Your Age Group? 18-24
Where are you from?: Windsor, ON
Your Profession: Architecture Student + Blogger
How many years since you were first diagnosed? 10 years
Diagnosis: Crohn's Disease
What do you wish someone had told you when you were newly diagnosed?
I wish someone would have told me how much strength I would gain from my disease. That it would not ever limit me, and that I can achieve anything and everything despite my condition.
What is a favourite go-to, safe food for you when you are feeling unwell?
Soup, mashed potatoes, smoothies. Basically anything that is soft and easy to digest.
Do you have a hot tip for how to get through a colonoscopy or a funny colonoscopy story you'd like to share?
Drink lots of fluid, and try to allow yourself the day to chill when doing prep if you can.
Describe your relationship with IBD:
My relationship with IBD has changed as I have grown up and now I would say that I have a great relationship with my IBD. I have definitely had some challenging moments with IBD. A lot of tears have been shed, a lot of hard moments and difficult decisions. But, overall it has made me such an amazingly strong individual and has allowed me to gain so many amazing skills and friendships. Therefore, when people ask me if I wish I was never diagnosed with Crohn's disease. I say no. Crohn's disease has helped to shape my morals and values, and help me learn some very valuable lessons along the way. Overall, IBD has helped to shaped my life, but I have never let it define me.
What would you like to share about your journey, (whether its how you were diagnosed, a story you want to share or a conversation you'd like to start) with the community?
I would like to end by sharing a little piece of advice I have learnt through my journey. That advice is to always make your health is your #1 priority. As a student, I understand how it can be easy to get swept up in work, school, parenting, etc. But, it is so important to remember that your health is more important than straight A's, your health is more important than pushing yourself to the point of hospitalization, your health should always be a top priority. It is important to role with the punches and listen to your body. Take breaks, be honest about your condition to friends, family, co-workers, etc. Respect your body and listen to what it has to say. Through time this will get easier and you will learn to love your body just as it is, through good times and bad.
What is something you have found to be helpful to you as you manage your illness?:
Peppermint oil. It works amazingly to help numb stomach distention and muscle pain, unlike any other iceyhot cream I tried. Peppermint oil has literally helped me deal with some of the worst pain I have ever had before I had my surgery. It never got rid of it completely, but it subsisted it hugely. I would definitely recommend trying some peppermint oil for any muscle pains or stomach distention. Its worth a shot and its fairly inexpensive. My personal favorite is this 'Peppermint Halo' by Saje because it has some orange and a few types of mint that have added benefits.
Read more from Nathalie by visiting her blog or following her on Instagram!