For me, a petite brunette from the Midlands, 2011 hasn’t exactly been the year of greatness it began with. Many things have gone ‘wrong’, we lost some family members, met new ones, spend more time than sense in hospital wards, and it seemed by the summer, it was far from over. It was my turn to face the facts of my life.

I came down with food poisoning in the middle of August, shortly after my brother’s 21st birthday. I spend a week off work, hardly eating and drinking. My parents flew away on holiday so only me and brother remained at home with a chubby cat. But after losing over a stone in weight in 10days, I was taken to A&E with a swollen elbow, fever and dehydration. I spend 3 days in a isolated ward; the swelling went down, I was pumped full of antibiotics and fluids and sent on my way. I returned to A&E 4 days later with the same symptoms, less meat on my bones and the worse abdominal pain I’ve ever felt in my life.

After test after test, I finally saw a consultant who referred me to endoscopy and I got a diagnosis.

Crohn’s disease.

I cried like a little girl when they told me. “It’s not the end of the world, its a very manageable condition we can treat with drugs and diet…” but I wasn’t listening. I’d already spend a large proportion of 2007 listening and reading and worrying about Crohn’s disease; but that is something I’ll discuss later, much much later on…

That was last Wednesday – September 7th. A week or so on, and it is hard going. I know deep down – and through out my life – I’ve been a strong person, and I can do whatever I set my mind to, but this is difficult. I can’t always be smiling or happy or just plain okay with how I feel. Paranoia and anxiety are sky high and in the immediate future, I don’t see them calming down yet.

So here, I will vent. And scream. And cry. And shout.