Veni, Vidi, Vici- Moving Forward With Chronic Illness.

Let me start by saying Veni, Vidi, Vici. If you don’t know what that means- it is a Latin phrase started by Julius Caesar meaning I came, I saw, I conquered. This saying came after his victory from the short war against Pharnaces II of Pontus at the Battle of Zela, towards The Roman Senate.

You might be wondering, what point am I trying to make? Twelve days before 2016 ended, I won the battle of my invisible illness versus my life. For nearly eighteen and a half years I have struggled with numerous stomach ailments including, but not limited to nausea, vomiting, chronic pain, internal bleeding, and severe blockages. I know that’s a mouthful- or should I say stomach-full.

It all started, when I was on my last straw. After being juggled to yet another doctor, this time I was at such a halt, they had no choice, but to send me to the chief of Pediatric Neurogastroenterology. After around four office visits with her- ranging in between 1-4 hours a piece, we decided it would be best to go see a Clinical Mind and Body Psychologist. I was a bit nervous, because many doctors came to that conclusion for me thinking it was my anxiety causing my problems and tried pawning me off to heavy doses of psychiatric medication which never settled well with me. While I was nervous, I followed through with my doctor, and made the appointment.

Obviously, before this appointment I was a wreck. I just wanted to get better, so I tried very hard to stay strong during a massive depressive episode. I worked two jobs at the time, so I tried to keep my mind occupied while fighting not only my physical illness, but my mental exhaustion as well. The day of the appointment crept on me faster than any bout of nausea, and I openly expressed my fear to my new psychologist. Things were different this time, and I felt it.

After testing for many different problems- there was a breakthrough. I was diagnosed with a disorder called “visceral hypersensitivity syndrome” which the causes the central nervous system to become so hypersensitive that everything seems to hurt. Painful stimuli become even more painful, and after battling IBS for years, which is only a minor problem- made sense why it was so amplified. I was placed on a neuropathic pain medication focusing in on my central nervous system. After about two months on this, my body had changed into a complete 360 degree difference.

No longer facing pain every single day, for hours on end was an amazing change. Not needing my medication I was on for years which could take up to four hours through my Cecostomy tube, was blissful. Finally- I was approved to have my Cecostomy tube closed, after having it for three years.

I am not a very spiritual person, and my life seems to be in a constant state of “meh,” however this was a sign to me. 2016 was a very rough year for many people including myself, but with my final surgery happening at the very end of such a catastrophic year this was a bit more than irony to me. I am ready to move forward, as an ally to the Spoonie community, as a fighter, an ex-tubie, entering my 20th year on this earth. This next decade will be my time to shine and be me again, and I won’t let anything slow me down.

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