I have surmounted every obstacle life has thrown me, ranging from school to sports, but the biggest problems are those you don’t anticipate. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease. It means that some glands are oversized and don’t allow nutrients to get to me. It took many tests before a colonoscopy proved that I had this problem. I’m not one to complain, and I looked at this as a learning experience and knew everyone would be by my side. Crohn’s is a disease that never goes away, but I can keep it at bay by taking medicine every day.
Everything was fine until one morning. My dad and I had woken up early to play golf with friends and I felt fine. As a matter of fact, on the second hole, I made my first ever hole-in-one. It was a triumphant golf game. A few hours later, however, I started getting stomach pains, was vomiting and just wanted to sleep. The next morning I went to the hospital and was immediately admitted.
At first, my doctor thought I had appendicitis but a CAT scan showed that I had an abscess in my intestine, most likely linked to the Crohn’s. To solve this problem, two tubes were inserted in my stomach that helped drain it. I was unable to eat or drink for a week; IVs infused me with sugar water. I had to stay in the hospital for two weeks.
Being in the hospital that October, I saw the seasons change, how the hospital works, and which of my friends came to visit. I met people who make life a lot easier for sick children. It was an experience that made me a lot tougher, as well as realize that I’m a lot luckier than I think. I once had three IVs in my arm, but I saw children who were much more ill.
Crohn’s disease has made me a better person; I have learned so much and sometimes feel like I know more about it than my doctor. Crohn’s disease will never go away, but with the help of medicine and friends, it will be kept in check.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.