I saw this question on one of the Facebook groups I’m a member of. It would seem that everyone’s definition of remission is different. Your idea of remission might be different than your doctors.
So, what is remission anyways? Most doctors would likely describe it as a decrease in or disappearance of signs and symptoms of the disease. In partial remission, some, but not all, signs and symptoms of the disease will have disappeared.
But is that really remission? Are we really just going off of what symptoms exist and don’t exist?
Here’s the answer I posted on Facebook to the initial question:
Pretty simple really: When you don’t go to the bathroom 10 times a day and you feel really confident about venturing outside without a Depends diaper on. Normalcy in one’s day is when you know you’re in remission. Now, keep in mind not every day will be normal but, in general, if you feel good and live each day fairly normal then you’re more or less in remission.
To me, it’s all about normalcy. If you can go on about your day and not feel like you have to constantly worry about your symptoms then you are in remission.
When I was super sick, I was going to the bathroom 10 or more times a day. I didn’t feel confident about going out in public without a Depends diaper on and a shoulder bag with a couple of spare diapers and wet wipes. That’s the norm when I’m not in remission.
These days, I wear normal underwear. I go to the bathroom maybe a little more than a normal person, but I don’t feel like I have to carry around diapers and wet wipes anymore. I can venture out and feel confident that I can just go about my business accident free. That’s remission for me.
Not to say that accidents don’t happen though. I did have an accident about two weeks prior to writing this. I had an especially stressful week and fell off the wagon with my diet as well. That vicious combination led to one time during the afternoon when I just couldn’t make it to the restroom in time. Fortunately, I had towels with me and could cover the seat of my car for the messy ride home.
Still, one accident out of months of having no accidents is a good track record. It was a reality check for me and told me that, no, I’m not cured. Both mentally and physically, I have to constantly stay on top of my health. If I don’t then, yep, accidents will happen.
Take the time to think about this: When it comes to your disease, what do you consider as normal? What does remission look like for you? Write it down if you need to. Always remember that, because there is no cure for your disease, normal for you is not going to be the same normal as everyone else. Whatever normal is for you, that’s remission.