Thursday, November 15, 2012

#NHBPM 14 of 30 - Advice for dealing with negativity

Advice for dealing with negativity in your community. I take this to mean what do you do when you read a post, a comment, a tweet from a neg bag and it relates to IBD - Crohn's or Ulcerative Colitis. So that is where I am coming from.

I have the very unique situation of receiving my treatment at a military hospital. Not just any military hospital though - I go to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX. It is one of the leading centers to heal our Wounded Warriors. To say it is a humbling experience to walk the halls would be the understatement of the year.

During my lengthy hospital stay following surgery for my ileostomy, I had a bird's eye view of the Fisher House. The Fisher House is similar to The Ronald McDonald House in that families may stay there when their loved one is receiving treatment. It is a fantastic organization and my family was a recipient of their generosity when I was first diagnosed and my husband was able to stay there since I was hours from our home duty station.

I would watch as loved ones would come across the parking lot, presumably to visit their wounded warrior. Sometimes I would watch Wounded Warriors on crutches come through the same lot, some even pushing themselves in their wheelchairs. I'd wait behind them in the chow line at lunch as they balanced their tray in their lap. Watch them move down the hallway with such honor and courage and think to myself "I am going through NOTHING compared to them".

When someone out there in IBD land starts to go on the negative - for whatever reason - I ALWAYS try to bring it back around to something positive. What GOOD things have happened because of your disease or surgery? You realized you are stronger than you thought? You started running? You met awesome people through CCFA? You felt accomplished participating in a fundraiser? You discovered new foods LOL?!

I think back to those days I was in the hospital and remember the faces of those warriors - NOTHING measures up. Do I have reason to cry - have a pity party - whatever? Absolutely - but to be NEGATIVE about a surgery that saved my life. I won't do it. To be NEGATIVE about the complications I experienced? I won't do it! Because of what I went through SOMEONE learned something - a doctor, another patient, a nurse....someone. And if THAT means that by going through it I in the end HELP someone...then it is a POSITIVE. I wouldn't trade the people I have met or the experiences I have had....I believe that everything happens for a reason, you MUST find the silver lining even when you think your situation is the worst of the worst.

Find your silver lining and be awesome!

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