Saturday, 31 January 2015

Crohns Disease, Living with a long term condition


Happy new year! Its been a while yet again, the past month for me has been about spending time with loved ones and I've really enjoyed it. My first post for 2015 is slightly on the more serious side but I felt it was time to talk about it, More and more people seem to be diagnosed with Crohn's (including Sam Faiers from towie) while some people still have no idea what it is. I've seen a lot of pictures of people on social media with Stoma bags being seen as brave for posting such pictures, but to be honest for a Crohn's sufferer like myself seeing such images fills me with nothing but fear. I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2010 and would like to tell my story.

So, what is Crohn's Disease? 
Crohn's is an autoimmune condition which means your immune system attacks healthy bacteria, in this case it attacks the healthy bacteria in the lining of your digestive system. There is no known cause but genetics and environment may be a contributing factor.

What's my story? 
While most people were starting college and only had to worry about making friends and keeping up with fashion I unfortunately had other things on my mind. An unbearable pain doctors kept saying was indigestion as well as wind and instant need to do a number two, constantly. Too much info? probably but it's the truth I was dealing with things a person in their late teens shouldn't have to worry about I felt abnormal and to be honest quite embarrassed by the whole thing. It took finding blood in my stool for the doctors to realise something wasn't quite right and that I did indeed have Crohn's. Talk about wrong timing A levels are hard enough as it is without finding out I now have a condition I have to live with for the rest of my life. However finally having an answer was a relieve as googling my symptoms was definitely only making me feel worse.

How has Crohn's affected my life? 
So, five years down the line what's it like living with Crohn's? I have to say I have been quite lucky (touch wood). I have been on Immunosuppressants since I was diagnosed which means my immune system is shocking and every winter you'll find me going to the doctors to get the dreaded flu jab. I have to have regular blood tests to insure I am not having a 'flare up'. Let me explain, the symptoms of Crohn's are not always constant so a flare up is basically when I start to feel my symptoms coming back and my flare ups are usually caused by stress. It can be quite frustrating when I'm out and I get the sudden urge to go to the loo but the people in my life are very understanding which makes things a whole lot easier. I haven't let my diagnosis effect me in anyway and to be honest I sometimes forget I have it, but I'm one of the lucky ones.

What's the future for someone with Crohn's? 
I've heard and read many stories of what Crohn's can do to you in the long run with words such and surgery, stomas and cancer being thrown about. But these are words I choose to ignore, there's no point worrying about things that may never even happen. Taking tablets for the rest of my life? I can live with that, there have been times where I just couldn't be bothered to take them but I need to realise I am literally playing with my life and that's something I need to take more seriously. I must say there is at least one perk that comes with having Crohn's, getting the key to all the locked public toilets, okay, so it's not amazing but definitely comes in handy!

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1 comment

  1. To be honest I think you're a very strong individual for saying things you've just said about yourself it takes A LOT of strength for you to post stuff like that foe public to see and i sure hope it encourage others who are going though problems and think they're alone that they're not and to speak up because there's nothing worse than thinking you're alone going through any problem of any sort and to you Paige keep fighting the good fight and God will forever keep blessing you. PS keep taking your pills they'll help :)

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