My name is Thomas and in December 2011 I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease which is a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease(IBD). Like everyone who is diagnosed with a chronic illness it hit me pretty hard especially as I had to have surgery to reduce the symptoms.
To get my head around my new way of life I tried to learn as much as I could about the disease but the more I read the more I got depressed by the negativity surrounding it. This made me think that everything I wanted to do before being diagnosed was no longer possible.
I couldn’t accept this though so I made 2013 the year of adventure to see what the new me could do and to my surprise I can do quite a lot! At first my attitude was “I am doing X, Y or Z despite having IBD.” However this way of thinking could easily slip back into “I can’t do X, Y or Z because I have IBD”.
To overcome this my new mindset is “I am doing X, Y, or Z BECAUSE I have IBD”. By this I’m not dismissing the limitations IBD can have on someone’s life but at the moment whilst I am healthy I need to live my life to the fullest, because I know it won’t be like this forever. Seeing things in this way has given me more motivation to test myself and whatever I achieve has become the silver lining of my IBD as I wouldn’t be doing them had it not been for my Crohn’s Disease.
The epitome of my silver lining attitude and doing stuff because I have IBD was when I cycled the 1000 mile length of Great Britain from Lands End to John O’Groats in June 2014. This is because there is no way I would have done it without the motivation that having IBD gives me. When my Crohn’s does flare up again it will be a great feeling to say that “at least I cycled the length of Great Britain whilst I was healthy enough to do so!”
I look forward to you following me on my future Chronic Adventures…