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April 17th is No Shame Day. A day where people like me can talk openly about their disabilities. My name is Brenna and I have Crohns Disease. It’s been 5 years and a crazy journey that started during my freshman year of high school. Crohns is an irritable bowel disease that can affect the entire digestive system. It’s an autoimmune disease where your immune system mistakes your cells for foreign invaders thus causing massive amounts of inflammation and pain. My disease is primarily in my ileum in my small intestine. I now have a build up of inflamed scar tissue, called a stricture, in my intestine so thick that a colonoscopy camera can’t push past it to get a better visual on the rest of my system. I was on remicade for 4 years, until I grew immune and now I’m unmedicated and scared. I worry daily about hospitalization and medical bills. Living this way, I forget almost what it was like pre-disease. I get infections at an alarmingly easy rate because of the immunosuppressive drugs. It makes things like getting my nails done difficult. My weight is all over the place as steroids make me gain and sickness makes me shed all my healthy weight. My skin is definitely changed. I break out and react to things more often, I can also no longer tan as remicade has made me increasingly photosensitive. This disease at times embarrasses me. Makes me feel ugly, unworthy, and like I’m complaining about stuff that doesn’t matter. Some days I feel like I should just “get over it” and push through it like a healthy person. Then the next, I’m in the hospital for a serious obstruction. Many people will look at me and say I’m healthy, but invisible diseases matter. My pain is real and my struggle is real. I used to feel like if I didn’t give off the appearance of a healthy person, no one could love me. Today, I have a fiancé who loves me more than I think I’m worthy of, crohns and all. I’m in college online because it works with my schedule and between my symptoms. One day, I know I’ll find remission and the daily pain will stop. Until then, I’m beautiful and I can take on the world one step at a time.

Hey! Steph here checking in for no shame day. I may not look sick but like a lot of chronic diseases mine is invisible. I’ve been diagnosed with crohn’s disease since 2004 and suffer with anxiety and depression because of it (and all the other shit that comes with crohn’s disease.)

I used to avoid looking at anything to do with my illness online because it can be seriously scary and would just upset me but tumblr can be really good for support and resources to help people dealing with chronic illness! I started a crohn’s blog about a year ago!

I had my longest period of relapsing recently beginning late 2013 and literally just the last few months it’s been looking like I’m going into remission.

I’m still here and I’m still fighting.

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I heard it’s no-shame day! I had no idea we were doing this! It gives me a reason to show my face!
I’ve got a super invisible disease, but it’s still there, haunting and painful. IBS and Crohn’s Disease have taken over my life as well as hundreds of thousands of others.
When I was 8 years old I was sick, constantly, always missing school and time with friends. The first time I was rushed to the hospital from losing weight and not keeping anything down they told me I had pancreatitis and sent me on my way, giving me pain pills and saying it would heal on it’s own.
My disease laid dormant for another 4 years and we thought everything was okay.
By the time I was 12, I was only 55 lbs. and doctors started worrying. I’d never eat, get fevers constantly, scream bloody murder any time I’d go to the bathroom, sleep all of the time, get left behind from the rest of my friends…it was torture. I was missing out on the best years of life.
The second time I was rushed after refusing to eat for the up-teenth time I was poked and prodded like mad! My IV kept getting infected, I wouldn’t sleep at night, sneaking television before the night nurses came and changed my fluids, I wouldn’t even eat or use the restroom. I was basically an emotionless vegetable or a useless science experiment.
After a couple barium tests, a feeding tube, a PICC line, colonoscopy, and endoscopy the results were clear and I was quickly on the road to recovery. I had eaten my first whole meal at Eat ‘n Park for the first time in years…
It is now a decade since then. I’ve considered myself lucky as fellow IBD sufferers have had it a lot worse.
I don’t have any pictures from when I was suffering back then, but the pictures above are me now… Each day I wake up not knowing what will happen with my disease, whether it will be a good or bad day. I have to get check-ups every now and then and we had a relapse scare recently but I am okay, limited physically and also suffering from BDD and Dysthymia, but okay and I’m making it.

