Today I am using one of the bonus topics. When I saw this topic I knew I had to write about it. It is one of the reasons I started this blog.
To anyone reading this and are newly diagnosed with either Colitis or Crohn’s Disease, the first advice I can give is….Take A Deep Breath. Your life is about to change forever. You are entering a whole new world. You will have a lot going against you and years of fights to have. So take a deep breath. Relax. Stay calm because you have a very big and caring community behind you to help.
When I was first diagnosed in the 1980’s, I was given some pamphlets to read and sent home from the hospital. I didn’t know what the disease was all about or what was installed for me over the years. Now, there is the internet. In a matter of minutes you can find out all the information you want, see tons of videos, and meet hundreds of people living with the disease.
So, now after you have taken that breath, take another and another. Now sit down and create a journal. Write down your symptoms, your medicine, your diet. This will help you later on in life when you have problems. Try to keep track of every medicine you take and how it helps or doesn’t help you. Keep track of the side effects.
Now that you have done some work, let’s go have some fun. Search the internet. There are so many people out there to help you out. There are a lot of video’s on YouTube to watch. Some are funny, some informational. Some are just video blogs. After you have watched some of the video’s, come on over to Facebook. There are tons of groups with people who have IBD. You will soon find that you are not alone. You will also find that most of these people will be very open to accept you in.
Now that you have had the time to see what the disease has to offer you, you have to take a mental step. You have to toughen up. This disease is a disgusting and descriptive disease. Many people with it are very open and there is a lot of disgusting things. If you are squeamish and don’t like dirty things…well, you will have to change how you are. You yourself will go through some tough disgusting times and it will be easier if you are ready for it mentally.
After all of this your head is probably spinning. There is so much information to take in. You are probably wondering if you will ever have a normal life again. I am happy to tell you that yes, you can. I myself hold down a job, I have gotten married, and I live life to its fullest. Some people do have severe complications and find it hard to live a normal life. But nothing says that this is going to happen to you. Stay strong and stay positive.
The next big thing you have to do is find yourself a really good gastroenterologist. If you are under 18, you will need a pediatric gastro and in a couple of years find a regular GI. It can take years until you find a good doctor. Don’t despair. They are out there. I myself have had at least 6 GI’s before I found a really great one.
So now, do you feel better? You may have a disease but know the disease does not have you. If you ever have a question or problem, there is always someone out there to help you out. And if you want, just ask me. I will do whatever I can to help you because my motto for this disease is “You are never alone”.