The Awareness, I Love It

Last updated: December 2019

It may just be my lack of watching television or popular shows, but lately, I've really been seeing a lot of good references to inflammatory bowel disease in the media and I, for one, love it!

Recently I talked about a show where the patient was diagnosed with Crohn's disease years after he had gastric bypass surgery. I was pretty shocked, but I could kinda see it with the symptoms he presented with in the emergency room. I was recently watching yet another one of my favorite (hospital-based) TV shows and the father shared he'd been diagnosed with Crohn's disease years prior to falling out in extreme pain.

Awareness of IBD in TV and the media

I must say, I absolutely love the awareness being raised by the shows. I think the way these shows are presenting the symptoms so accurately represents what patients experience on the day to day. The funny thing about when I watched this show, I actually assumed the man had cancer. The same when I first started experiencing symptoms.

Cancer is a terrible disease. It takes a terrible toll on the body and so many lives are lost every single year. My family has taken a major hit with cancer just this year. While terrible, I also find it interesting that so many of us immediately go to cancer when we think of suffering or a chronic or terminal illness. This is why awareness for inflammatory bowel disease is so important.

The physical and mental toll of IBD

IBD is a serious condition. Symptoms are rough and really take a toll on patients mentally and physically. It's hard to live with IBD, just as it is hard to live with any other chronic condition. Crohn's and colitis deserve just as much respect as any other illness. We live in pain. We live with fatigue and we fight daily. We fight to live semi-decent and semi-normal lifestyles. We fight for our lives and everything that comes along with it.

While I will say we've come far, there's still a lot to be done. I love that people are talking about Crohn's disease. I think they should. It's important, but so are other forms of inflammatory bowel disease. And that's important to live with. There are people in the world living with various other forms of inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis and more. It's important to also touch on these conditions and acknowledge the suffering of so many patients around the world.

Share your story and raise your voice for awareness

December 1st - December 7th is Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Week. I encourage you to share your story and use your voice to make an impact. Let's raise awareness for IBD and show people that our condition is one to be taken seriously. People need to know what it's like to live with such a life-consuming illness so they know why we are working so hard to find a cure. If you're looking or ways to get involved, I encourage you to check out the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation website and my blog, Chronically Strong, for more information!

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