So, in the past six months, I've had three friends diagnosed with Crohn's disease or colitis. Considering that so few people, relative to the general population, develop these illnesses, it's interesting that suddenly I know several people who, like me, are fighting inflammatory bowel disease.
I have offered to be their support system, their key to information, their sounding board. I didn't realize how hard it would be for me, as someone 16 years into her own IBD journey, to be in this role. It's difficult for several reasons. One is reliving my own diagnosis. But what's really hard is watching my friends make common "IBD newbie" mistakes in choosing their treatment, while just listening and trying to ask intelligent questions without bombarding them with too much information.
Friend Number 1 was diagnosed with Colitis in the emergency room about six months ago. She was feeling terrible pain and had a CAT scan. The gastroenterologist on call diagnosed her and then told her to "just deal with it." He offered no solutions, no medications, no ideas. She was on her own. She d