Jack is a new blogger on the IBD scene over at LifeAndIBD. Via a Facebook group he was looking for some collaborators, so we decided to interview each other! He is much more organised than me, so you can see his interview with me here, and find his answers below.
Q1) Tell me about yourself. What’s your name, where do you come from and what do you do for a living?
I’m Jack, I live in Bournemouth and I am a claims assessor for a private medical insurance company.
Q2) What were you diagnosed with and when?
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in January 2016.
Q3) How long had you been suffering before you got your diagnosis?
I had symptoms for around 10 years prior to getting my IBD diagnosis. It was hell! I had real bad abdo pain. Diagnosed with appendicitis and had it removed. The pain carried on after the procedure and i kept returning to my GP telling them this. They said i had phantom pains, it was ibs, change my diet, and then they told me i was imagining it for attention. I changed my GP who then sent me for a colonoscopy in 2016 and they then saw I had severe Crohn’s.
Q4) How did you feel when you were diagnosed? Had you heard of Crohn’s/UC before?
In all honesty, I was completely devestated! I was in pure shock for about 3 days. Going home from seeing my consultant is a blur. If it wasnt for my husband being with me, I dont know where I would have ended up. I had heard of it previously, someone i knew of had been newly diagnosed but didnt really open up about it. It was only then when she was diagnosed, I realised we had had similar symptoms and decided I would push to get myself seen to.
Q5) What treatments have you been on, and are you on any at the moment?
I started off on Azathioprine. I was on that for around a month and then I went down with pancreatitis. They promptly stopped that and put me on 6 weekly infusions of Infliximab which I am still on now. My last infusion I didn’t react too well to and I went back into hospital with pancreatitis again. Not sure what they are planning on doing next with my treatment.
Q6) Is there anything you want to do but can’t due to your condition?
I can’t go anywhere without knowing if there are toilets readily available. I cant go running, my joints hurt too much and the fatigue is so extreme, some days I can barely get dressed.
Q7) How would you feel if you needed to have a stoma in the future?
Right now, I honestly wouldnt mind. I don’t feel my treatment has worked for the 14 months I have been on it and my symptoms seem to be worse. If having a stoma means putting me into remission, then I am all for it!
Q8) Do you believe we will have a cure?
Unfortunately no I don’t. I can’t tell you why I think that, and it would never stop me raising awareness and money for Crohn’s & Colitis UK. The only thing I can see happening is more effective treatment, but this may just be me being cynical.
Q9) What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone who is newly diagnosed?
Never let it beat you.
Q10) Do you get involved in any support groups?
I dont. I dont even know if there are any in Bournemouth. Its something i would like to do in the future though!
Q11) What is one thing you would like the world to know about IBD?
It’s invisible. I may look OK, but chances are I’m not. Don’t be ignorant.
Do check out Jack’s blog, and comment below if you like the interview and if you’d like to see any more collaborations (or collaborate on a post!)