Have you ever listened to a song with lyrics that were relatable to what you were going through health-wise? Lately, I’ve been listening to a variety of music just to relax since I’ve been dealing with several health issues this past year. It’s very tiring going in for tests, blood work and doctors’ appointments every month. I’d rather stay home and watch a DVD with my husband, visit with friends, or work on my favorite hobbies, photography and painting.
I was feeling frustrated one day because I was tired of dealing with another Crohn’s flare-up. I had spasms and discomfort on and off for months. I just wanted a break from all of the stress this disease was causing me. I turned on my iPad to listen to some music. As soon as I heard Kelly Clarkson singing “know that we are not alone,” I started having flashbacks of when the CCFA walk-a-thon first started to raise money for a cure.
I had so many friends and coworkers who came out to show support. That really made my heart smile because I knew they were behind me in raising money so a cure could be found. I came back the following year and the year after that. I noticed that the number of walkers grew plus there were teams of families walking for their child/sibling, coworkers walking for their fellow worker, and friends walking for their buddy.
After the following lyric, “I know what you’re going through, Don’t let it get the best of you,” I remembered that after the fifth year of the walk, the GBOA stepped in and offered their support of the walk because CCFA of WNY would always contact them if they received a call asking for ostomy support. Sometimes I’d get a request to visit a new ileostomy patient in the hospital. I’d sit down next to them and ask if they had questions or just wanted to talk. Most of the time they’d tell me they were scared others would notice their bag, or that they wouldn’t be able to resume normal activities or travel. I’d reassure them that I totally understood what they were going through because I’ve been in their shoes. I also told them that they’d get their life back and feel like a whole new person.
When the song continued with, “People like us, we’ve gotta stick together,” my thoughts went back to one of the ostomy meetings I attended. I recall there was always such comradery among the members as well as those who were facing surgery. They came to our meetings wanting to learn more before the “big day” and meet others who’ve gone through the same thing. There were shared stories, hugs to show support and comfort, encouragement offered, and even exchanges of email addresses and phone numbers. It didn’t matter if we came from different backgrounds. We were like a second family.
Then I came back to reality and gave myself a pep talk. The fight is within all of us, and that is what keeps us going and makes us stronger.