My name is Lindsey and I have Crohn's Disease. I've had 4 major surgeries and countless flares. I've even mastered my hand with a Colostomy bag--although I bid farewell to Stoma Sophia in February of 2015!
I believe that we can all learn something from each other. I am passionate about advocating for myself and others who suffer from IBD. I am a very active member of Girls with Guts, am on an IBD Patient Advisory Board at the University of Michigan, am a part of the CCFA Camp Oasis Michigan Chapter and I have helped many individuals along my journey. It is my goal to share accurate information about IBD and to throw in a little bit of humor and inspiration!
Chad is my amazingly supportive husband. We've been married for 5 years! He has seen me at my worst and at my best. The other side of advocating for patients is educating our caregivers. It is our goal to inspire you as a caregiver and to educate you on IBD.
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For those of you who were wondering and asking...here is my speech I gave at the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America – Michigan Chapters Gala!...
Nothing is as it seems. Seriously, stop and think about that for just a moment. One of my most favorite quotes is “Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about”. My point being pretty simple…don’t judge. You never know what the person next to you is going through, thinking, experiencing, feeling…l could go on and on. I have Crohn’s Disease and was diagnosed 15 years ago. I feel that each flare changes us. No single flare is the same as the last one…or the next one. Along the way you learn techniques to help yourself. Whether it is by asking different questions, communicating with your doctors better and/or by learning to swim through the sea with your head held above water. If I had to put a time frame on my current flare, I would say that I have been having symptoms and have experienced short periods of relief since August 2012. I ended up with a colostomy bag and then I recently had it reversed. Was it a mistake to have it reversed since now it seems that my body hates me? Who knows? All I know is that I have taught myself how to be the best I can possibly be. Of course, it is and I am always a work in progress. Flashing back to the beginning of my flare, I had never experienced anything of this caliber before. I was really scared and felt so alone. I was not plugged into the IBD world on the internet. I didn’t have anyone that I could turn to who really understood what I was feeling physically and mentally. In life you do things that become a part of your routine. For me, staying at home was easy and it eventually became my routine. I only left the house if I had to. I became a sort of shut in. It was easier to clam up and not talk about my reality. Simply because I felt that the second I would say it out loud to anyone, well, that is when it becomes real. That is where the fork in the road rests. To the left you have the healing journey or to the right you have the victim journey. It’s easy to become a victim of your own thoughts and perceptions of what people/doctors/nurses/family/friends are saying to you. Not to mention everyone has a cure or suggestion!
Lindsey's story: Journey to having an ostomy and back | The Stolen Colon | crohn's IBD ostomy j-pouch
There are many for whom an ostomy bag is only a temporary stop on their journey. Lindsey shares her story about living with ostomy bag and undergoing surgery to reconnect her colon.