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Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » Excuse Me: We are healthy!


11-10-2014, 02:26 PM   #1
Sea_Star
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Excuse Me: We are healthy!

We're pretty healthy, despite IBD, right? I think health is a term used to describe things over your direct control: COPD, obesity, functional problems due to lifestyle choices, acquired illnesses due to certain choices (like Hepatitis from vaccine-drug use, etc)

but when someone says "healthy people vs CD people" um, WAIT....I'm sorry. No matter how many symptoms we have, or side effects from the meds, can we consider ourselves healthy people overall?!
11-10-2014, 03:50 PM   #2
FrozenGirl
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I think it is a personal way of thinking. Believing the way you do is likely more psychologically healthy rather than seeing yourself as a sick person, however I think in the vs. CD example you cite it is less about health and more about identifying distinct communities. Us vs them. And health is an easy way to term it.

My thoughts on it. Interesting question.
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11-10-2014, 04:05 PM   #3
Sea_Star
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True, it is individual. And yes, I've prob said that before like "Oh, normal healthy people vs CD/UC ppl" so you're right, it is a natural/reflexive way of differentiating in the overall picture. But sometimes... mind over matter right?

ps: Your avatar picture quote....that's exactly how I feel! Just when I want to LIVE and do things, some health things fall apart (maybe moreso in my head because I over-analyze, overthink, and just live in my head...like Walter Mitty lol...)
11-10-2014, 04:20 PM   #4
2thFairy
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Even in my worst never-ending flare that led to total colectomy, I described myself as healthy. As far as surgery was concerned, I was a VERY healthy patient. I agree with FrozenGirl--it's a personal way of thinking.
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11-10-2014, 09:19 PM   #5
aideen33
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I dont identify as "healthy" right now. That isnt to say thats a good thing, but its the truth. Im flaring, i have multiple overlapping issues we are trying to get some measure of control over, and I find myself unable to do things that I previously could. To me, that means that right now I am not healthy. Perhaps when (if?) I can get remission, I will feel differently
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11-10-2014, 09:27 PM   #6
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Thank you Sea_Star. From diagnosis to now its kind of how I feel. My computer screensaver is "Just Breathe". I personally don't think of myself as healthy at the moment but in remission I think I would.
11-11-2014, 06:09 PM   #7
kristihelene
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I hear what you're saying, but so many of us with CD have countless extraintestinal manifestations (chronic fatigue, brain fog, under/over weight, joint pain, etc etc etc) that I personally think a lot of us don't identify as healthy. If EVERYTHING was in remission... Maybe? But I think part of what I struggle with getting others to understand is though I may *look* "healthy", I am not.


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11-11-2014, 06:18 PM   #8
Cat-a-Tonic
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For me, even in remission I find that I still need to keep my illness on my mind. I need to make sure not to eat the wrong thing, to get enough sleep, to take my meds and supplements, etc in order to make sure I stay in remission. So, I would say that I don't typically feel like a healthy person even when I'm in remission. Healthy people can live mindlessly and without limitations - even in remission, I have limitations and I have to be mindful of things at all times.

I would say the one exception is when I'm in the gym, working out. When I work out, I feel strong and amazing. I can forget for an hour that I'm ill and just focus on pushing my body towards health. That is pretty much the only time that I really feel like a healthy person.
11-11-2014, 07:06 PM   #9
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I think it is indeed how each individual sees themself.
I'm the only one who seems to think as a myself as "healthy" wheras everyone I know around me considers me to be "sick". I've had my friends say countless time oh yea but you're sick and I feel like I've been labelled without my current condition even being acknowledged

Maybe some of our images of healthy may be different to people without IBD. I'm so used to being fatigued it's just part of my well being now all the symptoms I have may not be healthy but it's me.

I don't feel like a sick person when I am doing well , I know medically I am not healthy or "normal" so to speak but I feel pretty healthy atm.

Tbh if I went around thinking about how sick I was it would only depress me sometimes it's nice to try and forget we are not like everyone else (until something brings me crashing back down to reality hah)
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11-11-2014, 07:09 PM   #10
aideen33
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I think its important, like anything else, that we be allowed to define ourselves in a way that works for us. If you feel healthy and identify that way, I can see that. I wish I could but right now... i dont yet. Maybe I will get there
11-12-2014, 09:03 AM   #11
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I've always thought of myself as a healthy person; one who has never really been ill even though in reality I think I've probably had Crohns for 20 years and suffered on and off with that. The first half of this year whilst waiting diagnosis I obviously was ill: I'd lost lots of weight, was anemic, weak, cold, tired all the time etc., but my attitude was still that of "it's probably nothing serious" because I'm not the sort of person that gets sick.

