“I suspect you have Crohn’s Disease…”
& just like that, life revealed one of its many mysteries to me.
It was a good fight, I thought. How we fought to love life despite the pain; me and tummy.
19th April, was it? Yup. That day, and the day before and the weeks before. Period of nervousness, of restlessness even in the most peaceful of nights.
One week I was staring at my bruised vein due to a needle injection, chanting, “recover, vein”. Another week downing my bowel prep solution, gulp after gulp, cup after cup, almost-give-up after almost-give-ups. (I made it, btw.) Another week of MRI scanning (a.k.a bad experience), and afterwards again chanting, “recover vein. shit” to my other hand. Sigh.
Why am I doing all these again? Ah, that’s right. They needed to know what was wrong with my stomach. I, for one, needed to know.
I can’t type this without my mind wandering off. Ugh. Focus, please.
Results day was a killer. Even my past school GPA results couldn’t send shivers down my spine one bit like this.
I flipped the papers. My eyes darted to all the medical terms written on them. My doctor was calmly explaining to me. I had to maintain a straight face. I think I pulled it off. Maybe I looked a lil too serious. But still an appropriate expression, no?
“I suspect you have Crohn’s Disease… but we can’t confirm yet, hence we require another colonoscopy test to be done on you.”
& other blah blah blahs. Soon, I was introduced to another doctor. And then another one. Woah, 3 doctors? Hmm.
And then lastly to a dietician. Okay. I’m impatient to read up on this Crohn’s thing once I’m dismissed.
I opened Google, typed those words in, and the first few words I saw were, “no known cure yet.” I read those words again. And again. And again…
And then boom — instant depression mode on.
Am I actually having this…? This.. chronic, life-long disease? Hmm. How do I handle this? Clearly I handled it badly. That night and the next morning was utterly difficult. I didn’t talk to my parents or anyone, even.
But thanks hugely to the inner optimist which still survived in me, I picked myself up. “Nadira, please. It’s not over.”
“Remember what you love most about life? This isn’t a ruiner, just know, it’s not over.”
I mustered enough courage to talk to my mum. I explained to her what the doctors told me, what this condition is all about, while inhaling and exhaling slow, deep breaths in between words.
Then I moved on to my dad, and my bro. That wasn’t so bad. The fact that their responses were actually encouraging and so full of understanding. I felt…. sad no more. All of a sudden I found myself accepting all this, and it wasn’t so difficult after all. Thank you, inner optimistic mind.
In fact, I feel relieved now because I now know what has been affecting and troubling me for the past few years – why I wasn’t getting better despite seeing doctors, taking medications regularly and changing my diet.
Life, how do you that? How are you so unpredictable, and yet still so… irresistible? Like the most interesting book, I can’t ever put you down. I can’t ever find the courage to give up on you, life.
There’s love I still don’t know yet. From myself, from Him, from him, and all other hers and hims in between.
I still remember my dad sitting by me, saying, “Dira, you’re still young. Take this as a challenge from God. A challenge that He knows you’re strong enough to handle.”
“What do you want out of your life?” he asked.
“To be happy.”
“Yes, to be happy. So be happy.”