I Guess This Is Normal?

The other day I was walking to Starbucks and I walked passed the Gamma-Dynacare blood lab. It struck me that it had been a really long time since my last visit to do bloodwork.

Now, for all of you normal healthy people, doing bloodwork is a rare occurrence. Not for me. Depending on where I was in my health roller coaster, I had to visit every few weeks, monthly, and every three months.

This just became part of my routine. I would check-in at the lab, go to Starbucks, get a tea or chai latte, chill out for a bit, and then back to the lab for my turn giving blood. Then a couple days later, I would login to the Dynacare website so I could look at my blood results.

I don’t do this anymore. Now I just walk to Starbucks, buy a drink, and chill out. I guess this is what normal is all about.

It’s strange actually. Someone asked me the other day how my health was. And I realized I hadn’t really given my health much thought. I feel good.

My intestine is happy. My joints aren’t aching. My eye is still funky but that’s no big deal. My stoma is doing its thing. My energy levels are back. My skin is healthy. My hair isn’t falling out anymore. My liver isn’t giving me any problems.

I even gained a few pounds. Normally this would freak me out. I haven’t changed my eating and I’m exercising more than I have in a long-time. What this slight weight gain tells me is that my body is finally healed. This is a massive relief.

You know, I like this feeling of being normal. I don’t think of myself as a sick person anymore. I’m totally comfortable with Reset, my stoma and life with an ileostomy. There is really nothing holding me back from normal people life.

To celebrate this, I’m going hiking! Yes, hiking. I’ve never really hiked before. But this summer I’m doing it. Not an easy hike either. A hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire on one of the most rugged sections of the Appalachian Trail. Pretty cool eh?

Don’t worry I’m not doing this alone. I’m going with my super pal and we’re part of a women’s only hiking weekend organized by the Appalachian Mountain Club. On Saturday we’ll hike to the Madison Spring Hut, sleep there and then hike back to the trailhead where we’ll be picked up in a van.

This is something I never ever could have done before. The stress of being away from a bathroom, the concern over getting tired, worrying about what might happen if I ended up in a bad flare, or if my joints acted up – all of these plus simple outright fear about what my body might do or not do stopped me from living a lot of life.

But now, I’m good. I can do the things that normal people do.

I truly feel so lucky to be in such good health. I know there are no guarantees with ulcerative colitis and that I have to be ready for anything.

But right now, here today – I don’t feel like a sick person. I don’t look like a sick person. I’m just like you.

What a feeling! How lucky am I?