustrating for me, living with Crohn’s disease, and suffering debilitating symptoms despite it’s supposedly being in remission.
I developed Crohn’s when I was 10, after a serious case of the chicken pox hit me. I’m fairly certain that the virus somehow activated the disease. Crohn’s is autoimmune, and even 40 years after my initial diagnosis, it is still poorly understood.
I’ve been fortunate in that my disease has been in remission since my abdominal surgery to remove a segment of bowel. This surgery was around 25 years ago, and having it enabled me to get off of the cornucopia of medications that I was on, to suppress my immune system.
My biggest complaint, though the intestinal pain, and complications were no fun, has always been that I’m exhausted. Constantly. To the point where work and a normal life is not possible for me.
This symptom was not alleviated by my surgery. So, for 40 years of my life, I’ve dealt with it daily. None of my doctors could figure out why the fatigue continued. It was in their experience, that most patients with their Crohn’s disease in remission, do not suffer from fatigue.
They began to tell me I was depressed, and that was the cause my symptoms. Very depressing to be told this repeatedly, when you know it isn’t true!
I have suffered from depression and anxiety in conjunction with the disease. Scientists have recently learned what Naturopathic doctors have known forever. That gut health influences emotional health tremendously. When the bacteria in your intestinal tract is off balance, it wreaks havoc on your brain chemistry.
This predilection the medical community has of falsely dividing the mental from the physical has caused me a lot of pain. That, along with the judgments from society dealt to those of us with ‘mental illness’. I am not at all convinced that the separation between mind and body is valid, or useful to those of us suffering.
I stopped going to MD’s for help a long time ago. I’ve seen all sorts of alternative health practitioners through the years. No one has really been able to get to the core of what is happening within my body. Or to significantly improve my energy level with their treatments.
I think if doctors were a bit more humble they’d be able to say, “We just don’t understand the human body well enough, to be able to make sense of what is wrong with you,” rather than ,”There is nothing wrong with you.”
Were this the case, patients like myself would suffer a lot less. Being dismissed by doctors as ‘crazy’ doesn’t help one bit. It’s hard enough feeling ill. It’s devastating to be disregarded, and blamed for it. Is it any wonder that I deal with depression, on top of my other symptoms? I don’t think so.