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To My Younger Self Who Was Just Diagnosed With Crohn's Disease

Dear younger me,

I know you’re scared and this past week in the hospital has not been all that great. All the tests and doctors are so new to you. The doctors said you have Crohn’s disease. It’s going to be OK, I promise.

young girl sitting in a hospital bed with a stuffed animal

I wish I could tell you these next few years will be easy, but they won’t. You’re going to go through some pretty tough stuff that many kids your age will have a hard time relating to. Most won’t even understand it and that’s OK.

You will go through a lot of ups and downs – mostly downs, but you’ll handle it all with grace. You will spend a lot of time at the hospital, but you will spend even more time in the bathroom. There will be times you feel like the pain is never going to stop, but it will.

You will have a couple of surgeries. I know this is the one thing you are wishing will never have to happen, but when the time comes you will know it’s for the best. You’ll be so desperate to feel better and I promise these surgeries will help you feel better (and, of course, give you a couple of kick-butt scars).

You will hate yourself sometimes. You will cry sometimes. You will be angry sometimes. Oftentimes you will find yourself asking, “Why me?” Just know you did nothing wrong to cause this.


You will learn a lot. You will learn how to take really good naps. You’ll learn how to lie completely still for over two hours while stuck in an MRI machine. You will learn to swallow pills. But more importantly, you will learn to live life to the fullest despite how your body behaves. You’ll also learn to be a great friend and amazing person.

You will meet some extraordinary people who will change your life. Some will be friends, others medical professionals, and sometimes they’ll be both. These people will teach you some pretty great things. They’ll help shape you into an amazingly strong and resilient person as you grow up and many will be there for you through thick and thin.

There’s so much more I wish I could tell you and warn you about, but I don’t want to spoil everything for you. I want to remind you to stay strong, keep on smiling and never take your family, friends or good health for granted.

A lot will happen in these next few years – I can’t promise it’ll be easy, but I can promise it will be OK. You will be OK. Your life will never be the same, but I promise it’s all worth it.

With all my love,

The older you

This post originally appeared on ImproveCareNow blog, LOOP.

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