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The 4 Superpowers of a Crohn's Disease Warrior

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Every superhero has their obstacle to overcome. People like Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner have backgrounds depicting their own struggles with their health. These were two men, one sick and small, the other overworked and riddled with anxiety. Their experiences lead them to become the heroes we know today, Captain America and The Hulk. And Hawkeye is deaf. Did that stop any of them from fighting for justice? Did that stop any of them from living their lives? Not a chance.

Chronic illness warriors are a part of a real-life league of superheroes. They wake up every day and battle until their head hits the pillow at night. I know for Crohn’s disease, sometimes it feels like I’m fighting a villain lurking in the shadows. The vicious “Immuno-Miscreant” plots its takedown of my positive outlook, strong will and unwavering courage. But we never let this menace take us down. We may falter, we may tire, but we never give up. Crohn’s fighters take the punch in the gut and hit back 10 times harder. Our long list of superpowers aides in our everyday victories. Just like Superman’s Clark Kent, you would never guess they are brave warriors when passing them on the street. But hidden under their brilliant smiles and intrepid attitude lays a valiant hero. Some of their powers are envied by millions. Let’s take a quick peek at some of these powers, shall we?

1. Superhuman endurance 

Crohn’s disease fighters have an unending reservoir of strength. No matter how worn down they are, they continue on not only fighting their own body, but tackling everyday challenges. They are parents, employees, friends and spouses. They manage all the responsibilities that come with being a functioning part of society on top of remaining victorious over their illness. They get out of bed every morning, don their invisible cape, and take on the world and then some.

2. The ability to locate all restrooms within a two-mile radius 

Let’s face it, finding the closest restroom is always top priority when in a new environment. I can tell you from experience, I am a champ at finding the infamous stick figure woman anywhere! Our super navigation skills allow us to locate the restroom and the best route to it. Ever need to find a bathroom quickly? Ask your inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) superhero friend.

3. The power to clear a room 

Pretty self-explanatory. Many of us are gifted with a toxic backside that can take down any bad guy! Stuck in a conversation that’s dragging on? Bored out of your gourd on a blind date? Let that noxious air horn blast and watch your opponents disappear.

4. Absolute resilience 

“Crohnie” superheroes are best known for their ability to bounce back. They may fall, but they don’t stay down for long. We don’t let bad news, breathtaking pain, or extreme fatigue keep us down. It’s just a bad day, and tomorrow we know we will be better. We can and have taken a beating!

Crohn’s disease patients are some of the strongest people I have met. Even I wasn’t aware just how much my life would change and how strong I could actually be. We are amazing creatures that can face adversity and do it all with a demeanor that can inspire thousands. We can take the pain, shame and embarrassment and turn it into the best time to advocate and educate others. Some people admire the heroes dressed in capes and tights, but my heroes will and will continue to be those that fight their own demons, their own body, each and every day.

The Mighty is asking the following: Coin a term to describe a symptom, characteristic, aspect, etc., of your diagnosis. Then, explain what that experience feels like for you. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: June 16, 2016
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