Your Name: Reeya Tanna
Your Age Group? 18-24
Where are you from? Vaughn, Ontario
Your Profession? Registered Nurse
How many years since you were first diagnosed? 8
Diagnosis? Ulcerative colitis
What do you wish someone had told you when you were newly diagnosed?
You need to test out a lot of things before knowing what works for you - foods, medicines, doctors, balancing social life, how much school work to take on. It’s a lot of independent learning and you need to first be comfortable with the fact that this disease will stay with you forever
What is a favourite go-to, safe food for you when you are feeling unwell?
Bananas on white toast with a little bit of butter
Do you have a hot tip for how to get through a colonoscopy or a funny colonoscopy story you'd like to share?
Bowel prep is truly like excreting Niagara Falls out of you. Don’t plan anything for a couple of days, know which toilets in the house can withstand everything, and think of it as a really good/traumatizing detox
Describe your relationship with IBD:
Pretty steady - many family members see it as a defining feature about me. But I think of it as just something that has made me stronger and more knowledgeable.
What would you like to share with this community about your experience with IBD?:
It’s tough. There’s no denying it and everyone who experiences IBD does so very differently. It’s up to you to be involved in your own health and seek help when necessary. Pay attention to your body and know that saying no is okay.
What has been the most helpful things for you as you manage your illness? (This may be the medication you are on, your hot water bottle, your support system, an alternative medicine therapy, a book.. anything!):
My support system for sure! Medicine is always tricky because you want to be able to know that there are other ways to make you feel better. Having a good group of friends who know about your IBD and that don’t define you by it, that’s the most helpful.