|Proof that I'm 37. And if you recognize this, you also may be old.|
Side note: just think how nice it would be if the chronic illness cure rate was as high as the divorce rate in the United States.
So how do you recognize the anniversary of your diagnosis?
For me, it's been an evolution of my thoughts and feelings. My first year was wrought with questions of if the diagnosis was even accurate and what seemed like endless testing and retesting. The next few years the anniversary brought about a lot of anger and sadness because I had to have surgery and was blowing through medications to the point I was teetering on having nothing left to try. For those with IBD, I was in one of the original Humira clinical trials at the University of Chicago after I had an infusion reaction to Remicade. Once my disease was better controlled, my emotions faded and it became more of something in the back of my mind rather than the front. I think this is when the meaning of the anniversary began to change from something negative to something more neutral and less emotionally charged. In the past 2.5 years I've been in complete remission and med free, thanks to a pregnancy and whatever other forces are at play, and I find myself unable to remember when the anniversary even is. I think that's a good thing.
|What I've done to Crohn's. In my mind.|
"What does that mean to you?"
I ask people the same question when they want me to interpret a dream. I'm not trying to be an a%#hole, or pull some psychologist-as-brain-ninja move on them. Rather, what I think bears little relevance; it's all about the meaning to that person. So something to think about if your illness anniversary is approaching is what does this day mean to me? If you've had it for a while, how has that meaning changed over time? You might be surprised by what you discover. Other than the number 42.