Living With Chrons And Colitis
Slightly passive aggressive article on living with IBD and the dumb things people say to you...
1. 'You're so lazy!!!'
It's normal to be tired when you can't sleep due to extreme stomach pains/cramping, your body is constantly working to repair itself and you are dosed up on various medications...it's normal for us to sleep the entire day away. Extreme tiredness is actually a common symptom of IBD but some people can't accept that and believe you are just lazy. This becomes a problem when you work as employers find it hard to believe you are tired 24/7.
2. I have IBS I know how you feel!
NO. NO. NO. NO.
These are words people with IBD HATE to hear. IBS stands for inflammatory bowel disease, IBD stands for Inflammatory bowel disease. They are actually quite different whilst symptoms maybe similar.
3. This. Need I say more.
That nasty drink they make you have like eight glasses of before the dreaded 'camera'
OKAY maybe not eight...but if feels like it will never end, it also tastes disgusting.
4. So what tablets are you on?
You sure you want to know...are you SURE?
At first you make up random words and surprisingly your doctor understands you, but suddenly you can surprise people with your talent for naming and spelling out tablets with more letters than the alphabet! Also at one point you are basically a walking pharmacy.
5. Being diagnosed
Oh such a long and painful process. Many GP's do not think of IBD as the first cause of many symptoms. After being diagnosed with many diseases and issues (I was told I was coeliac so went gluten free for 6 months!), it takes the right doctor to send you off for tests and diagnose you correctly. Many peoples symptoms differ so that makes it harder for them to diagnose you. Get used to blood tests though, there will be many of those to come.
6. Talking about 'stuff' with your doctor
It is so awkward and uncomfortable at first when discussing 'certain symptoms' with your doctor, pointing to diagrams and going into quite graphic details gets easier each time! Soon you think nothing of it and become more and more comfortable with discussing these things, even with other people when they say they are experiencing problems! Doctors deal with this stuff every single day and many have been for years, if it bothered them they wouldn't have studied it in university and became a bowel specialist!
7. Unrelated problems turning out to be very related...
Most of the time when we experience symptoms other than IBD we assume they aren't linked and then it turns out they are! Skin problems are one of these things. I have quite bad acne which is caused by medications and my body not absorbing enough vitamins, unfortunately some acne treatment can be quite dangerous to people with IBD! Always check with your doctor before taking other medications, and always get a second opinion some doctors who don't specialise in one field may not know the dangers!
8. Explaining your disease to other people
'It's like a weird disease thing were my body attacks itself and causes ulcers and bleeding and makes me tired and my eating is weird and...'
Explaining IBD to non sufferers or people that haven't studied bowel disease can be quite a problem, eventually after googling what your disease is hundreds of times you can come up with an easy explanation! Raising awareness is important as not many people know about it or understand what it is!
9. Living with IBD
It takes a while to remember to take your tablets, work out the right medication for you, find out what foods trigger you off and get comfortable with living with your illness! You should never feel like your disease is invalid or not important, it is chronic meaning you will have it for the rest of your life, you can be in remission but it will never be fully gone. Live your life to the fullest and don't let it hold you back!
When you finally reach that glorious stage of being in remission, DO NOT STOP TAKING YOUR MEDICATION! There is always a chance that your disease will return to haunt you, speak to your doctor and do as they say. There are also plenty of support groups on social media for people with Chrons and Colitis!
11. Add your experiences to the comments!
How was being diagnosed? Any advice for newly diagnosed people? Tips?