Today is #WorldIBDDay. I’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease since 2002, though I’ve probably had it a couple years longer than that. Despite periods of pain, running to the bathroom, diarrhea, long trips to the toilet, and what sometimes feels like very unproductive days because I’m in and out of my office chair, I consider myself pretty lucky. My case is quite mild compared to some people I know. I haven’t had to have surgery (yet), hospital visits for it other than for blood work and when my doctor was based in a hospital, or needed to have ostomy appliances installed. I’ve had to work from home more often than the average employee (thanks for your understanding, TicketNetwork!) and there have been times where, well, the bathroom just wasn’t quite close enough, but not anything worse than that. Not anything physically, anyway.
I don’t say this to put up a “strong soldier” face, I just know that others have it worse than me. Actually, there are some things I’ve long sought to change in my case. The worst thing for me in all of this hasn’t been the physical damage to my GI tract, or the constant bathroom usage, but the psychological cost. I’ve always tried to not let the disease get in the way of me doing things and going places, but sometimes I’ve caved in and let it. I’ve had to cancel appointments and decline invitations, and have closed myself off to simple things like a good walk, all because I feared I wouldn’t be close enough to a bathroom when it came time to go, if only because there’s nothing worse than having to gingerly make your way back to the dorm/apartment/condo.