This month, I'm participating in WEGO Health's Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge, which means that, if all goes as planned, I'll be posting every day for the month of April. WEGO provides prompts and I write. I'm pretty excited to see what happens and also to check out the other bloggers taking the challenge. If you're interested in reading other blogger's posts (and I encourage it!) there are a couple different ways to go about it. Either search #HAWMC on Twitter or check out their Facebook page for links to a whole bunch of wonderful health activists' blogs. I will also try to link to any posts I really love right here in my posts, and I will, of course, be facebooking/tweeting/google +ing (is that a thing? Is it just +ing? +1ing?) throughout the month. So, without further ado, here goes the Crohn's Chronicles HAWMC 2012! Enjoy!
The prompt for today is to construct a time capsule that could eventually tell the story of my life with Crohn's. This is a kind of hard one for me, because my personal experience with Crohn's has been incredibly internal. So if anyone else has a different perspective, I'd love to hear what your time capsule would hold.
There are a few trappings of the crohnie, though, that I think speak pretty clearly about what it is to live with Crohn's. Here's what I've come up with:
1) A heating pad
A crohnie's best friend. I'm using one now. It's not a perfect substitute for a really hot bath, but it's almost as good. And requires a lot less prep time. I just throw mine in the microwave for a minute or two and in a few minutes Myrtle's feeling much happier.
2) A Humira Pen
The only medication I'm on right now. It got me out of the most intense flare I've ever had and is now keeping me stable. It's a pretty crucial part of my Crohn's experience.
3) My stuffed intestines
It's not what you think. When I was feeling particularly crappy, one of my dear friends sent me a package that contained this:
That's right. I have the coolest friend ever. A little pillow shaped like intestines. I call her Myrtle the Second. Grab yourself or a crohnie in your life one of these gems over at I Heart Guts.
Like I said, I was having a particularly wretched go of it and this little gal made me laugh. Really hard. And now every time I need a chuckle she's right there. Sometimes you just need a good laugh, you know?
4) The #crohnie hashtag, or any variant thereof.
If you have Crohn's, or know someone with Crohn's, I sincerely hope you've encountered this hashtag. If not, check it out now. 24 hours a day, crohnies from all over the world are using this hashtag to tell their own stories. People are candid and honest and hilarious and absolutely fantastic. More than all of this, though, people are supportive. It is the most stunning example of what the internet, and Twitter specifically, can do that I've ever seen. We spend so much time, especially recently, focusing on the negatives of the internet, but this is a big point for the "pro" column. It is truly a community of people that all have one thing in common and are there to support each other, offer advice when we can, and just listen when that's all a fellow crohnie needs. Seriously, check it out. I'm not exaggerating, it really is this cool.
That's my time capsule. I'm sure I could add a few other things, but these seem the most crucial. I guess my hope, if someone found this, would be for them to have an idea of what living with Crohn's actually is and to understand that, beyond the heating pads and medication, we are just people trying to make it through the day like everyone else. Also, I hope they chuckle a little.