Only those of us that have Crohn’s disease really know how bad this disease is and bad we wit it all feel. To look at us, we appear to be very healthy and our friends are constantly telling us how good we appear. Nothing bothers us more because we know that the person saying that surely doesn’t understand what we are going through.
If you would like to help a lot of people suffering with this disease, please send your money to an organization that is trying desperately to find a cure. We all will appreciate your help.
The reason that I am writing this article is to ask you to Google or Bing “Crohn’s disease” so that you can learn about it. Then, you will know if one of your children, or maybe yourself, has this disease and you will go to a gastrointestinal doctor for help. Although there is no cure for this disease because it is not known what causes it, there is medicine available to help control the misery it provides. Also, the person with it may need an operation to remove part of their intestines that are inflamed and causing tremendous pain. The inflammation of parts of the intestine, from the mouth to the anus (usually the section between the large and small intestine), may be completely closed and the person could be in a life-and-death situation and need immediate surgery. In 2008, I was hospitalized five times but so far I have been very lucky that surgery has not yet been needed.
Usually individuals between the ages of 16 and 23 are the ones who are first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, but not always. I was 53. My daughter was 16 (she is now 49) and my youngest grandson was recently diagnosed at age 13. The person usually is very tired and complaining of intestinal pains and having bouts of diarrhea. The need to go to the bathroom will be immediate a lot of the time and the person will need to constantly be locating the bathrooms everywhere he or she travels.
A person with Crohn’s disease are usually considered lazy, have no ambition, or someone just not wanting to go to school, study, or to do anything because they feel so poorly. One of worst things is that one minute they feel good and the next, for no explainable reason, they don’t. And, again, they usually don’t look ill at all and thus very much misunderstood.
If you have a child or friend or other loved one who shows possible indications that they may have Crohn’s, do them a great favor and encourage them to go to their doctor, and especially a gastrointestinal doctor, for help. It is not a terminal disease but the odds of getting cancer are greater. If it is one of your children that has Crohn’s, they won’t want to talk about bowel movements, or bleeding when they go to the bathroom, so you will need to be asking them questions when they don’t feel good and they don’t look ill but they really are.
Another thing that happens to people in the workforce who have Crohn’s is that their employers don’t understand and they think the person is just lazy and doesn’t want to work or that is faking sickness and taking unusual amounts of time off of work. I lost a job because I was off of work a lot and my medical bills were costing the company a lot. I was causing their medical insurance to be quite high, which I didn’t understand until many years later when I got into the insurance business.
So, please try to understand your children or friends, if they have Crohn’s. They really are very sick¸ even though they don’t look sick. Encourage them to get treatment and to join groups of people with the same problems. Your doctor knows where these groups can be found. That will help a lot. It did me.
When I was diagnosed, I thought it was the end of the world. But I soon learned that it wasn’t terminal and that I just had to learn to live with it. The sooner you accept the fact that you can’t do anything about it and live with it, the better off you will be.