Emma’s Story – No Filter on Wound Care
By: Emma Chapple
My #IBDUnfiltered is me waiting at the wound-care clinic three mornings a week before my classes start to get my proctectomy wound cleaned and packed. Or, in normal terms, get my butt stuffed.
I had my ileostomy surgery when I was 16, thinking it would all be over. Instead, I’ve spent the last three years either fatigued, in pain or an unholy combination of both. I’ve had to put up with constant headaches for months on end because of low iron (until iron infusions saved me). I’ve had to miss weeks of classes or work from emergency room visits or surgeries. I’ve had to get liquid nitrogen treatment on my wound – in between classes. And most recently, I had to go through my first month of law school carrying a wound vac between my butt.
One thing my IBD has taught me is that I can keep going. Even with all the setbacks I’ve had since I was diagnosed, I’ve still tried to make the best of it. I found out who my real friends are. I finished one degree and started another. I traveled. I’ve connected with people around the world who know what I’m going through. I put myself first when I had to, but I never stopped working.
There are a lot of days where having IBD really, truly sucks. There are many times where I wonder what my life would look like if I never had Crohn’s. But because of IBD, I also know how strong I can be when I have to.
This is my life with IBD right now, unfiltered.