(March 29- Oct 1) Ileostomy recovery using exclusively cannabis as medication:
Before I get all rambley I want to link a couple of earlier posts just to contrast how far I've really come. A few archives can be found here for an idea of where I was at a year ago. For those of you new to reading my blog, or that have met me recently (aka post-flare) these posts should give you some idea of what it's like to have crohns.
I'm so glad I recorded this stuff. Nobody wants their picture taken when they appear to be rotting away, but having that "before picture" is so motivating to see after making so much progress. I'm glad I wrote down my struggles, because I do not want to forget them. I never want to take life for granted again, and these journals are a great reminder of how lucky I am. I'm also thankful for the opportunity to have shared these experiences, so that the general public can maybe empathize with others that have crohn's.
Fast forward to now. When I started writing this post I had just got back from a trip to the Okanagan where I was constantly on the go, taking in all sorts of activities and experiences I used to long for. I went partly as a family trip and also for a wedding of two close friends. A year ago travelling and spending so much time in social situations would have been out of the question. It was such a delight to enjoy new places and the company of so many good people. I'm still having fun helping people discover their own strength at Freedom Functional Fitness, which will always be my happy place. I’ve also recently started an exciting position working at the Saskatchewan Compassion club, providing medical cannabis to people in the exact same situation I was in a year ago. I literally spend my days passing on the two things that have made the biggest difference in my health (fitness and cannabis), to those who truly need it. It’s surreal.
As far as my own health goes, cannabis is nothing new for me, but having consistent access to
quality, lab tested edibles and suppositories has revolutionized my healing process. The surgery needed to happen so that my body could quit wasting energy to heal un-healable tissue, (my colon and bladder had fused together) but now with that out of the way, my body seems so soak up cannabis like a sponge and I just keep getting stronger. Doctors and nurses can't believe I don't use ANY pharmaceuticals, especially after such an aggressive operation. Fuck steroids.
The novelty of my new freedom has yet to wear off, every day feels like a gift. One of my favourite parts of this is the sense of contentment I've begun to develop due to the perspective crohns has blessed me with. I may be able to go mountain biking and lift weights now, but my happiness isn't dependent on it. That's so liberating to say! The mere absence of pain is enough to make me smile these days. Being able to leave the house without feeling anxiety, or just going for a walk around the block pain free is a thrill right now. Before getting sick my happiness was dependent on winning meets, making teams, and lifting more weight. It wasn't healthy at all, and I'm thankful for my new perspective.
Though things are going well, I've slacked on my meditation practice and I’m noticing the effect. Ive only just been back at it his last week after realizing how much worse I am without it. I have no excuse for stopping, even though I’m busy now. I really believe in the rule of thumb that the less time you think you have to meditate, the more you need to meditate. That doesn’t mean sitting on the floor cross legged chanting stuff, it can be as simple as just eating your lunch in silence without texting and face booking, or just counting deep breaths for 2 minutes. Is 2 minutes or one non-distracted meal per day really so much so ask of ourselves? I suppose we are best at preaching the advice we need to follow ourselves.
I am thankful for such a wonderful family that has supported me and made this all possible. Dad has busted his ass in the garden this summer so I've had all my favourite vegetables, and mom has always been there for me to talk to. From little things like that, to providing me with a car to drive and a place to live, I'm pretty spoiled. They have both sacrificed a lot just to make me comfortable. Even Reid provides me with free farm eggs that I enjoy every single day. My coworkers at Freedom are amazing, I’ve had them cover for me over and over when I’m sick, and i appreciate them keeping me around and being so patient with me as I got back on my feet. Though I’ve had to scale back there because of my role at the compassion club, everyone has remained very supportive and I couldn’t be more thankful.
Thanks for reading!