*This isn’t about culture, but a thank you letter.
This month marks ten years of me having Crohn’s disease. I could recall in this post all the hardships I’ve had to sit through and the many uncomfortable and frightening situations I’ve had to face, but all I find myself recalling around this anniversary is the people.
In the days before I had even been diagnosed, people rallied around me, like a motley team, to support me in that time. And many, many more listened, understood and cared in the decade that followed.
Like Beth Long who went on a terrible diet with me and staunchly stayed by it, even though some of those recipes were horrid.
Like my Dad who helped me snap out of my “I give up, I’m going to die”, phase and encouraged me to keep trying.
Like my sister who gave me shots for years, even though it hurt her to hurt me.
Like Athena who was studying medicine and told me she’d like to cure Crohn’s.
Like my Nannah, who got me into Yoga and encouraged me to be aware of what my body is telling me.
But most of my thanks goes to my Mom, who cried harder than I did when I was diagnosed and has worried every day since. She read countless books and blogs and became an expert on Crohn’s. She cooked hundreds of meals and kept a smile on her face when I felt like I was wilting. She ends every phone conversation by asking about my health.
Without her I certainly wouldn’t have made it.
God played an inner role, giving me the peace that tackled the panic of being trapped in a body that doesn’t work. He receives my deepest thanks.
With the crowds of friends and family over the space of time, I have had a constant flow of voices and hearts pushing me on, building me up and hearing me out.
When I got diagnosed with Crohn’s I honestly didn’t think I’d make it to college. I thought I’d be confined to home, which is my biggest fear.
Instead I did go to college, lived in New York, ran races, danced dances, climbed mountains, moved abroad, and faced all kinds of difficulties. A lot of times my heart is not strong enough to face the ups and downs, but amazingly my body has been, thanks to all of you. Crohn’s will always be with me, and so will all my memories of how people were their kindest most loving selves towards me.