Crohn’s disease made me stronger

Turning 50: My journey of living life to the fullest

Yes, 50 years old and happy, that’s how I feel. There’s nothing wrong, unless you wish you were 25. It feels like a big milestone. It’s not just a big birthday, but a big moment in my wonderful life. On May 12th, I was so thrilled to be given the gift of turning the BIg Five-Oh.

When I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s in 1990, months prior turning 19, I never thought that I would turn 50 one day. It seemed too far to get there, but I’ve come that far. I’ve reached rock bottom and for a moment in my life my dreams all failed. I felt completely lost due to the ongoing problems caused by the disease,  but I’ve overcome all of them. Being a chronic patient for many years, made me stronger, resilient and adventurous. 

Life gave me lemons, and I’ve got to learn how to make a delicious lemonade. I’ve decided to live my life to the fullest. As all chronic patients you never know what can happen, one day you are absolutely fine and other you may feel completely rubbish. Such is life! 

I am proud of the person I’ve become. I have scars, wrinkles, grey hair, stretch marks and a stoma. So what? I don’t feel less sexy than any young woman, I still feel vibrant and full of life. I do my daily walks and workouts. It was during lockdown I embarked on a daily self care routine, and started building my muscles. I’ve lost some weight and I feel fitter than ever before.

At 45 when I  got my permanent stoma and I was so close to death, I realized life is too short to spend time on negativity, doing things that you don’t like and spending time with people who don't deserve you. I’ve learned to accept and love my imperfections.

It was during that process that I learned how to redesign my wardrobe. Some of my clothes I used to wear didn't look good on me anymore, so I found a new style, specially having parastomal hernia which is the size of a melon.

There’s one thing which is inevitable to think, it’s not about the past I lived, but it’s about the years ahead I have left, 10, 20, 30, 40, or more who knows? It’s a matter of adjustment and how we see ourselves at different times of life. Mental health plays an important role in this process. 

We have phases in life, each of them must be lived to its fullest with no regrets.

Big Hugs,

Luciana Podschun x

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