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My Mid Life Surprise…

I am now 52 years old and was diagnosed with Crohn’s just 3 years ago. I am really blessed, though scared, really happy, though confused and have a great life, though I know I could go south again anytime. I loved my job, I was running long distance races to keep up with the love of my life and some of our talented 6 kids and really just enjoying the journey of life when just 6 months after my first (and really slow) marathon I got really sick, really fast and within six months of a frustrating struggle to get a diagnosis it was confirmed I had Crohn’s.

By 11 months after getting sick, I was coming home from a 12 week run in 3 different hospitals, with a diverting ileostomy, two emergency exploratory surgeries after going septic twice from leaky bowels, a partial colectomy, and 2 abscesses. I was 50 pounds lighter than my marathon weight and unable to even stand up or walk without assistance. I got back to work and tried several biologicals over a course of a year, but simply was not bouncing back. My remaining colon was just not going to recover. So, in January of 2016 we headed back to Mayo Clinic to have full colectomy. I don’t like having a permanent ileostomy, but I am living again and a year later, symptom free, exercising and really doing everything I did before, but with a little bit of a different perspective!

I greatly value knowing I am not alone and appreciate everyone sharing their stories. I know my journey is far from over, but I am trusting day by day and trying to enjoy every healthy moment the best I can. I struggle, a lot sometimes, with the “unfairness” of it all, but that has no value or good outcome. I hope like many of your stories have done for me, that my story will bless someone else and offer an ounce of encouragement.

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.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    9 months ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. IBD is so hard, and hearing others’ stories and knowing you aren’t alone is so encouraging.

    Yes, IBD is “unfair” and I love that you are transparent and assure us that we aren’t alone in thinking this sometimes. We are human. But the fact that you choose to live in the positive and take things a day at a time regardless of your situation, is inspiring.

    I hope you are doing well these days!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • chrissyg1903
    1 year ago

    Living with Crohns is challenging to say the least! Symptoms can take over when we least expect it, and can often times leave us in the dark, quite literally, ( no pun intended)!! I found this out in more than one occasion when symptoms “hit” in a public restroom with lights on timers!! Even when your “time” isn’t up!! The timers time is!! Whether we’re ready or not, off go the lights,leaving one in the dark, completely!! If it were not for cell phones and the lights on them, I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done?? It would be great if all public restrooms would have sensored nightlights!! At least one nightlight could prevent an even bigger “accident “, from occurring from being in total darkness!! At least ‘Motel 6’, leaves the “lights on”!!

  • Pam.Kingsland moderator
    1 year ago

    O my gosh, Chrissy! You definitely aren’t the only one who has gone through this same scenario! I’m so sorry to say that this made me laugh, especially that last line, BUT I’m sorry you were left in the dark!! I appreciate your humor!! 🙂 Stay bright! – Pam (team member)

  • SusanHU
    3 years ago

    Hi David,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m sorry you’ve struggled with IBD and please know we are here to offer support or information!

    I also wanted to share a few articles that you might find valuable:

    Please keep us posted on your journey!

    ( Team Member)

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