When Your Stomach Really Hurts: Bloggers With Inflammatory Bowel Diseases on World IBD Day

BlogHer Original Post

Last week, I had a nasty stomach virus -- you know, the kind that sends you crawling to the bathroom every five minutes. The kind that means you can't keep even the smallest sip of water on your stomach without having to do that crawl back to the bathroom. Yea, that kind. It was horrible. So horrible that I Yammered in sick (and scared my co-workers because I never take a sick day). It was so horrible that when I wasn't in the bathroom, I was whining to my partner about how horrible I felt -- how much pain I was in -- how these were the last hours of my life and she would be sorry that she did not spend them listening to me whine my way through them. Once I recovered, I felt horribly guilty for being a big baby about that stomach virus. I felt guilty because TW has an IBD -- Crohn's Disease, to be specific.

TW's Crohn's Disease causes her a significant amount of abdominal pain -- on an almost daily basis. I don't really think she's had a completely pain-free day in the last six years. When she's in a flare, she has all of that nasty stomach virus stuff -- but on a bigger, uglier level. (Think blood -- think mucus.) She has no energy. She can't sleep. The medication that she takes for pain doesn't really help with the pain. The medication she takes daily to try and prevent flares cause migraines, insomnia and suppress her auto-immune system so that when a kid comes home with a cold -- she gets that cold times 20. Her food is not digested properly so her body lacks vitamins and nutrients that it needs in order to function.

When @QueenofSpain buzzed me on Mother's Day to say she was heading to the emergency room -- I didn't know what she was feeling, but I could picture it because I've seen TW in the kind of pain Erin was describing. Digestive disorders like Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and the Diverticulitis that Erin has are painful -- on a level that most of us are lucky to never experience.

Meet Ashley at Dancing Through Life. A 14-month mystery illness, and a Crohn's Disease diagnosis that changed her life.

Sarah Caitlyn at Nine Months to Life has Crohn's and an infant.

It's been a rough week, and it's had nothing to do with being a new parent. Just like I was warned, I've spent the past five days in what I can only assume is a fairly major flare-up of Crohn's. I've barely been able to eat (which makes breastfeeding sort of tricky) and barely able to perform the simplest of tasks (like getting off the couch, for example) without feeling instantly ill. Needless to say it's made taking care of a newborn even more of a challenge.

I'm a big fan of The Meanest Mom, because she jokes about things like bleeding butt ulcers and suggested naming her son after Crohn's Disease.

Number Twos is another of my favorite IBD blogs. Martin tells all. His blog started way back in 2007 paints a familiar (to me) picture of what an IBD looks like.

Fernpixel kind of breaks my heart. It's not the blog so much as it is the videos.

IBDs are difficult to talk about. You might look healthy -- one of those invisible chronic illnesses -- so people don't understand why you're so tired, why you need to avoid crowds, why you're running to the bathroom and can't stop to chat. Or, you're in the middle of a flare and are very, very sick. When people inquire about your illness, they don't really want to hear about the number of trips you have made to the bathroom, how much blood or mucus is in your stool, or how many times you've vomited.

That's why it's important to participate World IBD Day on May 19th. Spread the word about IBDs -- poop jokes are optional.

~Denise BlogHer Community Manager
Flamingo House Happenings

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