Too Much Information

May 15, 2011

Do you ever forget where the “Too much information” line is? I spend so much time around other Crohnies, close friends and family that I forget what is acceptable in everyday conversation. The regular guy in the street doesn’t really want to know about my bowel movements.

When someone asks me a question with regards to Crohn’s, I plough straight in. Quite often describing many of the symptoms, side effects and affected areas of my body. I don’t seem to blush with embarrassment anymore. Does this mean I’m comfortable talking about bums? When I meet new people I seem to find myself talking about my ailments, whether they want to hear them or not. I was once a shy and restrained boy and now I am upfront and open.

My wife gets fed up with how much I talk to strangers but I don’t seem to be able to stop myself. Up until being diagnosed, I had never heard of the condition, so now I find myself wanting to make everyone aware.

I obviously keep some of the “juicy” details to myself as they are not for the faint hearted. I hide these details from most people as I do like to keep certain things private. However, as soon as I am within a certain proximity of IBD sufferers, I act like a drunken fool. I spill all the gossip.

I didn’t realise how much us Crohnies discussed our war wounds until I was stood in a car park recently at a Crohn’s and Colitis UK Charity walk in Rutland. Someone I had never met before told me his entire life story. I knew how the symptoms started, how they were misdiagnosed, some terrible operations etc. As a fellow Crohnie I find it difficult to just listen. I stick my nose and tell them my story. Within 15 minutes we’re both up to scratch on each other. All that’s left is to show each other our scars. This is when a friend joins the conversation. She describes her journey through the Crohn’s world. Then we all lifted our t-shirts up and looked at each other’s scars. It was a timeline of procedures. The guy had had his op quite some time ago as well as some corrective surgery afterwards; so he had many large scars. I have 3 tiny incisions from the keyhole surgery. There is such a difference. In a perverse way I would like larger scars, so that the true intensity of my operation can be seen by onlookers. My tiny scars could be misinterpreted for something less serious. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad a keyhole procedure was used as I was out of hospital quicker and had a much shorter recovery time. People appreciate what they can see much more than those things that are hidden.

Whilst out for a few drinks with 2 lovely friends the other night, I told them about this blog theme; talking too much about Crohn’s Disease. They said they find it interesting and like the fact I talk openly about it. Until meeting people like us, they’ll never about Crohn’s disease and the way it affects our everyday life.

We all had a different story. That’s the thing with Crohn’s; not 1 person suffers in the same way. We share certain experiences but we are still individuals. Crohn’s Disease has shaped my life for the better, it’s just a shame it’ll always be with me.

My Crohn’s Update

This week has been awful. I started the week with a cold which is always worsened by the medication I’m on. A lowered immune system means these things hit hard. Then my Crohn’s flared, leaving me drained of all my energy and most of my sanity. Then work erupted into a nightmare. Everything went wrong from start to finish, causing stress levels I really could do without.

As I write this the Crohn’s symptoms have died down but the cold is still leaving me even more lethargic than usual. I could sleep for days on end, if I was allowed.

I’m still smiling though. I heard a brilliant Radio show this week on Hospital Radio Fox in the Leicester Royal Infirmary. I urge you to check it out if you ever have a weekend stay there (I hope you are never a listener!)

Much Love

Ben x

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