Q&A with Chris Walker
Hi Chris! Thanks for being willing to answer a few questions about your life with IBD. Let's get started!
CM: Year of diagnosis and if there was any misdiagnosis involved. How were you diagnosed (ie. scope, blood draw, etc).
CW: I was diagnosed in 2009 and the doctors new as soon as I walked in that it was either Crohn's or Colitis! The doctors did a scope and colonoscopy and found that I had Crohn's.
CM: Do you still have your colon? Have you had to have any surgeries? Hospitalizations?
CW: I have been lucky that I haven't had any surgeries. I had many hospitalizations at the beginning of my diagnosis but over time I have learned how to somewhat control my flares and the number of hospitalizations has decreased significantly.
CM: What medications have you tried for your Crohn's (steroids, biologics, chemo, etc)?
CW: My First medication the doctors put me on was HUMIRA and now I have been on REMICADE since 2013.
CM: How has diet and exercise helped you stay uplifted and positive throughout the challenges of your Crohn's?
CW: Diet and exercise are how I keep my Crohn's under control but it is more than that. It's a way to keep my mind focused on the positive things in my life if you focus on all the bad things that come with Crohn's you are letting the disease win. If you focus on something else like your goals with dieting and exercise then you are not letting the disease beat you!
CM: What are your recommendations for people who have just achieved remission with their Crohn's and are looking to start a fitness regimen?
CW: When you first achieve remission your first instinct is to jump right back in where you left off, but what you don't realize is that your body won't be ready to jump right back in. You need to take things slow and ease yourself back into exercising and be sure to give yourself enough time to rest. Your body is not going to recover as fast as it used to so make sure you are letting your body fully recover or your remission will be short-lived.
CM: On the other side, what is your advice for the newly diagnosed who feel like they might have to completely throw away their fitness routine?
CW: Being newly diagnosed my biggest struggle was knowing when to rest. I have always been the type of person who is always going and never resting and when I was newly diagnosed I learned the hard way that my body is no longer able to do that. so Just know you can still exercise and work your way back to your old self, it will just take time to learn your new limits.
CM: What diet do you follow to help you feel the best?
CW: When it comes to Crohn's every person has different things they can and cannot eat. No two people have the same things that will set off a flare. In the beginning of my diagnosis it was a lot of trial and error and to be honest it was a lot more error then anything. But when I found something I could eat I would stick to it and build on those meals adding small things here and there.
CM: Who is your primary support system and how do they provide support?
CW: Having a support system is key with Crohn's you need to have someone there to tell you it's going to be ok and that they are there for you. For me it is my wife Madi, I can honestly see without her I would not be the man I am today. Since the day I met her she has completely embraced the way I have to live life with Crohn's. She cooks Crohn's friendly meals, she makes sure I rest ( even when I don't want to), most importantly she is always there for me no matter what and that is the most important thing. Crohn's can be a very lonely disease and without someone there to help you, you can end up in a really dark place.
CM: Fun facts about you - your job, where do you live, what do you do for fun, whats your favorite exercise?
CW: I live in South Jordan Utah, I am Married to my beautiful wife Madi, we have 2 perfect little girls Jensen and Blake. I love to workout, hike, ski, Play literally any sport you can think of.