For a while now, whilst I’ve been off out enjoying my “normal” lifestyle for the past month or so, I’ve been thinking about offering up my blog to other Crohnies and Collies alike, to share topics, information and general thoughts. Here is the first, I hope, of many to come.
From the wonderful and amazingly encouraging and witty Stephen, also known as @scdempster1, the writer of his own blog: www.sdempster.com
“Guest blog posts can be scary things. What to write about? Will it be good enough for someone else’s blog? Will people love it or hate it? And why do I suddenly need to go to the toilet? Yes, dear and patient reader, the pressure of being squarely in the spotlight can be a scary thing. But then – so can living with Crohn’s Disease or any other form of IBD. “And why is it scary?” ask all those who are not blighted with this most heinous illness. The simple answer is provided by Mother Nature in the very shape of the colon itself. OK people – it’s experiment time
Go grab a pencil and paper. Got it? Good 🙂 Draw a line where the colon begins – now draw the line up the ascending colon, to the right along the transverse colon and just follow along until you hit the rectum. Basically you have just drawn a question mark. It’s weird because (in my humble experience) the scariest part of having Crohn’s Disease comes from the unknown. From having all these symptoms that nobody seems to have an answer to. From having no definitive response to “why me”, and from the profoundly un-medical approach to the treatment of Crohn’s Disease that is trial and error.
Scary is a relative thing though. Before you get accurately diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis or any other kind of IBD, you have a whole host of evil symptoms that effectively screw up even the most basic task of “doing life.” You look normal – but you certainly do NOT feel that way. You have plans with friends – but may have to cancel them at the last minute. You eat some comfort food – but three hours later you are still on the toilet feeling not even remotely comfortable. And don’t even get me started on the psychological/emotional symptoms and aspects of having the body you once knew, turn against you.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. We may not know what causes Crohn’s Disease, or why it affects no two people in exactly the same way, but the single biggest nail in the scary coffin is actually knowing what you are dealing with. Giving a name to the enemy – so to speak. Once correctly identified, there is a certain relief. What was once extremely scary is not quite so much any more. Granted, you may have periods of flare-up and (hopefully much longer) periods of remission – but you are dealing with more of a known quantity now. That knowledge gives you a degree of power over living with Crohn’s Disease.
Another extremely bright spot is thanks to the advent of the internet and social networking. You can now connect with an almost unbelievable number of people afflicted with all sorts of IBD and get practical insights on effectively managing your illness. And this is a global thing too. There are more people with IBD around the world than you may realise – all of whom are fighting their own individual battle with IBD and sharing their experiences. So on top of all this knowledge there is a profound sense of community, of belonging and the extremely important realisation that you are not alone. So with the help, caring, support and understanding of family, friends, the medical profession and all those who make up the global IBD family, living with Crohn’s Disease doesn’t have to be quite so scary. Just like guest blog posts :-)”