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Crohn’s Disease Crashed My Wedding

Crohn’s Disease Crashed My Wedding

I’ve been living with the fun that is Crohn’s disease for more than half my life. Like most other trips I’ve planned, I tried my best to plan our wedding around my health. We opted for a weekend-long wedding. I planned it so a few hours out of Friday were dedicated to the ceremony and a few on Saturday were dedicated to the reception. Lastly, a couple of days of rest were built in after it was over. I wanted to give my fiancé (now husband) the best weekend without having to worry, more than he already does, about me. But like the saying goes, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Crohn’s disease totally crashed my wedding.

Our wedding took place around the mid-way mark of my Crohn’s treatment’s 8-week cycle. I methodically timed everything to work around this shot.

The picture of health

For all intents and purposes, the wedding went off without a hitch. According to the photographer’s images, I was the picture of health. What you couldn’t see was that for the first time in close to two years, I was having pains in what I know to be the area of my small intestine where active disease likes to lurk. I was running in and out of the bathroom, something that happens every so often for me thanks to IBS on top of IBD. Or at least I thought it was IBS, because you know, stress. Thankfully they were quick trips and people were not noticing my absence. But then it happened.

Like a high five to the face with a chair, something I haven’t had to deal with since maybe 2014. I was passing blood. Not a little. A lot. I filled multiple toilet bowls on the day of our ceremony and again the next day at our reception. I lost count of how many times this took place.

IBD is insidious

This was rather disappointing on a few levels. Yes, I expected this disease to try to ruin something I coveted. But at the same time, I remained hopeful it wouldn’t. IBD is insidious. An additional layer of disappointment was added because no matter how much I did it wasn’t enough. I tried to prepare with self-care practices like rest, breathing exercises, less sugar, more protein, no raw vegetables, and more water. It didn’t matter. If Crohn’s was a person it was blowing a big ol’ raspberry at my face.

My self-triage method

When the bleeding and pain started, I did what I call my self-triage method. I use this method to determine if this is something that is passing and I don’t need to worry myself (mainly others) over, or if this is something I need medical attention for.

When I do my self-triage method, I pay attention to where the pain is, how bad it is on a scale of 1-10 like in the hospital. If it’s recurring, I will also note the times it happens. And if it’s not centralized I’ll make a diagram to keep track of the area and time. Honestly, this is more of how I calm the anxiety I feel when something like this, which is far out of my control, happens because of Crohn’s disease. It also takes an act of congress to make me go to the hospital. This helps me use logic over fear to make a decision on my health.

My pain was transient and didn’t have a pattern. I figured it was mild inflammation. The blood was bright red, which is actually good news as it most likely is caused by a hemorrhoid; irritation from multiple bathroom trips. I’ve had some fabulous GIs and IBD specialists over the past few years walk me through this disease and my insides thanks to scopes. They’ve taught me the location of my issues and have allowed me to hone my intuition on what needs medical attention versus what doesn’t.

No more stress

And like clockwork, the minute the wedding festivities — and as you may have guessed — stress died down, I was a new person.

No more pain. No more bleeding. Go figure.

I relaxed a little when I realized this was more stress-related than anything else.

The moral of the story is Crohn’s crashed my wedding but it didn’t crash me. Luckily, I was able to function on a high enough level to be present and participate in the ceremony and receptions. It would’ve been great not having the bathroom unpleasantness or the memory of experiencing it. But, I wouldn’t change a thing. It was the best weekend we’ve ever had together.

Have you had a special event threatened because of your inflammatory bowel disease? How did you cope?

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


  • Julie Marie Palumbo moderator
    1 year ago

    As someone who got married 8 months ago and who also has Crohn’s, I completely feel your pain (literally)! My biggest worry was that I would flare during my wedding–or worse, flare weeks ahead of time and be on prednisone (with full-on moon face) for the big day.

    I actually volunteered for a colonoscopy 8 weeks before the wedding (who does that?!) to be sure I was in good shape. I also was careful to watch my diet and when my soon-to-be husband got a slight cold the week before the wedding, I slept on the couch every night so that I didn’t contact his germs (because you know, immuno-suppressants!)

    You are a true warrior for handling your wedding like a rockstar and I hope it was as magical of a day as it could have been otherwise. Adding the stress of a flare on top of a wedding is no piece of cake but it just makes us stronger in the long run 🙂

    –Julie (Team Member)

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    1 year ago

    So happy you were at least able to enjoy your wedding. Stress is definitely such a huge factor in IBD. Scary to experience those symptoms on such an important day, but thankfully it worked out!

    As for me, I have had so many moments, where before an event or a gathering, I simply would have to cancel because symptoms just get too bad for me to attend. Definitely, not fun.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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