My #GetYourBellyOut story: Sarah

Hiya, my name is Sarah and I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at 16 years old. I had been going to my GP for roughly two years, with severe pain and cramps in my belly, constipation and vomiting every time I ate or drank anything, but my GP thought I had bad period pains.

I was eventually rushed into the GP surgery by my mum and dad because I had a fever, couldn’t keep my eyes open and was in severe pain. A different GP took one look at me and rushed me straight to the hospital where I had emergency surgery for a severely blocked bowel. The gastro Dr told my parents I was an hour away from my bowel bursting and me dying.

I recovered well from that operation but unfortunately was rushed back into the hospital just two weeks later as I passed out due to abscesses on my bowel which had occurred as a result of my first bowel resection. I had major open surgery for the abscesses and spent nearly six months in the hospital. As I had an epidural in for so long, I needed physio to teach me to walk again. I had so many tubes and wires in me the family joked I was a malfunctioning robot in the repair shop. I have numerous scars now due to this operation.

13 years later I had my third bowel resection due to a severe blockage when I was 29. I faced this operation five months after Iosing my mum to lung cancer and was absolutely terrified as she was always with me when I was in the hospital every day.

It’s been almost a year since my third operation and I’m doing ok now. I still have problems with severe diarrhoea and fatigue as I now have pernicious anemia due to the Crohn’s Disease taking its toll on my body, but overall I’m doing well.

When I heard about GetYourBellyOut I thought it was an amazing campaign. Most people assume Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is ‘just a pooping disease’ but that’s just not true. I wanted to take part to raise awareness of IBD and to show just how tough us IBD warriors are.

I found an amazing man seven years ago who accepts my Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and all that goes with it. He understands my limitations and manages to cope extremely well with my low moods, bad pain days and we got married almost two years ago now.