Just put on your pants

You beautiful darlings, I have a confession to make. Unfortunately, I have no insane speed dating post-colonoscopy tales to recount to you this month. Pause for supreme disappointment.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I found myself traveling to the ever chill southern California beaches.

Part conference, part vacation. I was speaking at a conference, and then decided to have some gal time with my mom for the rest of the week.

My travel checklist included the following:

  • Necessary supplies - add two pairs of underwear to carry on.
  • Food - research restaurants nearby with food I can eat.
  • Meds - bring ‘em all.

Hrmm. Reviewing my list now...I didn’t do any of those. I left my favorite medicine - my refrigerated suppositories - at home. Because, how was I going to travel with refrigerated suppositories?  I had been feeling great and was looking forward to a week out of the city of Chicago and along the coastline.

Well my week-long adventure included a myriad of drinks, nerves, and more-than-processed food. I stuffed my face daily and consumed alcohol daily. Smart.

I half-attempted to watch what I ate while I was there. But that didn’t last for too long. And of course, by day two of my conference vacation, I was having cramps and taking multiple trips to the bathroom.

But I threw all caution to the wind.

My excuses included:

  • It was the time adjustment (2 hours when you’re not used to traveling outside of your time zone can really take a toll).
  • It was the insane amount of fish I started consuming. It was my nerves. I was presenting after all.

Whatever it was, I assumed in my vacation brain that it would all work itself out and by the end of the week, I’d be fine.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Insert your heartily “you fool” laughter here. Because I am.

So it’s been a few weeks since I’ve been back and I’d like to announce that I am in full flare mode. Hooray. Waking up to intense stomach cramps and sitting on the toilet for a good 45 minutes really threw my normal routine out-of-whack. So after a few panicked calls to my GI doctor, who, of course, was out of town, my list changed.

Flare time:

  • Prednisone.
  • The toilet hat.
  • Two appointments to the GI.

I can’t say that I’m super proud of myself. Did I enjoy myself on the west coast? Hell yeah. Am I paying for it now? Hell yeah.

So I took some time to confide in my bestie in IBD. We complained about our guts. I complained about the routine changes (no more working out for me!). She complained. We vented. We found some solace. And then she hit me with this life bomb.

“Sometimes, success is just putting on pants.”

And it’s true. Sometimes we aren’t in control of our bodies, and sometimes we make really stupid decisions for extended periods of time (see above). It happens. Life happens. But we can’t measure our success against other people or even ourselves when we’re feeling good. Sometimes, we can measure our success just by putting our pants on. Both our physical pants and our mental pants. Whatever steps we take that make us successful. All of our measures are different. And I personally think that’s rad.

So, cheer up, musk-oxen. Vent it. Complain about it. Then measure your own success. When you mess up, when you do all the right things, when you do all the wrong things. Keep putting on your pants.