Spotlight on Barbara (USA)
Raising 2 children, going to school at night, and having a successful marriage can be quite a challenge for anyone. So, imagine doing all that when you have Crohn's disease.
Crohn's Can't Keep Her Down
Barbara was diagnosed with Crohn's disease the same year she was married. It could have been disastrous. Instead, with the support of her husband Luis and their family, Barbara is moving forward and not just surviving, but thriving.
"There was no magic pill, there was no way around it. And I would have to learn to live with it day-to-day."
A rollercoaster of treatments and surgery (including a total colectomy) has taught Barbara and Luis to be adaptable and creative in their approach to living with Crohn's on their own terms.
A few years ago, she confessed to her husband that it was hard for her to leave home with her small children, because she never knew when she would need a bathroom. Rather than dwell on her limitations, Barbara and Luis came up with an ingenious solution. Luis rebuilt their van, installing a porta-potty in the back. It's not perfect, of course, but it's this kind of problem solving that helps make life a little easier.
Barbara's advice to others?
"Don't give up. Have hope. Speak up, because people need to know that this isn't just about going to the bathroom. It's something people need to feel comfortable talking about and not feel ashamed of anymore."
More patient stories
Go to the website Crohn's and Me for more Crohn's disease patient testimonials.
I have children, I have a successful marriage, I try to stay positive - I don't let Crohn's disease hold me back.