When a person suffers from a chronic illness like ulcerative colitis or crohns disease, making commitments can sometimes be quite difficult. There have been so many times when I have made plans with friends or RSVPed to an event, ended up getting sick and was left feeling really disappointed. When this continues to happen, the idea of committing to anything more than a day in advance (or sometimes a few hours before) can seem overwhelming.
The unpredictable nature of inflammatory bowel disease causes many patients to feel pretty gun shy when it comes to making plans, or even getting excited about upcoming occasions. The reality for many IBD patients is that our bodies change from day to day so it is challenging to prepare for things ahead of time. We may be feeling well now but in a few weeks things could be very different. OR, the reverse may be true. It is impossible to predict sometimes.
As someone who likes to plan out my days and know what is in store for me the upcoming week, this aspect of IBD has always been a tough one. Sometimes things don’t seem real to me until the event or whatever it is that I have to do is actually starring me in the face. I also think I try not to get too excited about things that are occurring months down the line since I have seen my world change so drastically in short periods of time.
The more time a person has under their belt (either in remission, or just feeling a little more stable and/or comfortable with their body), the easier it will be to make plans. And for those people who never really have that period of feeling stable, you do learn what types of plans you are able to commit to and how long in advance. It is a process and a lot of trial and error, with probably some frustration thrown in there. Time does help you learn the ropes and allows you to better be able to cope with the whole “one day at a time” kind of lifestyle that those of us who suffer from a chronic illness are told to live by so often : )