A post for everyone who thinks I'm lazy, or just doesn't understand inflammatory bowel diseases
For anyone who doesn't understand IBD and wants to, or just doesn't understand why I'm not working, I warn you... I don't talk about this, and this one time I am going to be a little graphic. If you have a weak stomach, don't read this.
At the end is a little side note to those who worry about, or think badly of, the amount of time I spend playing World Of Warcraft. If you've ever done either of those, do me a favor and read it. I'll bold the title of that section so you can skip the IBD details if you're squeamish.
I suffer from inflammatory bowel disease. I have a lot of other things wrong with me, but this one is the real kicker.
It started when I was very young. Painful intestinal cramping, ulcers at 13, having to be close to a bathroom at all times, carrying kleenex for emergencies. I have always had trouble with this, but things got out of hand about two years ago, around the time Joy died and things at work were getting insane.
I started being late for work, missing time, running to the bathroom when I was there. One day, I had an accident a block from home because there was NO warning. It's humiliating.
Have you ever had a bad flu and had diarrhea for a day or two? Imagine living like that for weeks at a time. Sometimes medicine works, sometimes it doesn't. I have tried every possible variety of diet changes for 20 years now. I try not to stress and all the other things that can trigger it, but sometimes there is just nothing that can be done.
So I'll wake up in the middle of the night, my entire intestinal tract spasming painfully, sit there for upwards of an hour sometimes. After there's nothing left to pass, you pass stomach acid. I can't sit or lay on my back, and even lying on my side has me crying in pain. This drains my energy in ways I hope you never understand. I'm proud of the fact that I rarely lay in bed for days at a time now. I make myself get up, move around... even if it's just to sit in front of the computer, or knit. Getting up is an accomplishment sometimes. It's been nearly constant for 2 years now.
Add to this having to balance my diabetes with it, and having to constantly rehydrate. This past year I've developed arthritis that is worsening at an alarming rate. I get kidney stones once or twice a year now, and those fuckers are VERY painful. I used to suffer from frequent leg and foot spasms, which medicine is helping greatly, but are still bad, especially when I'm on my feet longer than an hour. Ever had the top of your foot spasm violently? Like it's trying to curl your foot? Not fun.
I go for a lot of testing because it's obvious now that everything wrong with me, that at first seemed to be separate diseases like asthma, diabetes, IBD, arthritis ... are part of a larger syndrome. I go for a spinal tap soon, to see if it's MS. I really hope not, but I'm approaching a place where I just want to know, once and for all, what the hell is wrong with me. My grandmother and mother both have similar problems, which makes it likely that it's either some form of hereditary degenerative disease, or something that we have a familial predisposition to.
I could go on and on about all the other things, like the constant pain, the hemorrhoids, the bitch of having to deal with people who just don't get it (like my social worker) but honestly, I really do try to keep the complaining down. I really am trying to be happy and functional. I am not giving up, and am not rolling over and letting myself be defined by my health, but I thought if even one of you reading this finally grasps a little why I'm a homebody, why it hurts when people think I'm lazy when I'm struggling constantly to be as active as I can... then these embarrassing admissions are worth it.
The WoW Factor
If you didn't read the past few paragraphs, you'll just have to accept that I am stuck at home a lot of the time these days. I won't lie to myself or you and say that I am not addicted to WoW. I have stopped before, and I play less now, but I do love this game. More than anything I enjoy the social interaction. I run a guild and love talking with them, helping them, and doing activities with them. There's a very wide variety of things to do, and a rainbow of personality types in the players you encounter. It gives me a place to escape to most evenings where I can run, jump, fight, heal, accomplish things, craft, laugh, and work together with friends.
Long story short, it's a place where my health doesn't hold me back. Can you blame me for wanting to escape my reality for a few hours every night? Just play with friends and have fun? Is it really any different from any other recreation, like music, TV, or movies? If anything I'd like to think it's better in some ways because it requires input and effort. You need to think fast, work out problems, be patient. It keeps my mind sharp and my reaction timing honed. It honestly helps keep me from getting even more depressed. I don't feel like a total shut-in thanks to WoW.