Someone asked me to write a little article on what it is like living with Crohn’s Disease. I am happy to do so and actually I just had this conversation recently with my parents while they were visiting for Christmas. It is thus fresh on my mind.
Living with Crohn’s feels like being a prisoner. You are a prisoner with a spear at your back and that spear is real. You feel this hot constant pain near your spine that bleeds through to your stomach on the worst days. On normal days it is a dull pain that you are always aware of. There is no cure for Crohn’s disease, but there are forms of relief. I feel like it is a waste of $80 a month in copay for pills that just relieve the pain. Instead I purchase my medical marijuana and use that instead. It is accepted under the red card in Colorado as a relief. There are certain strains that help displace the pain from flare-ups.
People are quick to judge you if you smoke weed. In Colorado that outlook is quickly changing. Not many people know what it is like to live a life in a constant pain, especially those that are still young in years. This pain is not always terribly great, but it still feels like hot coals in your side throughout the day. That is the type of constant pains those with irritable bowel syndrome and other types of intestinal ailments share in common.
We actually learn to displace our minds from the pain after a time. We learn what foods not to eat and to never, ever eat those red or green peppers. That is a horrible idea. Many young kids with Crohn’s may have it a little easier or a lighter disease. Mine is most likely more advanced due to the fact that no one knew what it was before I was finally diagnosed in 2009 and I am 32 and drank my way through college. I had suffered from this disease forever, but there was no classification and thus it did not exist to doctors. I am sure modern medicine will come up with something to fix this soon and I truly hope they do. I honestly can’t tell you whether the acne medication I took was worth getting Crohn’s or not. They both suck.