Dancing with a Diagnosis

by leahplotz

Right so many of you know by now that when I was young, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. And well, unfortunately, I’ve been out of remission since about October. During a flare-up, life is planned by the hour. But I relocated because I was reassured it would all be ok and “taken care of.” That’s another story.

So how on Earth do I travel?! And why on Earth am I here?

Basically I have two reasons for this post:

1)      That my fellow diagnosed friends don’t stay home out of fear, which I suspect a few do.

2)      To reassure you and my mother.

Travelling with UC can be a nightmare if I don’t find my balance. Travelling alone is fantastic. The first time it was a bit daunting for this social ladybug, but it frees so much worry. I am picky about who I travel with if I do bring someone along. They have to be laidback and spontaneous, or at least be open to change of plans. Which lucky me, I have surrounded myself with compassionate people, so it’s all good!

The ideal is that I:

  • bring my own food
  • drink nutrition shakes
  • sleep loads
  • plan one thing or attraction for the day
  • stay in one main spot (no day trips)

The rest of the criteria is very typically me. I usually bounce from café to café (toilet: check), chatting up the manager or barista (social: check), and get a massage at the local spa (relax: check). I don’t do anything that I’m not up for and try not to dwell if I haven’t seen everything on my list. Sometimes just being where we are and in the moment is more than enough and perhaps underrated, huh?

Honestly, I swear to you, it only felt natural to move here. I feel like I am exactly where I need to be, and am so grateful to even have the chance to do so. Had I not gone because of the risk of getting a flare-up, I know I would have regretted it.  I am prepared that there will be challenges, lonely days, extra expenses for medicine and treatment, and homesickness for both countries. There already has been some of this.

I am getting quality health care here as part of my tuition and was a factor when considering where to study. Since stress is such a factor in UC, I try not to think too much about how big of a leap of faith I took by moving here. I am exactly where I need to be, how beautiful is that!

I miss you so very much and would love to dance in the streets here with you, bask in the afternoon sun with each our book or magazine, munching on carrots and drinking iced tea. I will be healthy again soon, I will make you laugh and convince you to book a ticket to come and see me.

All I ask is that you buy some wine in duty free (stay tuned for upcoming post).