a colon drinking coffee

A Coffee Date with Crohn’s, Himself

If you could sit across from Crohn’s over a lunch date or coffee, what would you say? What questions would you have for “him”…what points would you want to get across?

Oftentimes when battling chronic illness we have a constant inner dialogue that’s part of our day-to-day. It becomes so normal to us that we don’t even remember life without it. You know what I’m talking about…wondering if you should eat that or drink this, whether your presentation at work or date on the weekend is going to be symptom-ridden.

If I had a chance to talk to Crohn’s this is what I would say:

First of all, thank you for waiting to strike until I was 21 years old and home after college graduation. If I had to pick any time to get sick, that would have been it. I don’t quite understand why you feel the need to remind me that you are a part of me at the most inopportune times. It’s like you’re possessive and don’t want me to have fun or be carefree. You may think you are baggage, but I’m done with kissing the toads and found my knight in shining armor. You aren’t thought of as a scarlet letter; my husband doesn’t even consider you to be a big part of who I am. If anything, when you strike…it brings us closer. You’ve shed light on which friends fade to the background when I need them most, and which ones rise up to the front lines.


Before you I was scared of needles and would shudder at the thought of a blood draw. Now I laugh at flu shots and give myself my own injection in my thigh and don’t bat an eye. When I had to get a c-section to deliver my son, getting the epidural and the surgery recovery was a walk in the park. You set the bar high and make all of life’s other struggles seem not as bad.

You’ve enabled me to discover how powerful it is to be an advocate and use my voice to help others.

You’ve given me a platform that I’m passionate about. Each flare up, painful experience, scars and all the tears have made me who I am today. While I wouldn’t wish you on my worst enemy, I’ve found a way to deal with you. I know you will still surprise me and stop me in my tracks just when I think I have everything figured out—and that’s fine, because you’ve done it before and after each and every flare up I’ve recovered and overcome. We’ve known each other for over 12 years, it’s not as easy to pull a fast one on me. I can read your warning signs and know that when you try and be all coy and play hide and seek.

We’ve gotten a little too close for comfort and I know this is just the beginning of our journey.

Please be respectful of my desire to have more children and be a mom that’s not sidelined on the couch or unable to have enough energy to play with my kids. Please don’t feel the need to interrupt my life. I’ve given you so much already and fought countless days. Please take a rest, for both our sake. I’m continuing my medication and doing all I can to keep you happy. If there’s anything I’ve learned through the years, it’s that I’m in the driver’s seat. You’re just along for the ride.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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