I am Yvonne and I have Crohns Disease in the small bowel. I was diagnosed in the 1982, sadly my illness was not heard of, they thought I had cancer and then an eating disorder. Finally a Gastro specialist looked at me and the diagnosis was confirmed. Personally after 1 year in hospital it wasn’t about the diagnosis it was about going home for my 16th birthday with 30 steroid tablets to be taken 3 times a day.
I went from a thin 29kg to someone who was 65kg I looked big. My family of 7 brothers and sisters plus my parents were so supportive as my mum was a nurse at the time. I vowed never to be admitted to hospital again and I stuck to that by changing my diet, clean eating and learning yoga.
Until 2018 when I develop Sepsis Shock. 8 months in ICU, full body shutdown, paralysed, tracheotomy, cardiac arrest twice, blood transfusion, kidney dialysis plus I lost 40% of my body weight due to being bedridden. Sepsis nearly took my arm, legs and face but the medical team acted quickly. I also had a temporary ileostomy and reversal surgery. My family were advised to makes plans for my furneral. Surprisingly 4 months later I woke up and personally had no idea what had happen to me. My medical advised me because of the Crohns Disease my body was unable to fight the infection so my shutdown. Once rehabilitation started I learnt to walk, talk and eat again plus speech therapy.
8 months in ICU was the ultimate challenge of my life.
I have to say that episode of my life change my outlook on my illness and how people see me. One thing I’ve always said to be people is “see the ability in someone and not the illness”
The illness doesn’t define you it helps you to discover who you really are.
Many people have asked me about Crohns Disease and of course its different for each individual but my main symptoms now is gaining weight or need to at least my dietician tells me this..
I think am one of the lucky ones. My son who is 25 years old also has Crohns disease as well as cerebral palsy, ASD, Thalassemia, learning difficulties. He is my inspiration – together we are a rock. Life has been a roller coaster but we learn from each other.
We both embrace life and we both have a passion for fitness too. We are lucky to have an amazing PT Ollie Goulden @Made2fit , he researches our illnesses before training us both, he helped me when I came out of ICU to get full mobility and strength and has done the same for my son who also got Sepsis.
Would I change anything “No”, we were both meant to do this journey for a reason.
Embrace your illness, learn from it and remember you are Stronger Than u Think ❤❤❤