Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guest Post: Kathleen's Story

So Gutsy Generation - it's your turn to talk. We want to share some amazing stories from some very gutsy people that we are happy to call our Crohnies.

This is Kathleen's story. Kathleen has a great blog that we came across and we reached out to her to ask her if she'd share her story and strength with us.

Get ready, get set, get inspired!

Hello You! My name is Kathleen. I was eventually diagnosed with Crohn's Disease around September of last year. This was a massive relief after over 12 months of incredible pain and sickness amongst less palatable symptoms. Not to mention just sheer frustration at never getting to the bottom (for want of a better phrase) of the problem.

I was entirely ignorant about the disease until the doctor told me he suspected I had it. All I was initially told was that no one knows why it starts or what the cause is and as yet there is no cure and no guaranteed treatment. It was made clear it would be a long process trying to find out how to make me feel better. This terrified me at the time, but the fact that I had finally been given a diagnosis overshadowed any fear of the unknown - all I focused on was the utter relief at finding out what was wrong.

Having now become friends with fellow sufferers and become part of the wider Crohn's 'community', I appreciate just how lucky I have been to be so far along on my road to recovery, and how grateful I should be to have gotten an operation so early in my Crohn's 'career'.

I got a bowel recession in late January this year. After months and months of experimental drugs, steroids, liquid diets, and painkillers, the doctors finally agreed there was no alternative. I am now living a relatively pain-free life which is truly amazing.

The arrival of Crohn's into my life has been a revelation, in more ways than one. Yes, it sucks to have an illness that will be with me for life. It's absolute panties if i'm honest. But it's here and it's set up camp permanently. I'm incredibly lucky to have a wonderful partner who's been by my side every step of the way, he was with me long before Crohn's was even a twinkle in my bowels and makes me feel secure and confident even though my body is ever-changing. I have amazing family and an incredibly supportive group of friends who have shown me that Crohn's has changed absolutely nothing in terms of how they see me. I'm still plain old Kath, although 'now with added Crohn's!'

This only serves to make me more interesting apparently, and I now have a big scar which I find perversely exciting, can't wait to see what it looks like as the months and years go by. One day I may tell the grandkids how I fought off that pesky shark... :)


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