Ostomy bag

‘Every morning I trudged, syringe in hand, to get stabbed in the abdomen on an exam table while my classmates grabbed Starbucks. I began silently screaming, ‘Why me?’: 19-year old diagnosed with IBD, ulcerative colitis advocates for change

“I was warned about the freshman year dorm life and told where to go for mental health counseling if exams became too stressful. I was not told what to do, how to continue, or who to turn to if I was suddenly forever ill.”

‘My boyfriend didn’t sign up for a sick girl. ‘I’d rather die than have a poop bag attached to me.’: Woman with ulcerative colitis learns to ‘love herself’ despite invisible illness

“How can an athletic, smart, strong young woman who has the entire world ahead of her have an incurable sickness? Even with a doctor’s note, my administration accused me of trying to get out of my contractual duties. ‘It’s ridiculous Jess keeps calling off. Does she expect us to cover her classes all of the time?’”

‘You know this isn’t a bad boob job, right?’ They saw my cancer scars and erupted in laughter.’: Woman beats breast cancer, new symptoms dismissed as ‘overreacting’ turn out to be colon cancer

“I felt so embarrassed. I started putting makeup on my scars and wearing only tube top bikinis. I started wearing a bra all the time and wouldn’t remove it during intimate times with my husband. I went from cancer free and ecstatic about the surgery results, to mortified to even show my breasts.”

‘She’s just a nervous child.’ The words still burn. I was 13, about to start high school. But I was different. My life was consumed with excruciating pain, diarrhea, and the toilet.’: Woman recounts her struggle with chronic illness

“I was standing in the kitchen alone. My phone rang. Assuming it was my husband, I answered. But it wasn’t my husband. All I could do was freeze. I was in shock. I hadn’t processed his words until I heard the ‘click.’ My body shook as I collapsed.”

‘People think it’s gross, but without this bag of poop on my stomach, I wouldn’t be here.’: Young woman diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, says life ‘isn’t fair,’ but it’s ‘downright beautiful’

“Growing up, I wasn’t grateful for anything. Then I got sick. I went from picture-perfect health to being too frail to even move. I was rushed to the ER. ‘We need to act fast!’ My heart stopped, my breathing hitched, and suddenly I knew what was coming. He lowered the mask onto my face, and I remember thinking ‘please’ over and over again.”

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