JOURNEY TO A STOMA
At 19 years old, I started viewing myself as an unlucky person. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, which is a chronic inflammatory disease. “Chronic” means it is for life.
Being as proud as I am, I often pretended that everything was okay. However, I knew where all the nearest washrooms were and how long it took to get to them, which excuses to tell my friends to justify my little and sudden absences, and which tricks worked best to prevent noises in the washroom! Tee hee!
I was exhausted. Taking a walk and showering were big challenges for me. I will always remember when the doctor sat on my bed and asked me what I wanted to do now. I finally agreed to undergo surgery, and then I burst into tears. How could I live with a stoma at 20 years old?
I came out of the hospital with an ulcerative colitis and regular medication. I was convinced those two would become best friends. I was wrong however, and inflammation caused a lot of damage.
Hi, I’m Genevieve and I’m 46 years old. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when I was 5 years old. Being an only child living with an abused mother and an abusive father, from stomach aches to gastroenteritis, my disease became my partner, almost my “friend”.
Everything went down quickly in less than two years: more blood in my stools and more pain, mixed with strong cortisone doses (and big puffy cheeks). Flagyl, suppositories, enemas, repeated colonoscopies, multiple school absences and several hospitalisations got the better of my intestine when I was 11 years old (not to mention the multiple IV stands races in the Ste-Justine’s hospital corridors with my roommates). No treatment could help me now.
I was only ten years old when I learned I had Crohn’s Disease. Kind of an unusual situation, as it is a disease usually detected among people aged 18 to 34. At the time, no one in my family knew about that disease, as none of us suffered from it.
My adventure began in October 2013. I tried to ignore the symptoms so that I could continue to live my life to the fullest. I was convinced that the blood in my faeces and my haemorrhoids would eventually go away. I thought that my abdominal cramps and diarrhea were due to the stress I was experiencing at school. As soon as I started vomiting and losing my appetite, I knew something was wrong. Being a nursing student, I was terrified to now become a patient.
Il y a de ces décisions qui peuvent être prises sur un coup de tête et d'autres qui, même après avoir été considérées plusieurs heures, nous laissent dans l'inquiétude. En fait, même si nos choix sont sensés et réfléchis, ils nous semblent parfois consister en des alternatives non désirées.