There are many things in life that I admittedly have no sweet clue about. But when it comes to IBD, I am an expert just like everyone is with their own bodies. And so, here is a list of the things that I know about life.
1) Being told “everything happens for a reason” or “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is NOT helpful.
2) Half-ply toilet paper should be illegal and all violating restaurants, hospitals, and schools should be charged and made to use Charmin extra-strong.
3) Crohn’s is not spelled CHRON’S - in fact, ‘Chron’s’ is not a disease at all.
4) Ask for anything when you’re sick. After years of writing ‘puppy’ on the grocery list, my parents finally caved when I got IBD.
5) If you want to get six months worth of gifts, have your birthday in the hospital followed by having an organ removed (an appendix will do). It worked for me.
6) Never, ever, ever complain about a full ostomy bag or a leak. A full bag means that your system is working properly, an empty bag, that’s something to freak out about.
7) Use clear mascara when in the hospital or in situations where you might cry. You’ll still look great, but won’t have black smudges when you begin to cry.
8) Leggings are a girl’s best friend.
9) Always bring a book to the hospital/appointments.
10) Always charge your iPod before going to the ER. You never know how long you’ll be there.
11) Do what you love. The feeling of being alive shouldn’t be wasted for a nanosecond of our existence.
12) Walk before you jog, jog before you run, or you’ll have an asthma attack.
13) Say ‘thank you’ when thanks are due and ‘I love you’ at the end of each phone call with the people you care about.
14) It’s always best to laugh so hard that your drink comes out your nose.
15) IBD sucks.
16) The CCFC and the Gutsy Generation are awesome.
17) Grey’s Anatomy is the best show ever. (But sorry sister, Patrick Dempsey will not leave his wife and children to marry you, no matter how much you’re in love with McDreamy)
18) The people who help out willingly when you’re sick are doing just that - helping out by their own free will. There’s no need to say “I’m sorry” to them, they love you and they want to help.
19) Poop smells bad, that’s why there’s Febreeze.
20) A dog will always be excited to see you when you come home.
21) Soy cheesecake is delicious.
22) Never underestimate the power of a hug. It might just make your entire day.
23) ‘The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’ is a must-have for those sick days stuck in bed.
24) Never get overly attached to bed sheets or underwear. You will wash them often and be tempted to throw them out after an accident.
25) You are the expert on your own body, despite not having a medical degree. Your doctor may have graduated top of his class from the best school ever, but he can’t tell you how you feel.
26) Yoga is relaxing and the breathing technique helps me survive my Crohn’s.
27) Meeting someone else with IBD is one of the best experiences ever.
28) My ostomy surgery on August 10th, 2010 saved my life.
29) Pick your favorite song and dance to it. It will make you feel better.
30) Positive vibes and singing kumbaya won’t make your IBD go away.
31) My favorite place in Boston is the Boston Public Library.
32) My Mom is my best friend and she would do anything for me, and vice versa.
33) I have friends who love and care about me and I’m honored to know them and call them friends.
34) This list is getting a little long.
35) There will be a cure... in our lifetime.