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Surgery Isn’t The “Easy Way Out”

The other day I was watching one of my favorite shows. It’s a medical show. A guy came in with many issues and soon told the doctors that he’d had gastric bypass. This was very interesting to me. He’d had the surgery years and years ago and now he was experiencing many different and really odd symptoms. His knee was hurting, he also had a fistula, and so on and so forth. As time passed, the doctors actually diagnosed him with Crohn’s Disease.

“The easy way out”

I thought it was super interesting, but I really loved how they incorporated this into his storyline. Because he had Crohn’s Disease, they needed to reverse his gastric bypass. I’m not a medical expert, but this is what happened on the show and the reasoning sounded right. The doctors explained why they needed to do the reversal, but the patient didn’t want his husband to know. He was embarrassed. Turns out he was actually afraid the husband would think of him, the same thing one of the doctors thought: He took the easy way out.

When he first met the doctors, he told them he once weighed over three hundred pounds. Later in surgery, one doctor still acknowledged he could have “tried a healthy diet and exercise.” I get it. I’ve actually seen this same perspective used a lot in the IBD community.

People always offer their recommendations

As a person with a digestive disease, people always have their recommendations. They always think their magic potion is the cure. While diet and lifestyle can have an impact on Inflammatory Bowel Disease and there are times when diet and lifestyle changes can help or even put a patient into remission, unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

I’m not sure if it’s because of the nature of our disease, or simply this new social desire to be heard, but for some reason, people feel so comfortable with passing out medical advice with no qualifications at all. For those of us who have had surgery or who take part in medical intervention, at times we’re looked down upon. People have said many things about me and my ulcerative colitis. Assuming it’s “not that serious” and/or questioning my doctor’s judgment. I often find it hard to believe because surgery actually isn’t easy. It wasn’t an easy decision to trust a stranger with my life. It wasn’t easy hearing and agreeing to the risks involved. It’s also not easy to live a life full of limitations due to an illness out of your control knowing there are options out there, but refusing to learn about them.


I don’t promote surgery, but what I do promote is education. Educate yourself on a site or resource before you recommend it to a friend that could cost them their life. Educate yourself on medications and surgical procedures before you go downing them. Most people who I’ve encountered downing my decisions are the same people who hardly know anything about Ulcerative Colitis and are probably spelling Crohn’s with a K.

If you are considering surgery, do your own research. Don’t allow the outside world to influence a decision on your body.

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


  • Amanda Osowski moderator
    1 year ago


    I relate so much to this post/perspective. Thank you for sharing.

    Amanda (team member)

  • Kelly C (#purpleproject) moderator
    1 year ago

    Very great points of view, Shawn!! Thanks for sharing some of your story from before & after surgery!

    I find “do your own research” extremely helpful. When I was diagnosed, Google wasn’t relevant. There was nothing educational or very accurate that I felt I could trust that I could get access to.

    I’m so glad that’s changed for patients now!

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    1 year ago

    Well said. It is always hard to hear from those that believe their opinion is always correct despite their total lack of knowledge on a subject, in this case IBD and surgery. As with so many situations in life, although hard, kindness is always the best policy. Whenever someone gives their opinion and it is obvious they don’t know what they are talking about, I always kindly say thank you and keep it pushing!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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