I don't think I'm being out of line when I say that Crohn's isn't the most dignified of diseases.
Personally I've had my share of mortifying moments since Crohn's decided to become my reluctant life-partner.
As a patient with this condition you tend to find that the longer you suffer the more you endure. That isn't meant to sound as terrifying as it probably does to the uninitiated. What I mean, is that as with anything, the longer you spend with it the more.. intimate..you become.
Layers of your once plastered dignity start to strip away like cheap wallpaper.
I've experienced moments I never thought truly existed outside of bad tv hospital dramas.
I've undergone procedures in areas only a mother could love. I've bared more flesh in front of cameras than most porn actresses show in a lifetime. I've been prodded and probed more than the little green men of Roswell.
I've handled all of these moments with, I would hope, as much respect and grace as I could muster. (Well, as gracefully as you can in a gown after downing 5litres of bowel prep).
I've remained as calm as possible, even when most of the time I've been screaming hysterically inside.
With Crohn's you learn to discard your inhibitions. There really isn't any point in taking them along for the ride.
I've had many awful, and horrendously embarrassing experiences thanks to my disease. There was the time I threw up all over myself on a bus full of people then preceded to face-plant the contents. There was the time I collapsed out and threw up (over myself again) in the middle of a Gil Scott Heron gig and was made to feel like a silly wee lassie who'd popped some dodgy pills. (Incidentally, I came round in time to catch a 20minute jazz version of 'The Bottle' through which I genuinely wanted to vomit). I HATE JAZZ.
There was the time I was in the middle of taking a phone call at work and had to put the woman on hold to go and release my bowels, (around 5times), before continuing with the call shivering like an underdressed Scot in the height of Winter (Summer).
There there was this evening. Where I nearly had an accident. I almost, just about, nearly, lost control of my bowels. This is not uncommon for Crohn's sufferers but has yet to happen to me. I kind of assumed it wouldn't, or at least not until I was considered 'of soiling oneself' age (whatever that maybe). I was TERRIFIED. I wanted to die on the spot and almost passed out through sheer panic. Nothing happened. I got home unscathed. But that's not the point. It's the fear. The fear of the unknown and the potential of what COULD happen.
I wanted you to know about this because I want you to know how much of our day we have to WASTE thinking about the disease thats WASTING away our insides.
It's not sexy and it's not dignified. But it's a part of my life.