Energy. I FINALLY have some! Don’t go signing me up for Boston just yet, but I am steadily on my way.
I didn’t realize just how out of shape I had become over the past 8 years. I knew that I was no longer the strong, energetic, distance runner I had been for so long, but I usually had enough energy to to live what I refer to as my half life. You see, when you suffer from a chronic illness, not all of your days are bad and sometimes the pain and fatigue can be held off for a few hours, or even a weekend. I had gotten used to saving up all of my energy for when I wanted to use it that I forgot what it was like to be productive on a daily basis. This half life that I was living allowed me to hide the worst of my illness from the outside world and kept me in denial about how bad things had really gotten.
One way to explain my half life is like this: when you have a depleted resource, you ration it. Physical energy was my depleted resource. I chose to save it up for social occasions. This means that during the week I would rest on the couch and expend as little energy as possible so that I could hang out with friends on a Friday or Saturday night. For a few hours I would forget that I had UC and pretended that I was normal. Then, I would have to pay for my fun with more days on the couch and visits to the ER for IV fluids (I have honestly lost count the number of times I had to go in for IV fluids)! Looking back, it was a foolish way to live, but remember I was 18 when I got my diagnosis and 26 when I had my colon removed. If your early 20s are not the time to live foolishly, I don’t know when that time would be.
Now I am glad to report that I can make the bed, do some laundry, go on a walk, search for jobs, and make dinner all in one day!! I know that this sounds like just a normal day to most of you, but it is a huge deal to me. I am walking everyday and even got up to a little jogging this week! As I mentioned before I am still a long way away from my goal of running Boston, but I finally feel like it is an attainable goal! My training will no longer be interrupted by the symptoms of UC, or the surgeries for my j-pouch. I have left my half life behind and I see nothing but a full life ahead of me!