'Call BS on something. What's something that's just ridiculous?'
Where Crohn's Disease is concerned, there are so many ridiculous theories on what it is and what it entails, that I lose count. On an almost daily basis someone will comment on my condition in the most ludicrous way that I have to laugh. Either that or physically restrain myself from punching them between the eyes. I've developed a method whereby I have someone on hand to tie my hands and feet when the urge arises. Not as enjoyable as it sounds. Of course I can often get past that, as the man I bunny-hopped towards and head butted discovered.
The main issue I've found in the difficulty most people seem to have in understanding Crohn's is the massive lack of knowledge of the condition. Speaking as someone who lives in Scotland I had never heard of Crohn's until I got it, now I know many people from my neck of the woods, a few very nearby, who have the same illness. I suppose it's understandable I hadn't encountered it, no one I knew had it and as far as I knew I didn't- but surely at some point in my life it would've been mentioned? I often think why is this? Is it the embarrassment of discussing your illness, or fear of how people will react? Or just, like me, the occasional boredom of having to explain Crohn's all over again?
It could have a LOT to do with the inane comments and opinions we as Crohnies have to contend with.
Now please don't get me wrong, I am always happy to talk about my disease, it's a massive part of my life and I'm in no way ashamed of my illness. I'm happy to educate people who honestly want to know more and are open to listening.
What I don't like, is constantly having to go through the rigmarole of disputing idiotic 'facts' about Crohn's. During some conversations I often feel I'm batting away a pesky wee fly buzzing about my ear WHO JUST WON'T DIE.
Some of my fave's and most quoted are as follows. I've helpfully provided the answers too. Feel free to print this off and push it down the gullet of any Crohn's-baiting-quiz masters you may come across;
Q: "You have Crohn's? You must be at the toilet all the time?"
A: "No. I have difficulty digesting food which often means I need the toilet more than most, but if I were at the toilet 'all the time' that would mean I'm going right now. And I'm clearly not. OR AM I?"
Q: "It's just like IBS isn't it?"
A: "No. No it's not. IBS is a 'syndrome' not a 'disease'. IBS does not cause bleeding and does not put you at risk of colon cancer. It does cause abdominal pain and bloating, and diarrhea. It does not require surgery, cause skin irritation, fevers, weight loss, anemia, loss of appetite, rectal bleeding, fistulas, strictures, depression, arthritis, liver complications, fibromyalgia, or osteoporosis, to name but a few. Clear?"
Q: "It's just a sore stomach?"
A: "If you consider living with a pain similar to labour pains on a daily basis 'sore' you are stronger person than most. The pain normally comes in waves causes excrutiating pain all over the stomach and back. This can last days to weeks, without relief. Longest labour known to (wo)man"
These examples are just a drop in the colon to the others I could list. But I didn't want to be writing this post til the end of time, I know you all have lives beyond my blog.
So, if you think you are and expert on the wonders of my disease, please don't patronise me by telling ME what i'm going through, because I ALREADY KNOW. If you want to find out more, just ask me - the response you get will be a helluva lot friendlier than the other option.
This post was written as part of WEGO Health #NHBPM - 30 posts in 30 days