I am spending this World IBD Day in the hospital. This was definitely not my plan for this day. But I suppose it’s kind of appropriate since those living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis never get a break and they can be fine one day and hooked up to a bunch of IVs at the hospital the next. And that’s pretty much what happened to me.
Let me say first of all, though, that I am not in the hospital for a Crohn’s flare. But I am in the hospital as a result of Crohn’s disease and the surgeries I’ve had because of it. I’ve been dealing with some bowel obstruction issues since Sunday and they got even worse last night. When I woke up this morning, I still was having very little output, so out of an abundance of caution, especially considering my pregnancy, I decided to go to the ER. It’s now 11 hours later and I’m still not having a lot of output, or at least not anything substantial.
So here I lie… hooked up to some IV fluids and willing my ostomy to fill up with anything besides liquid! But you know what? This is one day for me. I am one of the lucky ones who has been put into remission because of those surgeries and my ostomy, but there are millions out there who are living with the ramifications of inflammatory bowel disease every day.
World IBD Day is supposed to be a day to set aside some time to raise awareness about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. But these diseases do not affect us just one day of the year. They affect us every single day of our lives, whether the disease is active or not. That’s what keeps me going when blogging and advocating seems difficult and exhausting. These diseases are difficult and exhausting, so I will keep doing what I can to make sure the world understands what IBD is and what it means for those who are diagnosed.
Yes, World IBD Day is a great thing. But no, it is not enough. And that’s not to say that every person out there should create some kind of platform and become a full-time activist. I just hope that we all remember the people who have suffered from and are living with IBD the other 364 days of the year and that we continue to fight for awareness and for a cure. And I pray that in my lifetime we will find that. And I hope that’s what this day stands for: a reminder of what we are fighting for and why we should continue fighting… every day.