We All Deserve To Feel Seen & Heard

To the anxiety-ridden patient,

I see you. I understand your fears although there are times you may feel they are invalid. I understand you worry over “small things” that don’t always seem so small to you. I do too. We are in this together. I know the diagnosis scared you more than you let on.

I understand the anxiety of IBD

I totally understand. I know what it’s like to have to be strong for everyone else. I know what it’s like to only push through for someone else.

I know the pandemic scared you. While people rushed to buy toilet paper, you sat inside. You did not fear not having enough, you feared for your body. For your safety.

I know paying bills has been hard for you. The world is up in flames and at times all you can think about is the next payment due. I understand. I’ve been there.

The impact on mental health

To the patient who worries about the problems of tomorrow,

I understand the impact of your mental health today. I understand it’s been harder than you let on. I understand that you wish you had someone who you could just be transparent with. I often wish for that too.

Pain, emotions, and loneliness

To the patient who stayed up all night crying,

I hear you.

I hear your cry. Your pain is valid. Your tears are valid. What is it this time? Because of your condition, the new medication, or this constant feeling of loneliness? Whatever it is, it matters. You matter.

Raising your voice when it comes to healthcare

To the patient who doesn’t feel heard,

It’s okay to raise your voice. It’s okay to get mad. It’s okay to be emotional. You are your own person and you deserve a voice in what impacts you the most: your healthcare. You are not a burden because you have questions.

You are not a bother when you don’t understand. You are human. Just as those surrounding you. They will understand... And if not? Make them. Make them listen. It’s important.

We are all patients, but our experiences and how we handle our conditions are very different. That’s okay. Although we have so many differences, many things we share are the same.

We all deserve to feel seen and heard

We share the same pain. We hurt the same. We share the same need to be heard. All of our voices matter in our own healthcare. We share the same fight.

No matter how difficult the battle or how many times you give up (which you fully have the right to do), we share the battle. We are fighters to a war that (so far) has no end.

We may not have fully understood these terms when we were first diagnosed, but somewhere in the journey, we all had a hard hit of reality and just how serious our conditions can get. I don’t want any patients feeling as if they are alone or their experiences are not valid. Especially those living with IBD.

Living with such a stigmatized condition is harder than words could ever do it justice, but we deserve understanding. We deserve to feel seen and heard.

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