There is hope. There is no need to hide.

Guys, you will be PROUD of me!

So when I travelled around Europe for 2.5 months in 2009, I had medication with me (suppositories) but they were damaged in transit so I couldn’t use them. I also didn’t take any of the other medication I had with me. Needless to say, the stress of travel and new foods and so much exertion, I flared badly (it didn’t help that my flare didn’t completely stop before I left New Zealand anyway…) and was very sick when I got home.

I learned my lesson.

A year is a hell of a lot longer than that and I can deal with being sick, so I’ve already been super GOOD about taking my meds!! I’m so proud of myself, like look at me, almost 25 and finally taking care of myself properly haha.

I only missed like one dose and that was due to confusion with time zone changes, like I had Tuesday again but not a full day so I was confused if I took them or not. I decided not because it wasn’t a full second Tuesday I had.

It helps that the friend I’m staying with is Type 1 Diabetic and he’s always doing his stuff which inspires me to do mine :)

This has been a dark period for me, lately. My pain has been high, controlling what I can and cannot do. Limitations have been commonplace. I’m relying on medications daily. This is nerve wrecking for me, as independence and control are important and soothing. But I was reminded of something today: WITHOUT DARKNESS WE CANNOT SHINE. So I will try to shine and spread some sparkle, knowing that I do not need to have it all together constantly. There will be a time for control and independence in the future. But for the time being I will take this dark period I have been given and work on spreading glitter and stars.

Remission

It’s been several weeks now, and it is safe to say I am in remission from my ulcerative colitis! I wanted to write down the differences between being sick and healthy, and other thoughts. I really do want you to read this, but it might be a little graphic, so I’m going to put this under a cut for those not wanting to read about my bowel condition. Those of you with IBD are going to relate to this a lot, I think.

Keep reading

So I finally bought “Two Girls Staring At the Ceiling” and came across this little entry. Something about that just struck me cause having that moment of realization that your life has changed dramatically (and without any say in the matter), really is almost like falling off the edge. One day you have these plans for the type of life you’re gonna lead and the next there’s all these changes and adjustments you’re forced to make that you never could have imagined. And sometimes the things people choose not to say or the looks you see on their faces before they manage to control their features, can remind you of the weight from that burden you had been holding onto.

I need your help.

And I know how that sounds.

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease back in 2014. This year, I decided to accept and raise awareness for my disease.

I an doing a walk to raise funds on June 7th, and I need your help. not necessary with funding, even awareness is enough. This is my fundraising page and This is my Instagram.

If you don’t want to do either, I understand. Thank you for your time.

#Repost @ibd_journey with @repostapp. With thanks ! 
・・・what do you think ? I just seen the commercial and I don’t like it at all! 
A new anti-smoking campaign advert released recently talks about how smoking increases the risk of colon cancer, and that this may lead to smokers needing an ostomy bag. It uses this as a “worst case scenario” sort of thing and basically says that you should stop smoking because a bag is a shameful, terrible thing to live with and the thought of having one should be enough to stop people smoking. This is disgusting. Ostomy bags save people’s lives and hundreds of thousands of Crohn’s and colitis sufferers are thankful for them every day for giving them their life back. Bags aren’t the worst case scenario, DEATH is. This advert needs to be stopped as it is stigmatising bag wearers. It hints that bag wearers brought on the situation themselves and this is massively damaging to our cause. 💜 #IBD #inflammatoryboweldisease #crohns #crohnsdisease #UC #colitis #ulcerativecolitis #crohnsjourney #crohnsdiary #disease #hospital #treatment #infliximab #remicade #humira #autoimmunedisease #incurable #incurabledisease #invisibleillness #chronic #chronicillness #chronicdisease #azathioprine #crohnswarrior #crohnsfighter #ostomy #ostomybag #colostomy #ileostomy #ostomyisnotatragedy