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What If…

I always think back to the first time I started having trouble with my stomach. I tend to think about it a lot, and I don’t know if it is a good thing or a bad thing. I often think that if I would have taken care of my stomach issues before it got so bad, I wouldn’t have to deal with the issues today. What if?

What if I listened to my mother and had gone to the doctor before returning back to college in the summer of 2006? I remember driving to camp, and every day I had to pull over and run into Target to use their bathroom. I didn’t think that anything was wrong. I simply thought that my stomach was acting up because of the weather. You know that food doesn’t settle well when it is brutally hot out. This bout of diarrhea came so suddenly, that I really didn’t put any thought into it. Before that, I had an iron stomach, eating and drinking what I wanted. I had a great metabolism system, and would burn off anything I ate.

I remember coming home from camp one day, and my mother literally was begging me to go to my primary doctor to get looked at before returning to Shippensburg University. I was a 21 year-old college student, I knew everything right? NOT!

I am not saying that I wouldn’t have been diagnosed with Crohn’s. All I am saying is that maybe, just maybe I would have been able to catch it earlier. If I would have caught it earlier maybe I could have gotten better control over the disease. I do think about those beginning days a lot, and I often shake my head.

There are a lot of “what if” questions that go through my head. For example, I often think that if I was hospitalized before May 12th 2007, would I have been able to finish my student teaching and get my degree in education? What if my body knew I had something important to finish, so it figured it would wait to get bad until after graduation? What if I didn’t have Crohn’s at all? Would I be the person I am today? I know I have changed as a person, in a good way. I am not saying I wished it upon me, but now that I have it, I am able to help others cope with it as well.

My biggest “what if” question is….. What if one day in the near feature doctors, scientists and researchers find a complete cure for Crohn’s, Colitis, and other IBDs? I am not talking about a drug for patients to reach remission, but a drug that totally gets rid of the disease without any chance of it every coming back. That would be an amazing day in my life, and I know others. I wish that I am alive long enough to see this happen. I know that we have the people willing to find a cure, and I know we will find it soon. In the meantime, we have to work together to help others get through the day to day issues that are associated with IBD. What if….

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.