Archive for July, 2012
I’ve been toying with the idea of making a list of famous people with Crohn’s and Colitis for awhile now. There’s no better time than now to do it with the Olympics starting this weekend.
First on my list is Olympic kayaker Carrie Johnson. Carrie was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease before the 2004 Olympics.
“It started with symptoms of fatigue and it kind of escalated to increasingly worse GI (gastrointestinal) symptoms,” Johnson said.
Carrie participates in the flatwater sprint- a two-minute race. Obviously while you are in the middle of water in a tiny kayak, having a Crohn’s episode is your worst nightmare.
Sorry for the delay in posting! We were away this weekend seeing our niece and the blog kind of got away from me. However, while we were away I got thinking…
I don’t know if we are just strange or what but poop and Dan’s bathroom habits are a routine part of conversation, no matter the time of day or what we are doing.
At my in-laws this weekend, we were all eating and Dan disappeared. Different people asked me on different occasions where he was and each time, it got us on the topic of Dan pooping. Now, for most people this might be gross, but for people with Crohn’s and Colitis, this is totally normal. They spend more time than normal in the bathroom than other people, so it makes sense that those with it talk about it more than others.
We also talk a lot while he is in the bathroom. I ask him how he’s doing and show him funny things on the computer. Or if he has his phone, I text him while he’s in there to make sure everything is okay.
Does anyone else find that, ever since they received their Crohn’s or Colitis diagnosis, they talk a lot about their bathroom habits or poop without shame? Do you think it’s weird to do or part of life?
I grew up turning everything into a joke.
For example, when my mom was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and lost her hair, we bought her a Du-rag and tried to get her to wear a Bob Ross Afro wig.
It’s no surprise then that Dan and I try to take on Crohn’s with a light heart and lots of jokes. It’s definitely hard at times to find the humor in our situation when there is so much bad (hospitals, medication, medical bills, etc.) but we do our best.
The three times Dan has been hospitalized, I have taken photos to chronicle the experiences. While it might seem a bit strange, it helps us to keep our moods up. We also make a lot of puns related to poop and the other things that go hand in hand with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
For the last three years, we’ve participated in CCFA’s Take Steps Be Heard walk and because of our jokes, it’s only appropriate that our team name is Shits & Giggles. This past year Dan was the honored hero at our walk AND we were the first place fundraiser on the day of the walk!
If I could give one piece of advice to all those either suffering from or taking care of someone with Crohn’s and Colitis, keep your spirits up and try to laugh. It’ll help make the bad times be a little brighter.
What do you do to make Crohn’s not hurt so much?
I might be crazy but every time Dan says he has a stomach ache (which is pretty frequently), I am reminded of the dreadful night last year when he woke me at 2A.M. to go to the emergency room. That night we found out he had a blockage. Now, every time he has pain in the same area, I worry it’s another one.
I know the fear is irrational since he had surgery last year to remove the narrowing that caused the blockage (will go into that in a later post) and he has a wide open passage. But it still scares me.
Anyone else out there worry like that?
If you take care of someone with Crohn’s or Colitis, you know that going out to eat is always an adventure. Between finding something to eat for those on restrictive diets (low fiber, low residue, dairy free, gluten free, the diet restrictions are endless…) and timing the all important bathroom trips, going out to eat takes some planning. Since Dan’s surgery in 2011, we haven’t had to deal with the restrictive diet issue much (thank G-d because that was a huge pain in the butt, but I’ll elaborate more on that at a later date) but bathroom trips are part of our regular trips out to eat.