When I first got sick and heard the words “You have Ulcerative Colitis” my reaction could have been “WTF God?” Unfortunately, the cool acronyms we live with now, and take for granted, weren’t around yet in 1989. So instead, it was mostly “can you say that again, slowly” simply because the words Ulcerative Colitis were just unpronounceable at first; and unfathomable to my 19 year old brain. Little did I know what the next decade would bring – surgeries, pain, Ankylosing Spondylitis, kidney stones, and a new diagnosis: Crohn’s Disease. I guess all those years I was thankful it wasn’t Crohn’s bit me in the ass – literally. Never wish for something to not happen…the universe just doesn’t work like that!
Today the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America kicks off a week of awareness of this disease that I share with 1 in 200 people. And to think that 70,000 new people every year get diagnosed is mind-boggling. Yet no one talks about this in the main stream, why? Well because it’s just not sexy to talk about a pooping disease!
I rarely talked about my bowel disease for years, I kept that health issue as hidden as possible. Quite frankly, that just isn’t easy when you make an hourly trip (or more) to the bathroom. Well, I’ve finally decided to blow my fear and anxiety out the door. I am going to do what I can, not only during this special awareness week, but the future.
I’m doing my part to share the word about this disease because not having anyone to talk about it with really sucks. Friends and family are wonderful and supportive, but having the chance to interact with someone who totally gets what specialness you experience when you go to the bathroom…well, that’s important because they understand you when you say you had a great day because you only went to the bathroom once an hour; or slept two hours at a time between nighttime bathroom runs; or didn’t have horrendous gut pain after eating something
If you know someone who has an Inflammatory Bowel Disease and want to learn more about it, do yourself and them a favor and visit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation page.
Stay tuned for more….for now I gotta go, time to hit the water closet.