Recently it was Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness week. I found this absolutely incredible blog post last week about living with the condition and I’d urge you all to have a read especially if you know of someone with IBD. I’ve mentioned the fact I have Crohn’s a couple of times on my blog but it’s not something I tend to talk about here (or at all to be honest) people are here to discover more about London more than they are about my life and it’s challenges but this is my little corner of the internet and when you keep your thoughts to yourself in that way you can sometimes get lost in a black fog. And that’s exactly what happened to me this past week or so.
I was off in Sutton when sadly after a delicious meal on the Saturday evening my stomach decided that actually it wasn’t too keen on what I’d chosen to have and started cramping. I excused myself to pop to the loo in the hopes that it would pass quickly but boy was I wrong. The rest of the evening was spent either curled up in bed in agony or sat on the toilet with my head over the sink as I threw up because of how bad the pain was. Poor Matt had to put up with seeing a side of me he’d never experienced before. Given that it’s now been a longer amount of time since we broke up than the time we were actually a couple it’s really not something he should have to deal with anymore. Sure he’s a
friend frex but he still shouldn’t have to see that side of me and he went above and beyond my expectations.
I was back staying with him last weekend so I could attend a mutual friends 30th. I took the train to Ipswich on the Friday night after our Christmas lunch at Smollensky’s and a couple of glasses of wine. I went to the toilet twice before I left for the train and despite some squirming in my tummy warning me that I probably wouldn’t make it to his house before I had to go again I set off on my walk from the station to his home. I did make it, just. A mild explosion of bloody diarrhea went everywhere just as I made it to the bathroom (I did warn you guys there was gonna be TMI in the title of this post!) luckily I always carry spare underwear and was able to clean myself up discreetly. Or so I thought. Turns out I’d missed some blood on top of the toilet seat and when Matt let me know I was mortified. I apologised and nothing more was said about the incident. He didn’t make me feel disgusting or dirty about it, just let me know in a kind way that I’d missed a bit.
How many guys would do that? Not many. And my chances of finding one are getting less by the day. I have to spend the rest of my life with this disease why would anyone want to share that burden? It’s a pretty gross thing for me to have to live with, there’s a high chance that I’ll need to have surgery on my bowels at some point in my life – probably multiple surgeries as the disease progresses. An ostomy is likely and no matter how you dress it up having a bag that collects your poop for you is never going to be attractive.
Part of the reason I don’t like talking about my issues is embarrassment, part is fear and part is not wanting to be one of those people who whines about their lot. I’ve been incredibly lucky with my disease in that my symptoms are relatively mild. The main issue for me is tiredness. I get home from work, especially in these darker nights and I just want to go to bed. Often I do. Right now I also have a massive cold sore at the corner of my mouth, a couple of mouth ulcers, joint pain (particularly in my knees and hips) as well as pooping mucus and blood with every trip to the bathroom. Oh and I’m anemic.That’s mild for Crohn’s disease. Many other sufferers have pain so bad almost all the time that they cannot hold down jobs or go to school. They have to make frequent trips to the hospital for IV infusions of medicine that helps make their lives that little bit easier. I’m one of the lucky ones. I know that but it doesn’t make living with an invisible illness any easier.
I don’t look sick but that doesn’t mean that I’m not.