person in the bathroom with comically oversized clock showing how long they have been in there

Crohn's Symptoms That Seem Unbelievable

I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease back in 2011. It has been 12 years dealing with this diagnosis and I always found it interesting when discussing symptoms with those who don't have it and how shocked and sometimes in disbelief they can be.

I would get responses like, "No way, you must be exaggerating." Or, "How is that even possible? I don't believe it."

Responses like these always made me giggle in some way. Just because there really is no way of someone understanding this crazy diagnosis, unless they have it themselves. We have to laugh or else we will cry, right? Because let's face it, when you think about what we go through, it truly does sound unbelievable.

So for fun, let's talk about the crazy symptoms we endure.

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Crazy Crohn's symptoms... that are definitely real!

Being in the bathroom for more than 10 hours a day

I kid you not, 10 hours a day isn't much for me when I would flare. I could literally be locked up in the bathroom almost the entire day and never come out. Sometimes I would bring my pillow in and nap on the bathroom floor. I don't blame others for thinking this sounds unbelievable and like an exaggeration. But it is true. Honestly, sometimes I, myself, couldn't get over how long I had been in the bathroom. And what blows my mind is how I always had stool even though I was barely eating. And if it wasn't stool, it was blood or just bad tenesmus.

Bleeding out of your bum daily

When I tell close friends or family that I used to bleed out of my bum every day, they always thought I was exaggerating. No way it could be every day. Oh, but yes. Yes, it was every day, and yes, it was alarming and scary. Sometimes the entire toilet bowel would be full of blood. It looked like you dumped red dye in there. And sometimes a couple drops, but nonetheless, everyday it was there.

Dealing with excruciating abdominal pain daily

I remember waking up in the morning and praying to try to get back to sleep, because when I was asleep I wasn't in pain. Particularly in the morning, the abdominal pain was so much to endure. Lugging myself to the washroom upon waking up was the absolute worst way to start the day, but it was every single morning like this. And then staying in the bathroom a minimum of 3 hours in the early mornings.

Never getting rest

Most people can't wrap their head around the fact that having a full night's rest was close to impossible. Unfortunately with this diagnosis, you sleep erratically. You are constantly woken up by abdominal pain and the urge to use the restroom. You can never slumber into deep sleep and wake up rested. You are up multiple times throughout the night dealing with pain and urgency.

Showering is a luxury

This could just be me, but showering was a luxury. Whenever I was flaring badly, I had zero energy to shower. Just the thought of showering was stressful. So I wouldn't shower daily, plus I never left my house and was in my pajamas all day. I would force myself to shower every couple of days because of course basic hygiene, but it was purely out of necessity. But people couldn't believe that I didn't shower daily.

Throwing up every morning

For years I would throw up every single morning. It became standard for me. I would wake up and have abdominal pain and cramping. Sit on the toilet miserable. Grab the trash can and vomit while I had horrible painful bowel movements. This was every single morning.

Extra-intestinal symptoms

What most don't understand is that IBD can affect other parts of the body. They think only the intestines suffer, but unless you have this diagnosis, you know that your entire body can feel on fire sometimes. Your eyes swell, you get mouth ulcers, joints are on fire, skin gets lesions and infections, nails become brittle, hair falls out... It's the gift that keeps on giving.

We believe your symptoms!

How about you? Can you think of anything else to add to this list of unbelievable symptoms? Comment below, we love to hear from you. And we promise... We'll believe you!

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