Today is World IBD day; a day meant to raise awareness (and hopefully some money too) of inflammatory bowel disease. I’ve already shared my story on how inflammatory bowel disease has affected my life however I’ve never really talked about what IBD actually is and how it affected me before it got really bad.
I think this infographic really puts into perspective the impact of Crohn’s and Colitis really can have on people’s lives. I was finally diagnosed just as I was turning 17 after 6 months of flaring and years of trouble with my bowels. I was consantly told by doctors that I must have a sensitive stomach, IBS or it was just the stress of my exams.
I was really ill when I sat my AS exams and as a result, bombed them. Luckily for me, my mum had persistently been taking me to the doctors so there was lots of evidence that I had been ill over my exams and my marks got raised a little (but they were still pretty bad…luckily I managed to bring them up in A2)
I’ve donated and taken part in the #getyourbellyout campaign
I lost lots of weight and blood which had left me severely anaemic and I was deficient in folic acid too. The symptoms you see above; I had them all except the eye, skin and liver problems and my pain wasn’t severe but it definitely was there, and it was constant and wasn’t pleasant.
I tried anti inflammatory drugs, steroids and started on Humira too but nothing worked for me and I couldn’t have azenathropine because I’m apparently allergic to it which meant I had to “miss out” on this drug which can apparently be quite effective. I was on the steroids for a year and had horrible side effects including depression, always being hungry, mood swings, headaches and the dreaded prednisolone moon face which is slowly starting to go finally!
However, because I “looked well” not many people really realised how ill I was and I think a lot of people thought I was making it up sometimes just to get time off school or to get some sympathy from them which always really pissed me off. I know a lot of people with invisible illnesses can feel this way which is why I think it’s so important to raise awareness for them; because we aren’t making it up!
So, what can you do to get involved?
You can wear purple and amake a donation to Crohns and Colitis UK either by text by sending PURP19 + the amount you want to give (i.e. PURP19 £5) to 70070 or you can make an online donation at justgiving.com/crohnsandcolitisuk