Q: How old were you when you were diagnosed?
A: I was 10 years old.
Q: What was the diagnosis process like for you?
A: It was kind of complicated because I was so young. It took two colonoscopies and two pediatric gastroenterologists to confirm my diagnosis.
Q: What medications are you currently taking?
A: Pentasa, Humira, Vitamin D & Calcium supplement, iron supplement
Q: How has being in college affected the way you manage your Crohn's?
A: It has made me more aware of my own body. I make more of my own decisions without my parents weighing in on how I choose to control my body.
Q: Do you find the stress in college aggravates your condition? What do you do to manage that stress?
A: Stress definitely aggravates my condition. I manage my stress by working out, more specifically going to yoga or running. Working out is a great release. Yoga allows me to focus on my breathing and work through painful days.
Q: What is the hardest part about having Crohn's in college?
A: The hardest part is deciding not to do certain things because I know I will get sick. For instance, I cannot pull an all-nighter or drink a lot multiple days in a row.
Q: What was your biggest concern about having Crohn's in college? Did that concern turn out to be something to worry about?
A: My biggest concern was missing out on things because of fatigue or not feeling well. That concern did turn out to be something to worry about it, but it has not harmed my college experience in any way, shape or form. I now know my limits of how far I can push myself before I get really sick. I also catch more colds than the average person because of the medications I take, such as Humira.
Q: What advice would you give someone with Crohn's who is about to start college or who was diagnosed with Crohn's in college?
A: Don't worry too much about everything. Sometimes you do need to take extra time to take care of yourself and take a break from the chaos of college. Just make sure to be aware of your body, listen to yourself and your body. Do what feels right!
**This patient requested that she remain anonymous.**