Hello and welcome to another Bloggers Like Us post. This month we are all focusing on self-care/health and planning, exploring different topics within that subject.
I will be talking about how I use my planner when it comes to my health and the management of my crohns disease and kidney surgeries.
Planning has become essential for me when it comes to tracking and managing my health. I often overlook the more daily life planning now as I focus so heavily on the health side. I have two different conditions to manage and due to the fact I have terrible brain fog I find that I easily get confused or forget important things so having a planner with me helps me keep track of the smaller details.
Crohns management is probably the biggest thing with I plan around so I will start with that. I have appointments every 3 months with my surgical consltant, crohns consultant, IBD nurses and crohns dietician, these appointments are often scattered over a period of 2 months. Not only do I track my appointments but I write brief notes on what we have gone over within those appointments and any plan of action that we make. When I was recovering from my surgeries these notes were essential as I was often high as a kite on various pain killers and could not remember anything, especially the actual details of the surgery.
My planner also helps me track good and bad days and food issues. I have a list of trigger foods in the back and monitor what I eat and how I react to them so I can figure any links out. I am on a low fibre, high carb, mod fat diet so I also have to watch what I eat to fit into those requirements too.
I use it to track medication. Not only as a reminder to take to take it daily but to monitor any side effects and to see if it actually works, there are many different crohns medications and it is not a one size fits all situation so we have to find the right combination for me.
A lasting effect of my surgery is my ability to absorb B12. I can no longer do this as I don’t have the part of my body that will take it in from food, drink or tablets so I have to have injections to put it into my blood stream. I have these every 12 weeks and I often track my symptoms as I need the injections sooner. Without them I become very very fatigued and lethargic, with no energy and a lot of memory issues so it is vital I stay on top of these.
My planner is used to track the other parts of Crohns, the lesser known but very prominent side effects such as aching bones and joints and eye issues. Since being dignoised and having surgery I have a huge light sensitivity and get a lot of pain in my eyes, some days I have to wear sunglasses and a cap and it still only helps a little.
Aside from Crohns I also have to track things to do with my kidney. My left kidney has failed, it won’t work at all without a stent. This means I have to have surgery every 4 months to have the stent replaced. The surgery is always under general anaestetic so it comes with it’s own set of problems and risks, especially given how frequently I have to have it. I also have to see numerous consultants every 3 months and nurses for pre-surgery appointments, scans and blood tests as they need to keep track of how the stent is working but also the impact upon the right kidney as it is also inflammed and doesn’t show signs of reducing. Luckily though it is still functioning without any help.
As you can see I have a lot to keep track of and monitor so using a planner is something that makes life much easier to manage. I cannot change any of my health issues, both my crohns and kidney issues are incurable so I have to find a way to manage my life without having them control it. Using a planner gives me that freedom, knowing that it has all the information it does means my mind doesn’t need to struggle trying to remember things and it means I can use what little focus I have to do other things like write, read, blog and craft with the kids or even watch a TV programme.
I find that been more aware of my health has given me the motivation to focus more on my self-care. I can tell when my body needs to slow down and rest and I have things in place to help me relax more. Whether it is a nice salt bath, time in my favourite chair reading, doing some watercolour painting or even baking. Knowing my symptoms, seeing how they are increasing or decreasing allows me to make plans with the kids or for myself to do things which are fun and enjoyable.
Thank you for reading and don’t forget to pop along and visit the other Bloggers Like Us ladies and see what they are talking about.
Kelly – http://thescrapbookgirl.co.uk/
Kerry – https://www.kerrymaymakes.com/