18 July 2018

My Huge Blunder on Social Media

I made a huge mistake on social media the other day. I let down my guard and discussed my personal demon—my daily struggle with Crohn’s Disease. Before I knew it, people were offering me sympathy and prayers. I even had some wonderful people send me private messages asking how I was and if they could help in any way. I am thankful for the thoughts and prayers, and I will take them, but that wasn’t the reason I wrote the post. The reason I wrote it was to express how my personal suffering influences my writing. And it does. All my main characters undergo some form of suffering. Sometimes it is a physical ailment. But more often than not, my character is suffering on a much deeper level—spiritually. My own suffering has opened the door to a deep spiritual suffering that I wasn’t privy to before my diagnosis. Naturally, such a personal knowledge flows into my writing.

Something else cropped up on that post, something people with Crohn’s seem to have to deal with all the time—diet advice. I’ve thought long and hard about this, and the only conclusion I can come to is this: because the disease mostly hits the digestive tract, people seem to think food is the answer—if you change your diet, you will be cured. I wish that was true.

The point of my original post was lost on most people, and I’ve since deleted it. But after thinking about it, I thought this might be a good time to dispel some of the myths about Crohn’s and diet.

First, at this time, there is no cure for Crohn’s Disease. You can manage it, but you cannot cure it. I am aware of all the diets out there that claim to heal Crohn's--the SCD diet, Paleo, whole foods, gluten-free, vegetarian or plant based, high-fiber, and the list goes on. Each Crohn’s patient is different. One diet might decrease inflammation in one patient and actually cause harm to another. Why? because . . .

Crohn’s manifests itself in different ways in different people. My Crohn’s is similar in many ways to ulcerative colitis, so offering me advice on diets that help heal the small intestines does absolutely nothing for me when my issue is in the colon.

Crohn’s isn’t just a stomach ache. Some people have serious complications—bowel obstructions, ulcers, fistulas, fissures, malnutrition, abscesses, strictures, joint pain, anemia, skin disorders, vision problems, and arthritis. You get the point.

Different patients respond to different medications. Many of those medications come with their own  side effects. The list is endless. So I won't even attempt it.

So these are some of the myths surrounding Crohn's Disease and diet.

In the future, I will try to keep my personal struggle with Crohn's off social media. I'll reserve it for here--my personal blog, where misinformation can't be shared and spread.

25 June 2018

Follow Where He Leads

It's hard to trust sometimes. I know. But God will lead you where you need to be, and He will give you the people you need to get there. It's just a matter of following where He leads.

15 June 2018

Lead Us Not--A New Short Story

Coming in July . . . my new short story, "Lead Us Not," available to newsletter subscribers exclusively.