Peas Be With You

IMG_6090I suppose as I’ll be appearing here regularly, I should probably tell you a little bit about myself. I have Crohn’s Disease (you may have worked that one out already, alright Sherlock no one likes a smarty pants). I was eventually diagnosed around September 2010 after around 2 years of gradually worsening symptoms. What started as bloating with discomfort akin to trapped wind, quickly escalated into pain so excruciating I could barely walk. I spent many sleepless nights in agony gripping onto my partners hand so tight I could’ve quite easily pulled it out of its socket.  The road to my diagnosis was an incredibly rocky one, although this unfortunately isn’t uncommon amongst patients with IBD. I was told the pain in my knees (that turned out to be Crohn’s-related Arthritis) would be resolved by firing a couple of bags of frozen peas on them. I was told I had trapped wind and to stop drinking so much fizzy juice. I was told I had constipation and to eat more fruit and veg. I was told I had appendicitis and wheeled into hospital to have it removed (thankfully they worked out that wasn’t the case before I went under the knife).

I did however encounter my first surgery in the January of the following year – a resection to remove the most badly diseased part of my bowel. I’ve been on various treatments since and had almost every procedure under the sun. I’ve also had every possible implement inserted into my nether regions known to man. But enough about my weekend, let’s get back to the blog.

I’ve been blogging about my life with Crohn’s since my surgery in early 2011 and I’ve found it to be a massive comfort, learning curve and most unexpectedly, a help to others with the condition. I’ve spoken in public on World IBD Day in 2013 about blogging with Crohn’s Disease and been nominated 3 years running for various WEGO Health Awards. I contribute to various health sites and am in the process of writing a book based around my blog and experiences in the past few years. You could say I caught the writing bug as well as an incurable illness. I know which one I prefer right enough.

I’ve accepted I’ll probably need to be on medication for the rest of my life and that my future may include more surgery and possibly a stoma, but I’m ready for it. If I get so ill that I am forced to go down that road again I’ll know it’s because it’s necessary for me to feel at my very best. So I’m prepared for whatever Crohn’s throws at me next. I’ve even got a bag of frozen peas at the ready if it hurts.

Written by Kathleen Nicholls from Crohnological Order