Reality Check

I’m sitting here at home on my back deck listening to the sounds of my neighbourhood. There are kids playing outside. Someone is watering their lawn. Dogs are barking. A plane is flying by. Birds are chirping. All familiar sounds that remind me of how good life is.

We returned home from our vacation last Saturday. To say that we had a great vacation would be an understatement. Every day was a good day. The riding was like no other riding I’d ever experienced. I tested myself physically and mentally in so many different ways. The scenery, the food, the pace of life were all simply spot on for what we needed. All in all, it was truly a gift of a vacation.

I remember during one of my rides thinking to myself “I would never have been able to do this two years ago”. And it’s true – two years ago I was still recovering from a hospitalization and trying to get myself back. I felt so good during our vacation, I felt like a “normal healthy” person. I was riding well and could feel myself getting stronger. These are such amazing feelings to have – I felt free and able to do anything I wanted.

(And now comes the hard part…)

I’m sick again. My ulcerative colitis remission ended on the day we flew home. Just typing this is so hard because I can’t deny reality anymore. The reality is I had a really good streak with my remission (almost 2.5 years) and now I’m in an ulcerative colitis flare again.

No, I don’t think it was the vacation that caused this. My rudimentary understanding of the human body tells me that it takes much longer than two weeks for the immune system to overreact. I don’t know what caused this – but of course, not even the experts studying ulcerative colitis know what causes it…

I was sad for a couple of days. But now I’m just plain old frustrated. Frustrated that I won’t be racing next week as I had planned. Frustrated that this damn disease is taking over again. Frustrated with what it is doing to Marc. Frustrated because I was doing everything “right” and it still didn’t matter. Frustrated that I might not get to do the things I enjoy. Frustrated that I’m letting a lot of people down. Frustrated because I really have no control over this.

All I can do is hope that my Remicade infusion on Monday will help turn things around. I’ve got lots of questions and no answers. Perhaps this is the worst part – not knowing what to do and what not to do.

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