IBD Interview: Tummy Woes

In honor of IBD Awareness Month, we’ll be interviewing members of the online IBD community, sharing their stories, and helping to raise awareness and understanding about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Today’s interview is with Krystal Quile who blogs at Tummy Woes.

What is your name and your diagnosis? How long have you been dealing with IBD?

My name is Krystal Quille and I was diagnosed in December 2014 with colitis. After a hospital stay months later it was changed to Crohn’s, but since February 2017 it’s UC again. I like to say I have IBD since my diagnosis keeps fluctuating.

What do you wish you knew when you were diagnosed with IBD?

When I was diagnosed and my GI stated we’re going to put you through an intense medical treatment, I thought it would be a few pills. I was surprised at how many pills I had to take (the most; 14 a day) and the side effects. Prior to IBD I took mostly vitamins and tums, to go from that to insomnia, anxiety, pre-diabetic lab results, and having a moonface I wish I knew the side effects of the medications and how they would impact my livelihood.

What do you wish others knew about IBD?

It’s not just a pooping disease. I “love” it when people like to compare my symptoms to their IBS or the stomach flu they had. I usually respond by asking when was the last time you had bloody bowels? It was daily and several times a day when I was sick. When was the last time you stayed in the bed the entire weekend because you did not have the energy to move? Usually after that, it’s silence.

Why did you get involved in the online IBD community? How has the community changed your life?

Initially it was a way for me to find out what was IBD. I knew no one who had IBD or even knew what the acronym stood for when I was diagnosed. Once I started my research my blog became more therapeutic for me. Being apart of the online community has changed my life for the better by knowing I was no longer alone. Also, expressing my feelings and resentment of having this disease has made me a stronger person. When I was really sick, I kept saying “this is my bottom in life” and it took a while, but I slowly realized you could only move up. Writing this blog has encouraged me to be open about the disease and no longer feeling embarrassed. But I will say, when you tell someone you have a chronic and that sudden look of apprehension and unease is still something I might never get used to. Shrugs.

What advice do you have for the newly diagnosed/those who are struggling?

Try to remain positive, it’s easier said than done and make your doctors accountable. If you feel like they’re not taking your symptoms/concerns seriously, get a 2nd opinion.

Tummy Woes

Krystal Quile, 30 year old IBD blogger from Arlington, VA. TummyWoes was created when at the age of 28 Krystal was diagnosed with colitis after a colonoscopy in December 2014. Since then she has been active blogger, participated in Take Steps in Baltimore and wants to become more of an advocate for IBD awareness. You can follow her blog at TummyWoes or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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