‘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.