Achieving more with IBD
When you are diagnosed as having IBD, you begin a journey – you have
a name for your symptoms, and you have a basis from which to move
forward. Your medication and treatment can begin.
You may be at the start of your journey, or further along if you
have been living with IBD for a while. Whatever your situation,
without the appropriate support, it can be difficult to travel on
the IBD journey. As with any chronic disease, you must trust
yourself to respond appropriately to your feelings, and learn to
develop coping/managing/empowering resources and techniques to live
a full life with your disease.
IBD is a perplexing disease to live with. Periods of remission, free
of symptoms, alternating with periods of active disease (sometimes
called ‘flares’) leave you feeling well and at one with your peers
one week, and then feeling unwell and out of synch with others the
next. This may give you the perception that you can’t take control
of your illness, or your life, and in turn (if you and your
family/friends don’t understand your challenges) may make
communication of your feelings difficult.
However, having IBD does not mean that you should impose limits on
your life. You can travel, play sports, have a fulfilling job and
enjoy the company of your family. Joining and actively contributing
to an association related to IBD can also be a positive influence
and improve your self-esteem and confidence. You can aim to live
with your IBD, not merely survive; to manage your IBD – not let your
IBD manage you!
In the following sections we will give you advice on how to manage
and enjoy activities which others take for granted and which, with a
little thought and preparation, you too will be able to do easily.