Monday, March 12, 2012


“People are pretty much alike. It's only that our differences are more susceptible to definition than our similarities”
- Linda Ellerbee

Happy Diagnos-aversary to me!

Yeah, so I totally just made up that word, and I am not 100% sure that it’s something one is supposed to celebrate. Regardless, two years ago today I was rolled out of my very first colonoscopy and told that I was a very sick girl. Uhh I’m sorry, I am a what? A sick girl? With Ulcerative Colitis? It’s a moment that my memory refuses to forget. This moment has been on my mind a lot this past week, and I am going to attempt to explain why. I implore you to stay with my scattered thought process; I promise I do have a point!

Thought one: Monday, I finished a lesson at my teaching practicum with a fellow colleague. Our lesson focus: Inequality. One of our goals: To have students realize that we are all more alike than we realize. We had students focus on the commonalities that they had with their peers rather than the differences. I thought that this idea was all well and good until I was driving home and I realized that as young adults we don’t even do this. We have such a tendency to highlight the things that separate us, rather than the things that might bring us together.

Thought two: Tuesday, I went to the on-campus clinic to receive my weekly iron injections. As I was chatting with the nurse about my own up and down health, I asked if there was anybody else at Brock with a J-Pouch. She said she wasn’t sure, but that they had seen a lot of people in flares right now. One, this breaks my heart, and two; it makes me wonder who I interact with on a daily basis that’s battling IBD.

Thought three: I have a tendency to be hyperconscious of the people around me. I often wonder if the boy in my history lecture sits on an aisle seat out of habit or out of fear that he might have to leave to go to the bathroom. I wonder if the girl in the cafeteria eating a banana and saltines is in a Crohn’s flare. I wonder if the boy bolting down the hall is late or running from urgency. And almost every single time I step into a public washroom, I wonder if there is anybody else hiding amongst the stalls, self-conscious and embarrassed about their enigmic bowels. Each and every time I see something like this I want to go up to that person and say, “Hey, I understand. I’ve been there and I have bad days too.”

Thought four: One of the most amazing experiences I have had this school year has been becoming friends with a very lovely lady who also has IBD. Having somebody there to talk to who has been through the same pain, the same embarrassment, the same fears, the same anxiety and truly understand how I feel is refreshing and comforting. It makes me wish that everybody with IBD could have a friend like this.

Two years ago today, I would have loved to have had somebody come up to me and tell me I wasn’t alone in this battle. That so many youth were fighting the same fight that I was, that understood, that were the SAME. So please know that you are not alone, that you have more in common with the people around you then you currently realize. And that if you want somebody to talk to and somebody who understands what you are going through, message me – I am more than happy to be a member of your army as you fight your fight.

So today I am not going to celebrate my diagnosis. Instead I’ve decided celebrate that I am a fighter who has competed in a tough battle; a tough battle that I believe has prepared me well to aid others in their battles.


PS If you need someone to reach out to, email us at

1 comment:

  1. It was my diagnos-aversary this week too - although it has been 7 years since my diagnosis.

    I love this post and everything you've talked about in it. I also wonder who I meet that may have similar experiences to me. I also am still somewhat self-conscious about the disease - while I can openly talk about it to people, it's still an embarrassing situation to deal with sometimes.

    We're all fighters! :)