The IBD Carnival: Symptoms, Side Effects, and Complications

The IBD Carnival: Symptoms, Side Effects, and Complications
Receiving an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) diagnosis was like free admission to a carnival I could never leave. I know what to expect when I get on the familiar rides, but every turn is a new experience. At the concession stands, I pay an exorbitant amount of money for chemically processed and artificial morsels that will probably make me feel worse than the rides. And finally, playing games of chance and venturing into the fun house leaves me empty-handed and frustrated. Symptoms: the carnival rides of IBD IBD symptoms are like carnival rides. I'm mentally prepared for the adventure, but halfway through, I’m screaming, “Let me off!” People unfamiliar with IBD may associate it only with diarrhea. But along with diarrhea, IBD patients experience multiple symptoms, including bloody stool, loss of appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain, fever, and fatigue. My Crohn’s has mostly been like the smooth and predictable Ferris wheel. I’m able to maintain my daily routine with no problems. However, despite the steady rotation, I know there will be both high and low points. Then, there are days — weeks even — when my Crohn’s is a roller coaster. During the first month of COVID-19 self-isolation, I experienced a severe Crohn’s flare brought on by stress and a change in routine. Every time I ate was like the uphill climb to the top, not knowing what was on the other side. Would it be a stomach-dropping wave of abdominal cramps? Or, would it be loop-de-loops of diarrhea and bathroom trips? Remission is like a carousel adorned with twinkling lights, bright colors, and fantastical animals. I’m able to rest, listening to the calliope play a lighthearted tune. The ride may be brief, but it’s a welcome respite after the harrowing rides. Side effects:
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