Hi! I'm Sam and I have Crohn's Disease.

 📷::  @johnbisognano

 

I also have a soft spot for emotionally-withholding cats, a love of baseball and politics, and a tendency to go off on a tangent about feminism at the dinner table.

This blog, however, is mainly about the Crohn's Disease part.

I was diagnosed in 2010 after a lifetime of having a "nervous stomach" and about a year of said stomach being so "nervous" that I couldn't eat anything but plain crackers. The diagnosis came a few short days after my eighteenth birthday and just before my high school's turnabout dance, which taught me a valuable lesson about chronic illness very early –– it doesn't work very well with your schedule.

I went on medicine and was (mostly) fine for a long time. I never had the stomach of a normal person, and I got tired way quicker than my other college friends, but I was determined to live life as a "normal kid," no matter how much denial that required.

Since then, my cavalier attitude about my fairly serious symptoms has landed me in the hospital. It's gotten me into some flares so bad that I spent a year on steroids. But it also got me into the idea of blogging about it!

I am here, writing this blog, because I am a writer by trade who also happens to have Crohn's Disease. Writing is my favorite (and only) way of coping with stuff in my life that is not rainbows and unicorns. I am writing this blog for me, but also because I've noticed a real gap in chronic illness coverage online. In so many articles I read it's presented as something that only happens to elderly people who smoked a lot and watch Wheel of Fortune. While I love Wheel of Fortune as much as the next shut-in, I wanted to put a different face on chronic illness. MY FACE. Everyone look at my face!

It's the face of someone who doesn't really know how to cope with all the things happening in and to her body. It's the face of someone who gets occasionally bitter about the whole "invisible illness" thing, because people don't seem to understand that it means you're actually sick. It's the face of someone who is always on a lot of pills, and not in like a fun, Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas kind of way.

But it's also the face of a girl with a social life! And a love of alcohol, when she can drink it! And a cool job! And a lack of willpower at Sephora!

All of this is simply to say that I'm gonna talk about stuff. Like the complex relationship my disease has with food. And the toll physical illness can take on your mental health. And how patients can advocate for themselves, personally and politically. Basically, I want a place where we can all feel a little less alone.

My hope is that this blog can serve as a resource not only for patients, but for their loved ones who may be looking for insight into what being sick is like. Sometimes sharing a link to a blog post is easier than getting vulnerable and trying to explain things in your own words. Have a question for me or a specific topic you'd like me to consider covering? Head over to my contact page