Archives for the month of: June, 2013

‘Ear me now. So I had this idea for a post last week. I was at the doctors for a check up and in the waiting area there was this woman. She looked like she was in absolute agony. It was an IBD specific clinic I was at so I am only going to assume it was some form of IBD (Sherlockesque deduction). Anyway I couldn’t really do anything. She had her family there and I was being called in. But I felt horrible. Not because I couldn’t do anything but because I had been there (and done that). I could relate as I had been in her shoes. Then I got thinking about things I have done that have helped me during times like that. So here is Shaanvir Rehal’s Art of Dealing (in no specific order, just how they pop up in my head).

1) Simple foods like chicken broth, clear soups and yoghurt. It sounds pretty obvious but it really isn’t. I can’t stress enough the importance of good ingredients. When I was in America, I practically lived of raman noodles during my flare up and they really didn’t help. Nasty ingredients really do nothing to re nourish the body. Also a favorite of mine is kichiri (lentils and rice). This only for mild flare ups, when you think you can stomach solid food. But again really easy to digest and really nourishing. When it is hard to keep anything down, it is always important to remember that the body still need nutrients, no matter how bad it is trying to fight it. Onion juice is also good for nausea. Sounds nasty right? It is but for some reason it worked (for me). My Gran grated up an onion and gave me the juice. It really does help. Oooh tea aswell. Not caffeinated tea, or even tea with milk but herbal teas. Nettle and peppermint is a good one.

2) Fun. The worst part of flare ups for me is spiraling. By that, I mean the knowledge that you have a disease, that knowledge causing stress and that stress then causing more disease. It is so easily done and it is natural to start questioning in a negative way (Oh why me and all that). But you are in control and the first stage to getting back in control is to have a bit of fun. Read a book, watch a film (Spiderman 2 always helps me) or play some music. Whatever it is, it is basically a mechanism to get your mind of the subject and you would be surprised how much the pain hurts less when you are not thinking about it. My only personal saving grace is being able to dis attach my mind from the physical pain. Stay positive, stay calm and have faith.

3) Take things into your own hands. Once your mind is clear, then I find it easier to tackle the cause of the problem. The problem is that people generally put blinders on and plead ignorance. The ignorance is true to a certain extent, because we are not all medically trained professionals but no-one knows us like us. We can make minor changes in our lives to solve our problems, because only we know how we feel. It is a scary thought. It is far more comforting putting your trust in doctors because then you have someone to blame if things go wrong. But fear is also debilitating. Take control and don’t stop believing (anyone that sung the ‘don’t stop believing’ bit, go ahead and slap yourselves now). I don’t mean to sound cheesy but it is true. Only you will have to deal with it so do it in a positive way.

4) Support. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for good ol’ mum, dad and little bro. It is important to realise that I don’t rely on them for support because I have to deal with a lot of these problems on my own. We don’t share an intestine. But they are there and that knowledge is good enough for me. Everyone needs support and needs to talk. Pretty much everything these days is considered a weakness. Kindness for example, but it is not. Just like talking out problems isn’t a weakness. It is self preservation. Mainly to help preserve our sanity. Airing problems doesn’t make you weak if it helps you deal with it and that is the end goal.

5) Sympathy presents. Actually just presents in general. It is a known fact that a present a day keeps the doctor away.

Anyway I hope that was just a little helpful. It all sort of blurted out of my brain but there it is. Please comment with any ideas you think I may have missed. So for todays tune…I haven’t actually thought about it. Hmmmm. Here you go. Sinnerman by Nina Simone because I said so.

Hello to all and to all hello. Thought I would be super fancy and formal to start this one off. You can’t see but I am actually wearing a top hat. Well I has been a mad couple of weeks and I am not quite sure how to begin. I suppose its always best to just begin at the beginning. I am also having quite an introspective day today (probably due to alcohol) so bare with me. If you get to the end then you get a prize. You have to get to the end to find out what that prize is though.

