So, what makes me boast such a bold title? Living with courage and without regret? It's a strong stance to stand behind, and it has very significant meaning to me.
A little about myself first. I am a 28-year old woman living in the far North of Canada. I am a Nurs, aiding those seeing non-biased, non-judgmental, friendly, feminist, and compassionate health care services. But, this blog isn't about my professional career, but is regarding my own personal health journey as a young woman with a chronic illness.
My guilty pleasure is traveling, I have been to Italy, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Scotland, England, the USA, Costa Rica, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. In most of these instances, I backpacked solo, which I find to be a trek that builds independence and character. While I was in Italy I took cooking lessons (again, solo) and fell in love with the fulfilling task of preparing simple, delicious meals and appreciating the beauty of food and it's flavors.
I really like sharks, reptiles, and dinosaurs. Whenever an exhibit arises with any of these options, I am there getting elbows-deep. Two of my lifetime goals is to see a great white shark in it's natural habitat and to dig for fossils. I admit, these interests may seen a bit odd, but I revel in the unique aspects of these interests. They make me happy.
I could happily live without television (my present television is only on when I have company or I'm sick). I could read a great novel for hours. Painting is my most fulfilling and tranquil hobby. As much as I try, I am a terrible athlete, but a good sport. However, I consider myself to be somewhat of a cycling aficionado - riding my bicycle is my biggest source of joy. I even bundle up, throw on some studded tires, and bike during the winter months.
I think the most important things in life is health, love, happiness and adventure. Which brings me back to the title.
I have had a chronic illness since I was 11 years old: ulcerative colitis. It is a gastrointestinal disorder that impacts the large intestine, which debilitating effects. This disease has caused me a great deal of pain, exhaustion, loneliness and unhappiness. I spend years without remission, which plagued my quality of life. I have had years of weight loss, medication side effects, severe pain, and colonoscopies. It seemed that my only end would be surgery, of which I was terrified.
On December 24th, 2010 - I was given my first IV therapy infusion. Although a potent medication, it had given me what I desperately longed for for so long: Remission.
I was given a new appreciation and respect for my own health and wellness, which has been evolving since. I've used traditional medicine, holistic nutrition, physical activity, acupuncture, medication, preventative medicine, juicing, and sleep hygiene to assist in managing my condition. I still get excited that I can consume a complete meal, or eat a salad, or have a glass of wine... without feeling severe pain or nausea. Being able to ride my bike for hours without agony and exhaustion is bliss.
I am certain that this journey is far from complete, in fact, I feel as though I am presently in a force of transition. I am curious as to who I will be when this transition has completed, and excited to the adventures yet to come.