Crikey! Since I attended the European Medtech Forum in Brussels at the beginning of December, I have had an amazing response from not just my fellow IBD & ostomy communities, but even the media. I wrote a blog post recently about my recent bout of courage and the attention from local media as a result… but I didn’t expect to have a lovely article written about me and my IBD & ostomy awareness work in The Independent (both online AND in the ‘real-life’ newspaper!)
You can read the full article in The Independent online:
Thaila Skye: Candid Crohn’s disease blogger overcomes stigma with squeamish stories
I have had so many kind words from people who have seen the article; from those who have been supportive of me since my first ever video, to those who have found me because of the article. It’s so wonderful to hear that, by my speaking out about having Crohn’s disease (and having two stomas as a result of a perforated colon), people going through the same thing don’t feel alone or ashamed of talking about their own experiences.
And yes, while some people have diseases that affect the functioning of their bowels, or that causes pain or bleeding or ulceration in their colon or various other parts of their digestive tract… there’s actually a huge issue on a much more basic level than that – something that I struggled with pre-diagnosis: people are still uncomfortable talking about bowel movements. Just the simple task of talking about poo makes everyone feel embarrassed and awkward… and why?! (Seriously guys, everybody poops… even Benedict Cumberbatch, and I love the shit out of him… no pun intended…)
You might say that there’s a time and a place for those kinds of conversations… and yes, perhaps over dinner is not the most appropriate time… but sometimes it just depends on who you’re with. Just earlier today I was eating dinner with Sam Cleasby (aka. So Bad Ass) and we were talking about our experiences in hospital – it was so refreshing to speak openly about it with someone and experience 0% embarrassment.
Perhaps Sam and I just have such strong stomachs that we can now talk about poo any time, any place. Now, wouldn’t it be nice if people could do that, even if it’s just with their GPs?
I just wish I could go back in time and give my 24-year-old self some of my 29-year-old wisdom because if I knew then what I know now, I’d be straight down the doctors as soon as Crohn’s disease literally became a pain in my arse.