World IBD Day

May’s a big month in our house for awareness.

Which translates to me writing about all sorts of serious things in the Felt So Cute house that aren’t pink and green and don’t involve shopping or traveling or much silliness.

So let’s talk about IBD.

Irritable Bowel Diseases.

Could it BE any less glamorous? {said in my best Chandler Bing voice}

When I was a senior in college, way back in the Dark Ages, Cute Sister was a freshman in college.  She was sick.  Like seriously sick.  Enough that she ended up in the hospital at her university.  And they took a ridiculously long time trying to figure out what was wrong with her.  And then finally one day declared she had Crohn’s Disease.

And my parents and I said “HUH?”

Because none of us knew what the heck that was.

And this was way before Google {I told you it was the Dark Ages – I mean she’s lucky they weren’t bleeding her with leeches or anything!}, so we had to learn things the old-fashioned way – the library, doctors, and phone calls from expert to expert!

And slowly she found the right balance of medications, and the right doctors for her and our whole family became active volunteers with The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America and we learned more and more.  And she went back to college, earned her degree and went on to be super awesome.

And a little over a decade later I gave birth to Little Cutie.

And months later I didn’t feel well.

Like really and truly  didn’t feel well.

And I tried to convince myself these were complications from my C-section.  And that I was exhausted from having two babies two and under.  And that I could will myself to feel better soon – just wait and see – I could do, I’d show you all.

And my husband was about ready to host an intervention because it wasn’t normal to have a second nursery set up in all your bathrooms, and finally told me this was perhaps the devil we knew well in our family.  He reminded me that I was in the semi-fortunate position of actually knowing several fantastic Gastroenterologists since I happened to be on the board of the state chapter of the CCFA and perhaps I should make an appointment.  And so I did.  And they scheduled a colonoscopy a couple of days later {really the only way to properly diagnosis IBD} and by the time I’d come out of the twilight anesthesia Crohn’s Disease had become a family disease.

So let’s be real here because this is something people REALLY don’t like to talk about.

Celebrity spokesmen are few and far between and there’s a lot of whispering.

I have Crohn’s Disease.

I go to the bathroom a lot.  And sometimes I can’t go to the bathroom at all.

It stinks.

{Best part about IBD is you can sneak in all sorts of poop-related jokes and no one will accuse you of being childish!}

At one point I took 28 pills per day and still didn’t feel well.  And so I switched to an IV drug.  Which changed my life.  I now get an infusion about every 7 weeks for a few hours of a fantastic drug called Remicade.  I also have arthritis as a side-effect of the Crohn’s Disease and the Remicade helps with that – kind of a two-for-one deal!  The Remicade has essentially put me in medical remission which has let me live a more or less normal life and I will forever be grateful to my doctors for that.

I still sometimes have rough days – usually in the mornings, which is less than ideal since I have to drive my kids to their schools.  But we are long out of the stage of having to unbuckle two kids out of car seats and carry them in to a bathroom with me, which is wonderful!  I have a short list of foods I avoid and every now and then one sneaks into something in a restaurant and I pay for it.

But I’m a lucky one and I know it.

And if you’re ever wondering, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts tend to have clean bathrooms, ample toilet paper and nice smelling soap.

Sometimes I’m pretty easy to please. 🙂

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4 Responses to World IBD Day

  1. Cute Grandma says:

    So glad you are doing so much better!😍

  2. Brandi says:

    As someone with celiac disease, I get you. ❤

  3. Christy says:

    Hey – great article. I often forget everything you guys have gone through & still go through. What are the foods you try to avoid? Will we see you this summer?

  4. feltsocute says:

    Anything acid-based like tomatoes – they’re my absolute biggest offender! Corn is just downright evil and I avoid raw nuts. When I’m starting to flare I will stay away from fruits with seeds (think strawberries), and dramatically drop my caffeine and dairy intake.

    Would love to see you this summer – are you headed to SC at all?

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