We got married! If you’ve been following some of my previous posts, you may have seen that throughout the last 6 months we’ve been in wedding planning mode. If you missed our wedding planning updates, you can find our first one here. Throughout the last 6 months we have been sharing our journey of wedding planning. It’s been such an enjoyable, fun and memorable time, even though it has had its ‘moments’ shall we say, which you can read more about in our updates.
In this blog post I wanted to share a few wedding day tips for when you’ve got Crohn’s. I must admit, I did spend quite a bit of time leading up to our wedding hoping that my stomach would behave itself! The tips below are just a few things which I found to be incredibly helpful throughout the day and even in the few days leading up to our wedding, especially as my Crohn’s has been up and down a lot recently. If you have IBD and are currently in wedding planning mode, hopefully these tips will come in handy.
Crohn’s Disease is one of the two forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. There are many different symptoms that come with it, such as diarrhea which can sometimes include blood and mucus, and Crohn’s can also cause tiredness, weight loss and pain in the abdomen. Crohn’s is a life-long condition which can be treated with different various types of medication.
Plan your medication
Usually when taking my medication, I don’t really have a particular set time when I take it. I try to mostly take it either in the morning or earlier on in the day, and the rest in the evening, as this has always worked best for me personally. Usually it depends on what I’m doing. So for our wedding day I made sure that I had whatever medication I needed in the morning and then packed the rest to take with me, and then I made sure as soon as I got in again in the evening to have the rest of my medication.
I found that it helped during a busy day to make sure that I remembered to take my meds and keep track of when I needed to take them. I think definitely during a busy day, it can sometimes be especially hard to remember to take them, and I found that popping them in a bag (which I’ll talk more about below) which I had next to me throughout the day was a big help.
Pack a ‘just in case’ bag
Over the years I’ve gotten very used to having a bag filled with ‘Crohn’s related’ stuff to be very useful. It’s usually a bag filled with the most random stuff, but stuff that has proven to come in very handy during those days where my stomach is misbehaving. Usually, depending on how I’m feeling that day, my ‘just in case’ bag may look a little different. Things that I personally recommend going in to a bag are baby wipes (which are probably number 1 for me on the list), a spare toilet roll, any medication you want to take with you, paracetamol and cream (which may seem quite random, but honestly, in those moments where Crohn’s has left me quite sore, having some cream that you can apply in that area helps a lot!) A few other things that can be a good idea to take with you are spare underwear, sanitary towel pads, a bottle of water (it’s important to remember to keep drinking plenty, especially during flare-ups), and a blanket, just in case it gets chilly. Keeping warm helps me greatly if I’m having a flare-up. Obviously some of these things you may not even need to use, but over the years I’ve found at different stages of how my Crohn’s is, they do come in useful.
As I didn’t want to take too many things with me on our wedding day, I popped everything together into one bag. I made sure that It was kept safely and was also on hand if I needed to use anything from it. At the venue after our wedding, I made sure that it was next to me and I knew where it was at all times. Thankfully the only thing I needed on the day from my bag was some medication that I needed to take. A big tip is to also let someone know that you have a bag with things in it that you may need, and to let them know where it is, just in case you may need someone to grab something from it for you.
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Pace your day/make a schedule
I have a very super organised husband! Unfortunately I’m not, which is why I am extremely thankful that I have him to help keep me organised. Although it can be quite tricky, especially when you are busy and you’ve got a lot going on, I find that if I can pace my day as much as I can, especially when living with a chronic illness, I find that it helps me to slow down, to keep present in the moment and to not to over-do it. Whether it’s taking time to rest, take a few moments to yourself, or to just have a few minutes of quiet time, it can make all the difference.
David loves lists, and one thing that he did for our wedding day was to create lists of things that we needed to do and what we needed to take with us. He also made a schedule for the whole day, which we also gave to family and friends who were helping, so we all were able to know what was happening when, who needed to be where, along with contact numbers, and it really just helped us to keep organised, and especially for me I found it to be so helpful. It meant that we were able to keep a more relaxed approach, which for my stomach is just what I needed. For me personally, I always find that stress is a huge trigger for a flare-up, and we wanted to keep the day as calm and organised as we could to keep away from any stress.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge list of things to do or a big long schedule. We kept ours quite simple, but we noted down the times of everything and also the names of the people who were doing what, which I feel really helped the day to run smoothly and so everyone was able to just enjoy the day and relax. Of course, sometimes things happen and the unexpected happens, but with everything else noted down, it really did help. I also made sure that throughout the day I took time to sit down, rest if I needed to and make sure I was always aware of how my body was feeling.
Be mindful of what you eat and drink
Now I’m not saying don’t enjoy yourself when it comes to food, I absolutely love food, and I probably eat most things, but over the years I’ve been very mindful of what I eat and don’t eat. Although I’m ok with most food, there are a few things that I try to avoid having, different foods that I know aggravate my Crohn’s. Sometimes, eating a big meal can leave me feeling uncomfortable and bloated. I particularly made sure I was mindful of what I was eating and drinking the day before our wedding and also the morning of our wedding. I made sure that I ate foods which I knew would not cause my stomach to flare-up, and I avoided foods which I knew would leave me feeling uncomfortable and bloated.
The morning of our wedding day, I stuck to toast and jam, orange juice and water. I knew for me personally that it was best to just have a light breakfast. It all depends on how your body is feeling that day. Over the years, it’s been trial and error with finding what foods agree and don’t agree with my stomach. On days where I have got to be up early (I was awake at 4am!) and there is a full day ahead, it’s just remembering and being mindful of what works best for you. As I had a light breakfast, I felt I was then able to eat more after our wedding and I was able to enjoy it so much more. We had an afternoon tea theme, so there were lots of yummy sandwiches, cakes and savoury treats that I was able to have and enjoy.
Don’t let Crohn’s rule your day
I’ve spoken a bit about this in my previous Crohn’s related posts. Especially during a flare-up it can definitely sometimes feel that your Crohn’s is more in control, but it’s good to remember that it doesn’t have to rule your day. Definitely with the tips I’ve mentioned above, they helped me to not let Crohn’s rule my day. I made sure that I started my day with enough time to still relax and enjoy the morning, have some breakfast and have time left over before I had to leave.
The schedule helped us to enjoy and stay present in the moment throughout the day and to know what was always going on. Being mindful of what I ate and drank, helped me to not feel uncomfortable at any point. For me personally, I have always found mornings to be more tricky with my Crohn’s, it can take me a while to get going and sometimes for my stomach to settle down, so being mindful of that, I was able to plan my morning, keeping calm and relaxed in the process. Having a bag with me filled with different things that I may need helps to keep peace of mind, just in case at any point I needed to use certain things.
My faith always helps me to keep strong during difficult and tough times, especially when having a chronic illness. It’s through God’s strength that I am strengthened. Throughout my day, through prayer and by talking to God, it helps me in whatever I am doing that day, even during the most joyous and happy days, such as our wedding day. If at any point throughout my day I am feeling tired and along with any symptoms that having a chronic illness can cause, it’s God’s strength, His peace, comfort and His joy that always helps me.
If you have any wedding day tips for when you’ve got Crohn’s please feel free to share them in the comments below.
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