Today (19th May 2020) is World IBD Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness and tackling stigma’s associated with all invisible bowel diseases.
There are many charities and organisations around that are doing some amazing work on battling these stigmas, such as Crohn’s and Colitis UK, and today we have a few words from the lovely Respond service user and advocate, Keith, on how IBD has affected him and how life is different with a stoma.
Living with IBD is unpredictable; one day good, one day bad. It means letting others down after making plans, time off work and days in bed. They can be dark days that mess with your head; the daily grind of taking meds, feeling a pain others cannot see and unable to understand when you try to explain.
After four years of hell, not knowing what the future held, my bowel failed and almost took my life away. It was the skill of the surgeon and his wonderful team in a ten hour operation that changed my life. I have a stoma and a bag for life.
My life with a stoma is so different. It’s a new way of living that may have ups and downs but it’s a life I would choose any day over living with IBD. It’s a hidden disease that anyone might have and you should never judge anyone by their appearance.
It’s experiences such as Keith’s that drives our passion on creating a better understanding for people living with a stoma and invisible illnesses. This is why we created our #BeTheChange campaign, which we launched earlier this year, to help bring attention to the needs of those with invisible illnesses or disabilities. If you would like to learn more about our #BeTheChange campaign or get involved click here.