When you have been living with a chronic disease for such a long time, it’s hard to recall what life was like before but you never forget the day you are diagnosed with one.
The Day You Discover You’ve Got a Disease for Life
It was 2002 and was in my early 20s and I started my journey to IBD with frequent visits to the toilet and the usual things that end up in the toilet. Faced with a potentially lengthy time waiting to see a gastroenterologist, I opted to go private for the initial diagnosis.
The specialist I saw (I still see the same doctor to this day under the NHS!) performed a flexible Sigmoidoscopy and was quickly able to diagnose IBD. I can vividly remember the diagnosis and he was very upfront about the fact that I had an incurable disease and would be on medication for the rest of my life. From then onwards, things would be different.
I left accepting what I had been told but I there was a lot to process. IBD comes with many symptoms and at some point and I would get to experience many of them at some point in the future and probably at the same time. I would become a regular at the hospital. I would have to numerous and regular blood tests, MRI and CT scans, colonoscopies, Sigmoidoscopies, bone density scans. I would have to work my through medications that go in both ends to work out which worked best for me. I would have to get to experience abscesses, fistulas, mouth ulcers, pain, discomfort and the toilet would become my second home. On some occasions I’d never make it to my second home in time.
I cried!Read more