Ok, so…tomorrow is Humera day. Had a really weird couple of weeks with the Crohn’s. The week before last, I had two job interview on consecutive days (a Wednesday and a Thursday if that matters) and I had taken my Humera on the Monday. As soon as Tuesday hit, I was feeling stressed. I throw the word stress out a lot and I don’t mean to make the word lose its effect, but I have been feeling pretty bad. I will explain later. So from Tuesday to Friday, I was waking up with stomach cramps. It wasn’t pleasant and I got worried. I basically did the opposite of what I have been saying on here. I worried and made myself worse until I got the call saying I didn’t get the job. And from then on it hasn’t been as bad.

Positivity has such a profound affect on health, but it is so counter intuitive. It is in our nature to worry and stress when something isn’t quite right. For me anyway it is the first reaction I have. Over the years I have taught myself to always try and see the good in a situation and most of the time it works. I have no idea why I let myself spiral like that but I have theories. More on the mental stuff later. It is not just my stomach that was affected but also my skin. The stress, coupled with my fairly self destructive lifestyle over the past months really haven’t helped.

I was told by a cousin of mine that I don’t feel my feelings but think and analyse what is going on in my head to try and rationalise them. That really hit home for me. I talk all this philosophical talk and try and walk this healthy walk but, unfortunately, I am human and therefore riddled with hipocricies. Being me, I obviously went ahead and tried to analyse what my cousin had told me and here is what I have so far. Something isn’t right (I didn’t say it was going to be deep). I am not sure what that something is yet, but something is holding me back. Deep in my gut I can feel this stress and I know that as long as that is there, I can never cure myself. I am afraid that the stress I am feeling is just part of the human experience and therefore will never go and I will never be cured.

It is a wholly depressing thought, but then I look at some of the other people around me. Everyone has there own stresses and everyone has their own way of dealing with things. Some drink, some play music, some fight (cough cough) and some eat (actually I do all of those things). But what everyone I have around me have in common is each other. I don’t know why I have never felt worthy of the affection shown to be by my family (big family, cousins, uncles and crazy aunts (you know who you are)), but they have been a massive crutch. I probably haven’t taken advantage of it as much as I should have or not said half the things I should have but that doesn’t really matter.

I know I am sort of going off topic but this does all have a point. Everyone needs a support system but at the same time, everyone needs to know when to be reserved in supporting others to preserve their sanity. I am lucky that I have one but not everyone does, which is another reason why I started this blog in the first place. In the past two weeks, I have had to face a lot of fears and only today do I feel like I am on the path to overcoming them. Please, again if anyone has anything they want to say, than in the words of that wise sage Terry Tibbs, ‘TALK TO ME!’.

Last week, I was doing much better. My P.I.C (partner in crime) came to visit me and we did so many activities. We went rock climbing which was awesome. Except the part where I was out climbed by some kids. And to those kids, if you’re reading this, I am going to out climb you so bad next time that you are going to have to call me your friendly neighborhood Shaanvirman. Ended up spending the week eating junk. Did not help the cramps but they are getting better.

To conclude, I learned a lot about myself. I always thought that I had everything under control but I don’t. I know I come across as well put together and suave and cool and just generally a fully functioning human being but I hate to burst your bubble. I don’t quite understand where my mentality comes from but I think I use jokes and stuff as a defense mechanism to stop myself actually saying what is on my mind and when I do get round to saying it, then it comes out a bumbling mess. You know you guys are great listeners. Give yourselves a pat on the back. But if I can get my mind sorted, then maybe I can get this stress sorted and then maybe I can get this health stuff sorted.

My tune for this post is definitely one of my favorites. Not so much for the music itself but mainly for the lyrics. Just the best advice anyone could give. Don’t get me wrong, Skynyrd shred. Anyone who has not heard the Free Bird solo by Lynyrd Skynyrd, then drop what you are doing and youtube it. I don’t care if the kettle has just boiled or you are holding a rare glass vase. DROP IT AND LISTEN TO THE SONG. Enough about Free Bird. This song is called Simple Man. Great lyrics, great guitar, great vocals. I am in awe!