Aging with Crohn's disease

I’m at a point in my life where I'm beginning to realize I am not the young and vibrant person I once was. And it hurts. Aging with IBD can be mind-boggling. As if getting older wasn’t hard enough, I have the stress of an entire autoimmune disease wreaking more havoc on my body than age ever could.

As I enter the last year of being in my 20’s, I honestly feel as if I’m entering my 40’s most days. My body does not move as fast. The aches are more prevalent throughout my days.

Concerns around aging with Crohn's disease

My symptoms seem to worsen, even on the days when I feel my best. Along with aging comes a world of concerns. I am reminded of the unspoken deadline of becoming a mother. I am reminded of the bills (and debt) I’ve seemed to pile from hospital and doctor visits.

I try not to dwell on the negatives in life. Especially when it comes to my condition, but during times like these, I just can’t help it. It seems like the world is up in flames and it's really hard to keep a positive outlook when everything around me seems to be going wrong.

Multiple different hospital stays for Crohn's

Since the pandemic, I’ve had to go to the hospital quite a few times. More times than what I’m actually comfortable with. Each time, more terrifying than the last.

Not every occurrence was directly because of Crohn’s disease, but all were related. Meaning, it was another organ or body part impacted by my condition. My last visit possibly hurt the worse.

Feeling broken

When the doctor sat in the room, telling me what was wrong, I couldn’t help but cry. All I could think about was how broken I am at twenty-eight years old. How broken could I possibly be at what I once saw at such a young age? How broken was I going to be five or ten years from now?

The doctor did her best to comfort me, thinking I was scared about what was going on. Truthfully, I just felt broken. I always feel broken and I’m pretty tired of it.

Keeping my spirits high

On the other hand, aging is certainly a blessing. More years, more lessons, more experience. I am certainly not one to take my time on this earth for granted, I just wish I’d age more gracefully instead of like a broken record.

Being surrounded by healthy friends also puts more pressure on me. While they are looking good and feeling better, I am slowly breaking apart. In front of my own eyes and theirs.

Regardless of what is going on with my body, I will try to remain in good spirits. When I lose control over everything else, I know I can at least control my mindset and outlook on the situation.

On days like this when I’m feeling down, I remind myself of all of my friends and family members who weren’t as blessed as I am to live to see the age I have.

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