I want to post this not as a justification, but as a note to those in the same boat as me that you’re not alone and we should be proud of all we’ve been done and are doing into the future.
This morning, I recieved a fair few amount of messages questioning me on something I posted on my instagram story. That story is as follows:
People who know me know that i’ve been vegan for over 2 years now. I don’t tend to go on about it aside when relevant, for example when reading a menu or asking about dietary requirements; the other time I do so is when reccomending vegan products over here on Stories Can Make Us Fly. This post understandably left some people perplexed.
I’ve been debating making an instagram post recently, more for my own good, in documenting my journey as a (now) vegetarian. I have however found a way to safely track this journey and it’s impact (this will be explained later on) in my bullet journal. Since i’m happy with that, I felt no need to do such a thing aside from oversharing revelations of things I newly love over on the group chat with my best friends.
But here is the big reveal… I’m not vegan anymore.
I never expected it would need to be such a thing that I would need to announce a fact that impacts no one but myself, but apparently so.
I’ve had people question me in response to this post, and what have I done…. chucked them in the bin! Some people asked me playfully or genuinely and have been ever so supportive as I’ve told them, but those who came in for a lecture have been removed from my profile; I have free will to do what I want, but second of all, i’m no longer vegan due to a medical mandate.
A few weeks ago, I ended up being picked up from work by an ambulance (a 111 call took place just after I clocked out of my shift, due to pain, blood loss and other symptoms), and I was taken to the Emergency Department of Frimley Park Hospital – a place i’ve come to know too well in the (less-than-a) year I’ve lived on the Surrey/Hampshire border.
This condition is a form of autoimmune disease, which is also linked with other conditions I suffer from such as Rheumatoid Arthiritis.
I was in agony, and losing a lot of blood due to a chronic condition I have, which is a kind of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
I had an operation in August 2018, and faced treatment very quickly after diagnosis, luckily, and we found out that I was subsequently freed from colitis at this point- this meant luckily, it had not done enough damage to require an operation in which the colon was removed – which is something they prepared me for, as a possibility, when I first went in for testing, including biopsies of the areas impacted worst. Unfortunately, however, I have many issues with my collagen, one notably being Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome – something people much widely know about. Another issue with my collagen is that the colitis is ‘collagenous’- meaning that it is a form of microscopic colitis. This form does not do a significant amount of ‘damage’ as such, or at least not in my body (touch wood), like ulcerative colitis does, to the colon, but causes you living hell on earth; You’re stuck with the full colitis symptoms. So, I suffer the pain daily; I suffer the bleeding daily; I suffer the need to go immediately, with no warning; I suffer the ableism in line for the disabled toilets, too.
What has that got to do with it?
This isn’t my first bad flare since the op. I had another particularly awful experience which landed me in the Manchester Royal Infirmary. I have to say, it’s not been the most fun.
Recently, I’ve found the daily pain worsening, from pain exceeding normal within bowel movements, to being collapsed on the floor in agony, dizzy from pain, at 3am. I know there’s not much I can do, and that means an experience most would call an ambulance for leaves me saying to my partner ‘there’s no point’, as she agrees, knowing how spoonie life is.
I’m flaring, and this bugger is being a bitch to deal with. I’m currently waiting to see someone again about the condition. The consultant I worked with was based in Bushey, and a private doctor I fortunately did not have to pay for (thank you rushed referral, I was extremely fortunate here), but having moved counties I had to move away, and it is of course fair enough, especially post-treatment, for the NHS to prioritise/privately fund other spoonies in having the treatment I did. So, I’m waiting once more, but whilst in hospital, I was given ways in which I could best deal with my current flare.
Upon diagnosis of my IBD, I did have to adapt my dietary requirements originally, but this required further restriction and wider recommendations. The wider recommendations included, notably, eggs. As I refused to eat meat, this meant I could only follow a limited number of these recommendations – and that required me to go vegetarian.
I cannot help the animals if I cannot help myself.
It is not a question here; I need to be vegetarian for the sake of my health, and that’s that. If you disagree with me, I would like to politely ask you to remove yourself from my page rather than getting involved. To be ethical you must care for the rights of one’s life, and quality of life, as well as the animal car prioritisation.
I should not have to justify myself. And I’m not. But I know I’m not the only one in this boat. If anyone has done so, or needs to do this also, feel free to drop me a message, and I promise I’m all support.
I will always love animals, and do what I can. I still get milk alternatives in my coffee, and still will be as plant based as I can be, but I cannot be vegan anymore.
This has been further reasserted by my best days these past few weeks being on the days I have eaten eggs. So, I’m damn gonna eat them.
Please look after yourselves….