The Up-Side to Living with Crohn’s Disease [for me]
I’m normally very private about my experience of life with Crohn’s Disease. And as I get older I find ‘it’ places more and more challenges on my path through life, but I won’t bore you with the details. I’ve always been a positive person and much prefer to find the up-side to everything.
I mean, what’s the alternative? Lay down in a quiet corner and cry! (I’ve been known to do that, but let’s keep that between you and me!)
I say “for me” as this is different for everyone.
I rarely put on ‘too much’ weight. Yay!
- No dieting,
- no counting calories,
- lots of chocolate and cream cakes.
Seriously though, that’s when my crohn’s is less active and I can actually eat proper food again. I usually have to pack a stone back on to get back up to my ‘normal thin’.
Well, there are just too many to list and I simply hate dwelling on the down-side.
I actually count myself very lucky when I hear, or read, stories of the challenges other people have to suffer because of Crohn’s Disease or IBD. Sadly, there is always someone else having a harder time with it than yourself.
IBD is often referred to as an ‘invisible illness’. It is most certainly misunderstood, as are the affects it has on the lives of sufferers, and their loved ones, which are ‘in general’ ignored or not perceived as being as seriously debilitating as it is. That’s why the work of the Crohn’s & Colitis Organisation is so important.
Why Fundraising Through Art?
The quick answer to that is:
“I can’t run for a bus to save my life,
let alone attempt to run a fundraising Marathon. But, I can do art.”
An Uncertain Landscape: Inspirations
Crohn’s resulted in yet another major operation towards the end of 2015. The surgeon said he would cut through an old scar and create a thinner, neater scar this time ~ although it would be longer. On the up-side: it was like having a micro tummy-tuck.
I was reluctant to agree to this at first as that particular old scar had been such a part of ‘me’, since the age of 10yrs. Obviously it made sense to have a scar makeover, opposed to parallel train tracks, so I eventually agreed.
Apologies if you’re squeamish about scars but my new, neater, scar was ‘selfie’ worthy. The photo reminded me of a landscape, the clips reminded me of picket fencing.
The ‘landscape’ of this new scar had me thinking about my journey through life with Crohn’s.
It came to represent:
- the many challenges (picket fences) I’d already overcome.
- a sort of life’s timeline, with the hint of uncertainty – because with Crohn’s, you just never know what’s coming next.
I didn’t think about the scar ‘selfie’ again until later in 2016, when I had to undergo yet another surgery. Thankfully, a fairly minor operation – it was very ‘uncomfortable’, followed by several weeks of daily nurse visits until the problem was healed.
During that time I created a few pieces of art around the Crohn’s theme, as a personal project. These remained in my personal archives until March 2017.
Living the Photo Artistic Life Inspiration
As a member of the advanced photo artistry KAIZEN group, part of Quill and Camera, we were presented with our monthly creative challenge/brief. This was the perfect inspiration boost I needed to get digging into my archives – out came my Crohn’s personal project pieces. A little re-working resulted in these two main images.
Fundraising Without Running a Marathon
Running a fundraising marathon is just not going to happen, I’d end up back in hospital. My intent is therefore to offer Fine Art Canvas prints via SaatchiArt and donate all proceeds to the Crohn’s and Colitis organisation.
“Every donation makes a difference to the thousands of people who benefit from information, support, research and campaigning. There is no cure yet, but we need to fund research into this horrible disease.”