may 19th = world IBD day

So, when I googled purple ribbon this morning, it came up with a lot of stuff. Turns out, a lot of organisations are into purple as their colour of choice. Who can blame them? Purple’s grand. But today, purple belongs to US. Because, dear readers, May 19th (remember, I live in New Zealand, and we live in the future here) is World IBD Day, and therefore I thought it only appropriate to post a reminder/educational post about the ‘wonderful’ world of inflammatory bowel disease. Some of this may be stuff that I’ve mentioned before, but it’s all important, and all worth learning about. Everyone knows that cancer is bad, everyone knows that strokes and heart attacks and all of these (admittedly awful, don’t get me wrong!) things… but ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are often relatively unknown.  So I’m here, as I frequently am, to educate, and remind you of this particular facet of health (or lack thereof) that can be so debilitating. In the words of Janis Ian (from Mean Girls) – it’s a life ruiner. It ruins people’s lives.

I could rattle off a bunch of facts from Wikipedia and other sources, but that seems a little pointless. You can look that up yourselves. But the ultimate thing is, as with most chronic diseases, there is no cure. You can go into remission. You can go into remission for years, decades even. Or, you can not go into remission. You can toss back myriad different drugs and treatments, and still find yourself a decidedly sick individual. You inevitably put up with comments from laypeople about diets, and avoiding this and that, and ‘oh, that’s when you can’t have gluten?’. Not really, no.

If you don’t suffer from IBD, you cannot begin to understand how infuriating this all is. As I know I’ve said before, if I could nip it in the bud by avoiding bread and the like, don’t you think I would? Trust me, I’ve tried. Sure, I avoid certain foods, because they make me feel even worse, but it’s not as if by cutting them out I somehow heal myself. That just ain’t the way it works. My go-to ‘oh god, my insides’ diet involves cutting out fruit, vegetables, anything super greasy, anything wholemeal or legumey, all nuts and seeds, dairy as much as possible, and probably more that I can’t recall off-hand. Sounds like the opposite of a diet you’d subscribe to to get healthy, right? Exactly. It’s not to make me healthy, it’s just to avoid additional pain caused by too much fibre, too much milk protein and too much fructose. It sucks, especially when you’re still trying to work off weight gained in your last course of prednisone. But it’s the way it is. Tell me to avoid gluten again, I will slap your pretty face with my slice of white bread.

Check out the picture below. Probably not best for squeamish stomachs. Continue reading “may 19th = world IBD day”