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I feel great! and then...

Possibly worse than feeling awful all the time is feeling great for a while and then flaring up. Okay, maybe not worse, but incredibly frustrating nonetheless.

For the first time in years, I have felt like myself for more than a couple months. (Although, as I have come to realize, Crohn's is part of my "self.") I go places and my first thought is not whether there is a public bathroom close by. I wear heels without having to worry whether I will be able to walk the next morning. I treasure these things, which so often go overlooked, because they are not default for me, they are luxuries. For years I worried about these things almost constantly, and I had forgotten how freeing it is to be able to let those go, not entirely, but a little bit.

But then some small thing happens. I am stressed about school, rehearsals, or issues in my personal life and Myrtle begins to reflect that stress. The weather changes and my joints freeze up. I get my period and the flare that often comes with it. Or any combination of these.

And now the luxury of freedom from worry no longer exists. I go back to instantly noticing the location of the bathroom when I enter an unfamiliar building. I begin to carefully plan what I wear again; no leotards, nothing that will put too much pressure on Myrtle. I take every possible step to keep my feet and ankles warm, especially at night.

And it is so hard. Because I remember what it feels like to feel good now. I forgot for a while, all I could remember was being in flare. I don't think I could have told you how a flare differed from feeling well. Now, I am acutely aware of the differences.

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What would your "Keep Calm" poster say? Make one! Share it in the comments! I would love to see it!