Happy Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness week! Although it might seem odd to celebrate disease, it is a great way to spread the word about life with an autoimmune disease to encourage more people to get tested (and not get fobbed off with ‘IBS’ but that’s a whole other ranty issue) and deal with stigma (it’s not just about going to the toilet!)
For me, it’s a chance to celebrate the positives amongst those who feel like IBD is weighing them down.In fact, it’s been a year tomorrow (happy anniversary colon!) since I was diagnosed with Crohn’s and I’m pretty proud of how hard I’ve fought since. Although I’m not in the holy grail of 100% remission just yet, I’m pretty damn close and I’ve managed to pretty much my entire diet (which coming from someone who was living on junk Expat food in China is a massive feat!)
1. Knowledge is power
Here’s the thing about doctor’s: they’re dealing with thousands of patients every year. They assume you don’t want or don’t need them to explain the difference between UC and Crohn’s, the extra-manifestations of the disease or all the potential side effects of every medicine you take. Of course, you absolutely should know this information but you need to prepare for appointments by making a list of questions to ask. Chose reputable sites to do extra research like Crohns and Colitis UK . My personal bugbear is when people say they’ve got ‘inflammatory bowel syndrome’ or ‘chrons’. How can you fight a disease if you can’t be bothered to learn the name of it?