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Living with IBD is so Time Consuming!

I previously wrote about how living with a chronic illness like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis is like having a full time job but... do you ever think about how much time everything takes?!

Lets break it down a bit.

Doctors Appointments.

While a person generally only spends about half an hour seeing a physician, that could mean the entire day for some. Oftentimes the gastroenterologists that specialize in the complex nature of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are not local. For me, I have about an hour and a half drive each way to see my GI and I know others who have to travel even farther. Plus, there is usually a good amount of time spent in the waiting room of a doctor’s office.

Phone Calls.

The back and forth between our doctors and insurance and scheduling something can take so much time it is crazy. Understandable, but infuriating when someone is in desperate need of answers and help.


There is so much pre-authorization needed for IBD medications, procedures, tests and surgeries. This means that a personal could be feeling so sick but due to insurance issues, he/she has to wait around feeling like death for a while before anything can be done. This slow pace can wreck havoc on a person’s mental health.


The act of scheduling everything takes so much time. IBD (Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis) patients have to wait to schedule tests, surgeries (unless done in an emergency situation), procedures and so many other things which can just strip someone of hope. Patients want to feel like something is moving in the right direction so being stagnant when someone knows and feels something is very wrong can be torturous in so many ways.


Recovering from surgery, a procedure, or even being inpatient in the hospital takes time. Rarely will a person suffering from Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis just walk away to carry on about their life after going through something traumatic. Both the physical and mental part of a person’s body needs to heal… and that takes time.


More often than not, the medications used to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) take time to work. Some need to build in your system before reaching a therapeutic level. Many times there is trial and error when it comes to finding the right medication for an IBD patient. Blood work needs to be done when trying most new medications to find out if it is truly helping to get the inflammation down in the body or just masking it. Blood work is also needed to make sure the treatment is not having an adverse effect on another area of the body.

Finding The Right Physician/Surgeon.

A lot of times, an IBD patient might not click with the first doctor they see. Given how unique every patient is, we do need to find the right doctor who we feel understands our needs, is intelligent, listens, will work with us in a partnership capacity, and takes our insurance. Not to mention, the location of his/her office as I spoke about earlier.

These are just some of the reasons why living with an invisible, chronic illness like inflammatory bowel disease is so damn time consuming! It is more than just a full time job. It is a frustrating and often painful full time job that you rarely have control over.

I hope you know you are not alone if this is an area that really gets to you. Most of us have been there and can feel your pain, anxiety, sadness, frustration and anger. I know no one wants to even think about these things, let alone have to wait to get the help needed. Understandably, we want things to be done as fast as possible so we can get back to living the life we want to live.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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