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Showing More Than The Highlight Reel as an IBD Mom

Living with IBD takes a lot of balance and often feels like a guessing game. I recently went to dinner with five girlfriends and had dinner on a patio. It was our first time together in months.

Spending time with friends and not thinking about Crohn's

I was so excited to spend some quality time out and about amongst great company. The restaurant we went to had small plates. Because it had been so long since I went out with friends, I walked on the wild side and had two cocktails, with a bunch of different dishes.

The night was filled with laughter, talking about the current political climate, and how we are all navigating school, children, and life. I truly loved having time for me and my Crohn's was only in the back of mind.

Abdominal pain and poor sleep after eating and drinking with Crohn's

Unfortunately, when I got home I started experiencing abdominal pain that led to a restless night of sleep.

I kept looking at the clock. I kept hoping not to wake up my husband as I winced in pain in the darkness. I kept wondering if it was the alcohol or the food I had decided to try like my peers.

The stress of Crohn's disease symptoms

I woke up feeling almost dizzy and nauseous. For the first time in a long time, I took a Zofran to help calm those symptoms and to help ease the burden of my Crohn's as I got my three-year-old ready for preschool and my baby fed and out the door. You know how the saying goes, "there are no sick days for moms"!

After I dropped off my son at school, I took my baby for a walk through a cave park. It was beautiful out. The leaves were just starting to change.

I looked up at the sky, grateful for the easing of my symptoms as my Crohn's weighed heavy on my mind. I tried to take deep breaths and focus on the now.

I posted some photos of my little girl on Instagram and followed up with a photo of both of us explaining that my life is far from perfect, even though photos may show otherwise.

The realities of life with Crohn's disease

Show your reality, not just the highlight reel. As IBD warriors and especially IBD parents it's so important to show the reality of how life is impacted daily by your disease, whether you are in remission or not.

While the pain is fleeting, no matter how long you've had the disease, the worry weighs on you. Why were there symptoms? What did you do? Is a flare on the way?

Balancing symptoms and the need to live a full life

I don't regret having a night out with friends that I thoroughly enjoyed. Being immunocompromised right now has been a challenge. When moments present to bring a sense of normalcy, I've been jumping on them and trying to create them for myself, and for my family. I've found that unless my cup is full, it is unable to spill onto others, especially my children.

While it's important to be cautious and mindful of how your actions and diet help keep your disease in check, it's also important to live. Try not to allow your disease to rob you of the moments that make you feel whole. You may pay for your actions in the short term, but like anything with IBD, we must weigh the risks versus the benefits.

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