So when I was told that it was Crohn's it was in a way a shock: I now officially have a disease; I'm now officially a sick person.

But that's where I started to get better, and especially a couple of months after surgery I was eating well, got back to a healthy weight and did a lot of cycling in the countryside whilst the sun was still shining. I'm probably healthier now as a sick person than at any point in my adult life.

Weird eh?
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11-12-2014, 11:06 AM   #12
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Well, no.

It all comes down to how to choose to think about it, yes. But, as Cat said, we have to be mindful of our condition(s) no matter how well we may feel at the time.

I'm not a "sick person" or a "healthy person." I have a disease. Sometimes I feel sick and other times I don't. There are worse things, but there are also easier things.

This condition is vastly different for everyone who experiences it. Some can't live a normal life because of it - and they're certainly justified in thinking of themselves as sick if they wish to do so. They may have complications and other diagnosis's piling up. Some of us only have mild interferences with our lives (at this point, anyway) and those interferences are enough to justify feeling "sick," as well. Personally, by declaring us healthy, I would feel as if we were discrediting many individuals' suffering.
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11-12-2014, 11:50 AM   #13
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Though I fight not to be I don't feel particularly healthy know I have some sort of stomach issues going ontthough after 2 decades still not sure what even though a lot of my symptoms seem similar to some of you,I have a few more recent things added as time flies copd the balance stuff headaches body aches fatigue nausea tremors sleeplessness feel major crap the whole time and I really don't want to.
11-12-2014, 11:53 AM   #14
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One of the irritating things you get from people who don't understand is try not to think about it like yeah that helps
11-12-2014, 11:57 AM   #15
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A family friend recently passed away close to two years since her diagnosis with pancreatic cancer. She was always adamant that she was "LIVING with cancer" rather than "fighting cancer," and until the end filled her life with meaningful activities and relationships. I think about that when I need a little inspiration and to not get stuck feeling bad for myself.
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11-15-2014, 04:08 PM   #16
UnXmas
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It depends what perspective you're looking at it from. I have other medical conditions that do me far more harm than Crohn's, so I might see myself as not at all healthy, but someone else with Crohn's as healthy by comparison, especially if they're in remission or with the disease at a level that still allows them to live a normal life. But Crohn's can certainly make you very sick; it wouldn't be incorrect to describe someone being rushed into surgery because Crohn's has caused a bowel obstruction, or whatever, as unhealthy. And sometimes even I see myself as relatively healthy, in comparison to others, when I've been in hospital, where you see so many really sick people. But I still don't think I could describe myself as healthy, healthier maybe.

But I think you're using one specific definition of "healthy":

I think health is a term used to describe things over your direct control: COPD, obesity, functional problems due to lifestyle choices, acquired illnesses due to certain choices (like Hepatitis from vaccine-drug use, etc)
If you're just talking about healthy behaviours - well, you can have Crohn's and still engage in healthy actions, maybe even think healthy thoughts? You can eat healthy food, exercise, rest, etc. (Though healthy choices about what foods to eat, and what amount of exercise and rest to take, maybe very different for someone with Crohn's than for someone without.) And you can choose not to drink, smoke, etc. But then you can say that about people with any illness. You could have terrible health problems from smoking but eat a very healthy diet. And I'm also not sure how true it is to say something like obesity is something people have control over; its causes are certainly of a different type than those of Crohn's, but how much control we have over our behaviours, and our thoughts and feelings, is a very grey area.

I've probably greatly over-complicated your question! I guess I need to ask you exactly how you're defining healthy?!

As for it being about how you choose to define yourself, well, only to a point. A few months ago I had a surgeon telling me I might not survive the surgery. If I'd thought of myself as healthy then, I think you would have had to have said I was in denial. There were so many things apart from Crohn's wrong with me at that point, it may not have much relevance to determining how best to describe the health of Crohn's patients, but I'm sure there have been plenty of cases when Crohn's on its own has resulted in someone being in a situation where healthy is no longer a matter of opinion. But then again, I survived the surgery and recovered far faster than anyone anticipated, so perhaps I could say I must be healthy to have gone through that and recovered so well. My mum and surgeon describe me as resilient, whatever that implies.

Last edited by UnXmas; 11-15-2014 at 04:32 PM.
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