Posts tagged ‘ibs’
Happy Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week everyone!
Today marks the beginning of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week 2013 and more than ever, I can’t stress the importance of this week for raising awareness and educating others about inflammatory bowel diseases.
Before Dan was diagnosed, I didn’t know much about IBD. In fact I was one of those people who thought IBD and IBS were one in the same (I now know that they are most definitely not).
In the almost seven years since Dan was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, I have learned more about these debilitating diseases than I ever imagined I would. I have witnessed the good and the bad- colonoscopies, hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills- you name it, Dan and I have been through it.
I have also been able to raise awareness and educate others who knew nothing about the disease learn about why Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are not just pooping diseases. Through Team Challenge and Take Steps, over the past three years Dan and I raised over $21,000 for research and education of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
But I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting incredible people who are battling these diseases and have become my second inspiration for raising awareness.
Last year, Massachusetts became the 13th state to enact the Restroom Access Act, joining the ranks of Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Washington. As I wrote previously, the Restroom Access Act requires retail establishments to allow people with certain medical conditions (including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) access to their employee only restrooms if a public one isn’t available.
Several other states are starting to look at enacting the Restroom Access Act, including New York. It’s about time!
The New York bill was introduced by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and referred to the Assembly Health Committee. Unfortunately, it hasn’t made any movement in that committee since it was referred there in February.
A few months ago, my best friend Julia was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. The diagnosis, like it is for so many people, has been difficult for her to wrap her mind around. I remember how hard it was for Dan when he was first diagnosed- understanding the disease, getting used to living with it, finding trigger foods, getting on the right medications, having tons of procedures, etc. But Julia has handled it with grace, no matter how down she feels.
Julia spent some time last week writing down her thoughts about being diagnosed and what its been like for her. So today’s post is written by her, a new Crohnie, on learning to live with Crohn’s disease (note: Julia is a nurse so there will probably be a lot of medical terminology in this):
I feel like this all came out of nowhere.
I was half-awake, half-sedated, with the 100mcg of Fentanyl and 17mg of Versed I was given for my esophagogastroduodenoscopy and colonoscopy. My gastroenterologist, who I had met that day after seeing a GI Nurse Practitioner in the office a few months prior, stands over me as I come to. He told me, in medical terms (I’m an ICU nurse) that they found ulcerations and inflammation in my terminal ileum and that he highly suspects that I have Crohn’s disease. He told my friend who was picking me up (an ER nurse herself) that I would have to have a few scripts filled and that I should start taking these medication that day. I said, “Crohn’s disease?”
He said, “Crohn’s disease.”
There is no worse feeling than someone telling you that they know what you are going through because they have IBS. Sadly, not many people realize that there is a significant difference between IBS and IBD. I know this firsthand because I have IBS while Dan has IBD. Below I explain the two illnesses and the differences between the two.
There are a lot of myths floating around about inflammatory bowel disease and I figured what better time than during Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week to clear some up!
Again, please note that I am not a doctor. All of the answers below are based on my knowledge of the disease and some external research. If any of this is incorrect, please let me know!
Next up in the alphabet series is the letter I. I never thought I’d be saying that when 20 years ago I would run out of the room when the letter I came on during Sesame Street. But I digress.
There are a lot of really important I’s, so read up!