About Crohn's disease

What is Crohn’s disease? Let's start with the name—it is referred to as Crohn’s disease because Burrill B. Crohn was involved in publishing a paper in 1932 describing the disease. I have to make this comment because people ask about the name—like couldn’t they call it something else or what? Crohn’s is a serious inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) of the gastrointestinal tract predominating in the intestine. It is considered an autoimmune disease because the tissues are attacked by the body’s own immune system. It is chronic; there is no known cause and no cure at this time. Crohn’s disease usually causes abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, and rectal bleeding with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) www.ccfa.org, Crohn’s and a related disease, ulcerative colitis, are the two main disease categories that belong to a larger group of illnesses called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These diseases affect over 1.4 million Americans.

I’ve been dealing with Crohn’s for nearly forty years; although, I was not given the appropriate label for what was going on until 20 years ago. I’ve tried to ignore it, blamed myself for somehow causing it, educated myself about it, tried not to let it run my life, and finally, accepted it - thus taking control of my life. It’s a process I am learning and have found it ultimately a gift. If it weren’t for Crohn’s, I may not have been searching for a way to take control of the circumstances of my life. In that search, I learned who I am and what my needs are. It all seemed fairly simple once I had the defining aha moment. I am learning to embrace my needs and focus on what is important. I am learning to sort out the jumble of everyday living. I am learning what Crohn’s has to teach me about my self.

I did not realize I was embarking on a journey of self-enlightenment. Someone else pointed that out to me. I intend to share these steps, these insights, with you because I am finding they can change your view of how you go about proceeding from day to day. WARNING: Simple insights may dramatically change your life whatever your obstacles may be.

Please note: this blog is not a narrative on disease but coping and perspective, with a dash of humor on all things in life, and what is ultimately the most important for us all. Anyone would find a reflection of themselves in my words - for this journey is everyone’s journey.