My therapist likes to embarrass me in public.
He believes that a big part of our work is getting me comfortable with the less socially acceptable aspects of my disease, so last time I saw him he cheerfully assigned me homework: write a post about poop.
I know, right? No way. But I took the assignment (gamely, I hope), and went home to think... and couldn't come up with anything I haven't already said in previous posts. Poop is one of those last taboo topics in Western society, yet we all do it, at least a couple of times a week. If you're a Crohnie you may do it a couple of times a day or an hour. I've always tried to be honest when people ask about my symptoms, but I don't go around volunteering the information, because that's a good way to get everyone to avoid you at recess.
My bathroom habits are about to improve, because I started prednisone again this week, much to my disappointment. You're either groaning in sympathy right now or wondering what the big deal is. Prednisone is notorious with us autoimmune folks. It absolutely does what it's supposed to: it comes roaring in and stomps rampant inflammation into the ground, howling and beating its chest as it turns misery into a memory. But the collateral damage is so high, it's a last resort. Weight gain, fluid retention, uncontrollable appetite, the famous prednisone moonface, acne, bacne, hair loss, thinning of the skin, insomnia, clean-the-kitchen-at-4-am manic energy, aggression, crazy mood swings, high nerves, irritability, auditory hallucinations...... More rare but serious side effects of chronic use include osteoporosis, bleeding of the intestines, Cushing's Disease, diabetes, cataracts, nerve and muscle damage, heart arrhythmia, blood clots, fluid in the lungs.... the list goes on.
So it's a choice between the inflammation causing long-term damage and the awful but temporary side effects. Even my GI tries to avoid it when possible, but we're out of options now. And I get to be on it for several weeks now, YAY.
Add a frozen pipe in our house and $600 spent on repairs to the Volvo, and it's been something of a shitty week. All we can do is keep going, right?
Pete Seeger, to an audience: "No matter how slow I go, don't stop singin'. Just take a new breath and keep on goin', and nobody'll know the difference."
Take a new breath, and keep on singing.