Thursday, May 16, 2013


Crohn's.  Plain and simple.

That's my answer when asked what is something about 'my lot in life' that I have to deal with.

Here's the thing: most people don't even know I struggle with it.  I am pretty good at keeping it under wraps except with those I am really close to. However, it has been a struggle throughout my life, at least since 4th grade when I started manifesting the symptoms.  Of course, back then the doctors just thought I was making it up and trying to get attention for whatever reason (quite common with early Crohn's symptoms) but my mom knew something was wrong.  So she kept taking me back, taking me back, taking me back to the doctor anytime I was in great pain, until finally one day in 6th grade they checked.

What a relief to prove to others that you weren't faking it.

What a disappointment to find out at 11 years old that you have a chronic illness, a painful and hard to explain one at that.

Since then I have had moments of great heartache because of it. Yes, intense heartache. There are several moments in my life that I felt completely robbed of.  Half of my junior year of high school was spent either in the hospital with feeding tubes in my arm or sitting at home, trying to rebuild my immune system that they killed to keep the crohn's from killing me, all the while listening to my friends talk on the phone about this boy or that football game... it was hard.  There were other moments like that, moments that I felt I should have had but I didn't get to, all because of this stupid illness.

At the same time, however, I have had many more moments of great happiness.  I guess you really appreciate your health when you were told you wouldn't have it.  But I do have it.  Since 2004 (the last time I went to the hospital) I have been very strong.  I have traveled and lived abroad, I went after my dream job and I got it, and then I married the man that I love and we have created a beautiful life together, most of the time Crohn's free.

Of course, there are times when it flairs up.  This year has seen some of that.  And it scares me.  Because I know what it is like to be on prednisone, to live in the hospital, to be afraid of the bathroom and what that might mean.  But I have learned something else -- I know what it is like to live, to fully live, and I will not let this stop me.  It may make things more complicated at times, or really complicated at times, but I will not let it define me.  As much as I can, I will control it so it doesn't control me.  And then I will go out and live my life, realizing that any time it stops me for a bit does not mean it is 'robbing me' of something, but rather just postponing it.

I truly wish I had some great way to wrap this us, some inspirational 'You won't get me down!' sort of thing. But I don't. I just have this: This is a struggle, and it can be very hard. Tears are shed from time to time. Honestly though, I know it could be worse and I realize I am still very active, so I am grateful for that.  I pray daily for it to be gone, and I have hope that someday it will, but until then I take my many victories as they come -- the doctor telling me how healthy my colon looks, so little scarring present (which wasn't expected), the times when I sit down in front of a hearty salad and remember all the years that I wasn't able to do that, the fact that I have such a FULL life and that I can get up and go do what I want to do -- and I celebrate.  So I guess that's what I will leave you with.  Celebrate the victories.  Recognize them, and then celebrate. And store those away for days when you don't feel like you have any, because those days will come and you will need to find a way to get to the other side.  But then when you get there, celebrate again.

Yeah, that's it. Celebrate.


  1. I ran restaurants a lifetime ago and I had a special menu to cater for people with Crohn's and also gluten free problems,it was so popular and consequently I met a lot of sufferers. May goodness you guy do suffer, wow, respect. It's so hard to live with these things sometime. I have a thing called HS (luckily been good for 6 years)it attacks the immune system also and we struggle with doctors not understanding. It's so hard when doctors think it's no big deal.
    fingers crossed you keep well:)

  2. This, right here: As much as I can, I will control it so it doesn't control me. And then I will go out and live my life, realizing that any time it stops me for a bit does not mean it is 'robbing me' of something, but rather just postponing it.

    Your statement above can apply to so many things in life. Beautiful writing, Tiffany. I am so glad that I met you today through Carrie! Have a blessed weekend.

    1. I am glad to have met you, too! And I am also happy that my words can reach even those who do not have this as their thing to deal with. We all deal with SOMETHING, at some point... I hope to have these words extend beyond just this.

  3. That is rough! I am really impressed that you blog about food even while dealing with this painful condition. I would think it would be easy to see food as the enemy. I am sure you have heard this before but I've read a lot of testimonials of people with autoimmune disease going grain and gluten free and having amazing results. My sister has an autoimmune disease and I know she has massively benefited from the change in diet to vegetables, lean meats, fruits and nuts. No grains or legumes.
    I'm sure you have heard this before so I apologize in advance if you're sick of the advice! If you're not, check out Marks Daily Apple or anything by Robb Wolf. I think he had IBS originally and cured himself through diet.

    1. Thank you. Actually, I have a food blog BECAUSE of this, as crazy as that it is. I was told at one point that I might not be able to eat again and might have to use a feeding tube forever. But here I am, mostly in remission most of the time, eating WELL. Who could have imagined? And so I take my food seriously enough to want to celebrate it, as well... but not too seriously that I can't enjoy it. Because seriously -- I want to enjoy it, too! :)

      Thank you so much for sharing this information. I have heard it a lot and have looked into it a bit and have made changes here and there. It is always good to look into it even more. Right now as I am in remission for the most part I am not too worried, however it is better to be well read in the matter before hand than to wait and have it take over while I am unprepared.


I love hearing from you! Thanks for making my day :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...