Crohn’s Is Part Of Me, But I Wear My Diagnosis Proudly

After a night of hanging with family and enjoying time out drinking and laughing, I literally woke up with the worst stomach pain. Made it to the bathroom and puked all the drinks I drank the night before. While laying back in bed, the pain didn’t really go away, and all I kept telling myself was that this was the worst hangover ever.

That was five years ago.

Little did I know, in a few weeks’ time, I would be diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.

The last half decade has been a whirlwind. Even after I knew something was wrong, I continued to ignore it until I literally lost about half my body weight. I was unable to keep anything down, not even water, and my family became very concerned about my health. After taking the proper medical precautions and getting the medicine that I would take for the rest of my life, things started to get back to normal a little.

At the beginning, I stayed to myself mostly. I had to change so much with my eating habits that I needed to take time to personally get used to the changes before being able to be around friends and family without having to explain why I’m unable to have a drink or certain foods I usually eat; I can no longer have.

Especially growing up in a West Indian household, there are just certain foods we eat and having to explain to my dad that I need him to make me something separate because of my condition it became overwhelming.

I began feeling like a burden and I just needed to get back to myself physically and mentally without having to worry about what everyone around me would think.

My parents were supportive, and they always made sure to check in with me and let me know that this diagnosis is not who I am, but it is a part of me, there is no reason to be afraid or ashamed and they reassured me that I would be able to get through this as they will be right there supporting me, which gave the me the strength to know that this does not define me moving forward.

When I was at the beginning of my diagnosis, I was so tiny that I literally could no longer fit any of my clothes. My younger sister said to me that I looked “sunken in” with my outfits, and I really could see that I couldn’t fit in anything. After just a few hours in the mall, I finally had clothes that fit. It really helped with my self-esteem. I could see my beautiful shape, even though I was about 60 lbs. lighter. There was still light and confidence in me when I looked in the mirror and still recognized myself, there was no better feeling.

As the months passed, I began gaining weight back and my confidence grew more and more. During the first year or so I did date a little but I tried avoiding places that had food that I really couldn’t eat from the menu. Most of the times I recommended restaurants and when asked why I wasn’t drinking I would say “I’m on a cleanse”. It wasn’t the truth but I also wasn’t comfortable with letting guys know early on that I was dealing with health issues. I just didn’t feel like they would totally understand, and I really wasn’t up for explaining anything to anyone anytime soon.

Having a lifelong diagnosis enter my adult life shook me to my core, but I also felt like it was needed in a sense.

Crohn’s has helped me to pay more attention of what I place into my body, to be grateful and see that each day is a blessing even with Crohn’s, and it has really taught me discipline.

Life comes and sometimes it comes at us hard, however, you just must take it as it comes and adjust.

Crohn’s is a part of me, and I wear my diagnosis proudly.