What is my greatest achievement? Surviving.
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when I was 17 years old. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease. It causes inflammation of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. While the day to day struggle and survival can be wearing not only on the body but the mind, I never expected to be in a situation where I was fighting for my life.
It started in 2008 when I first moved away from home and started college. While everything around me had changed I never expected that my body would betray me and send me into a downward spiral of text, surgeries and near death. I had moved in with a bunch of roommates and was attending college full time. When one day I just wasn’t feeling well. Having Crohn’s, I am use to not feeling well but something was different about this. Over the next several weeks it was getting worse and worse to the point where anytime any sort of food touched my lips my stomach went into a severe case of unbearable pain. This resulted in me barely eating. In addition to that my right foot and slowly started to move more and more outward and I was not able to put it back the way it is supposed to be.
Fast forward a million doctors’ appointment, tons of different medications, moving back home, bad doctors and more needles than I can count. My family had to switch me into a different hospital because of a doctor whose care I was under was making my situation worse and worse. In one instance he had given me so much IV fluid that my body was swelling up because I couldn’t process it.
After moving to the new hospital, the new doctors went into overdrive and put me into immediate emergency surgery.
While I do not remember about the next couple months I know it wasn’t good. I was given a colostomy bag and within a day was put into my own room and quarantined with only immediate family being able to visit. The doctors told my parents to prepare themselves for the worse.
I fought, whether I consciously knew it or not I fought, and I fought, and I fought, and I survived. I taught myself how to administer my IV’s through my PIC line, so I could go home. I learned how to live with a colostomy (only for six months thankfully) and take care of its daily needs. I went back to school and graduated even though I had more surgeries. My greatest accomplishment is not allowing a disease to define who I am and what I can do!