Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week: Thank You Caregivers

This week is Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week, as many of you know.  Currently we’re in day 5 of the week devoted to IBD, with only three days to go (As you can see on the counter to the left).  This week isn’t just about those with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, or raising awareness for the diseases.  Many people forget that one of the main reasons for this week also is to appreciate those caretakers who give so much of their time in order to help us with Crohn’s or colitis.

In Resolution 199, which was passed by the Senate last year, it even mentions to:

“Express appreciation to the family members and caregivers who support them (patients).”

Senate Resolution 199
Senate Resolution 199

As someone who has been through so much, including over 25 surgeries, I think about those who have helped me each and every day in order to overcome my disease.  I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the amazing people who have supported me through so much in my life.  We can’t forget all of these people who stand by us during minor and severe flares.  Those that don’t leave our side even when Crohn’s or colitis takes over our lives.

First, I would like to thank all of the incredible friends in my life.  Without these people surrounding me on a regular basis, I don’t know where I would be.  During the worst of times, they’ve done whatever they could in order to lift my spirits and assure me that things will be okay.  Giving me the hope and strength which I need when times get tough.  To all my friends who will read this.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!  The laughs that we have are what allow me to fall asleep after the tough days, knowing that the next day will be okay since you’re all there.

Next I would like to thank all of nurses in my life, who have become friends of mine also.  Some of them were friends of mine from outside the hospital, others I’ve met from being a patient in the hospital.  No matter how I’ve met them or gotten to know them, they have been by my side when I’ve been at my lowest.  A few of them in particular were there during my ostomy recovery, everyday in the hospital helping me adjust to the change which was ahead.  When things weren’t going well, I was at my worst and the poop was literally coming out of my stomach uncontrollably, it didn’t bother these friends and they took care of me.  

To all of my nurse friends, you have been by my side when I was in pain, upset and TERRIFIED.  And then even though you’ve seen literally everything, including a bit of my intestine, we’re still able to have a great time whenever I see you.  Nurses don’t get thanked or appreciated enough.  I want you to know I APPRECIATE EVERYTHING YOU ALL HAVE DONE FOR ME AND COULD NEVER THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR ALL THE CARE AND LOVE YOU’VE GIVEN ME.

Lastly to my mother and brother who have supported me through all the 25 surgeries, who have stayed up late with me when I’m sick and who have been by my side during all the doctors visits, tests and surgeries.  Without these two people I would be truly lost.  At times when I needed help and to be caught from continuing to fall, they’ve been there waiting to catch me at all times.  My mother has been there through everything and I know it’s so hard for her to see her son’s sick with Crohn’s disease.  No matter what has happened, she always wants the best for me and would do anything in order to help me in my journey.  My brother, even though he lives across the country has come home for my big surgeries and has been someone I could call at a moments notice.  It kills him that I’ve had it so rough, but still loves me and wants to help me in any way.

To my mother and brother, I don’t even know how to put into words how much you mean to me and you know that’s rare.  I love you both so much and appreciate everything you’ve done for me every single day.  If it wasn’t for your support while I’m sick and while I’m healthy in creating the IIF, I would possibly be lost.  You have always been there for me no matter what, through the toughest times when I didn’t know what the next day would bring.  THANK YOU SO MUCH, for being the amazing family that you’re! 

Those are just some of the most important people who I’m thankful for.  There are others that I would like to thank, but then this post would go on forever.  There are also others who aren’t in my life anymore for one reason or another, that I would like to thank also, but again this post would get to long.

Take a moment today and remember that this week isn’t just about raising awareness, finding a cure or the diseases.  It’s also about the people who are either on your right side or left, no matter what you’re going through.  Thank them and show your appreciation.  Think about where you would be if they weren’t there.  Then if you can give them a call and thank them, or if they are closer give them a hug!

Never Stay Quiet!


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