An uneasy looking face exhales deeply.

The Things I've Lost Because Of Crohn's Disease

We always talk about how we lose the ability to live a normal life after being diagnosed with Crohn’s. I believe it. I really do.

Even though I have gained so much knowledge, I can’t forget the things I lost. Even though I met the best doctors, nurses, advocates, and supporters along my IBD journey, I still lost things.

This article isn’t about anyone feeling bad for anyone else, it's just a realization. It’s simply stating facts. As much as I gained through this journey, I lost a lot at the same time.

Lost time because of symptoms and hospitalizations

Time. I lost a lot of time. From the first day that I started to get symptoms to the time that I reached “remission,” time was lost. 

I remember missing numerous college classes because I was spending time at doctors and hospitals. My parents put me on a train a few days before Thanksgiving 2006 so that I could be seen by the GI doctors locally.

I also spent 370 days in the hospital. I lost about five years in total that I could have been teaching for work. That is five years closer to retirement. That is five years that I could have been paying into my pension. Time is what I lost.

Loss of opportunities at work due to Crohn's

Certifications. When you want to become a teacher, you must take a few tests to be certified in the grade/subject(s) you want to teach. I took and passed all those tests before getting sick with Crohn’s. Since I became inactive while fighting through Crohn’s, I lost my certifications.

Once I became certified again, I applied to the same school district where I was offered a job three years prior and started my career. The frustrating part is that the people I graduated from college with have been teaching for about thirteen years.

I am about eight years behind. They will all be retired as I will be still working.

Lost friendships as I battled the condition

Friends. Believe it or not, Crohn’s has caused me to lose friends. Not my choice, but I guess people knew that I would be a big burden on them if I came over to their house, or whatnot.

Also, I think as I was fighting for my life, others were going on with their life. I have lost some of my great college friends.

Side effects to my hair from medications

My hair! Yes, believe it or not, I am dealing with some terrible middle-aged balding. Do I think it has to do with all the medications I have been on throughout the years? Yes!

I recently went to a dermatologist who prescribed me medication that is helping with my hair growth. I hate that I am balding, so hopefully, this will work.

Limitations from dealing with Crohn's for 14 years

Opportunity. There have been great opportunities to see great concerts and to attend a camp-out in which I could not go. Having Crohn’s has caused lots of limitations. 

I have been dealing with these limitations since 2006. Wow, fourteen years have flown by.

Again, these losses have to be told. They have to be validated because they are real. It is how we “accept” these losses that make us “unique.”

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