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Embarrassing Illnesses

June 17, 2013

Right. Well. I have a disease. I mention here and there throughout my blogs and on the facebook page for my book ( ) but I don’t got into great detail about it. This is because I want people to buy the book and find out about the whole ordeal in its entirety, and who am I kidding… make a bit of money. However, publishing has been a much longer process than I thought so to those who are curious, here you go:

I have Ulcerative Colitis. It is a bowel disease. It is therefore considered (and not without reason) to be an embarrassing illness. The sort of thing that could be on channel 4 after 9 o clock. Sure, having had this disease very severely at times, I’ve learnt firsthand why it is an embarrassing illness, and I have also learnt why it is so much more than what it says on the tin. There’s a whole array of pretty serious systemic implications with this disease, and people do (perhaps rarely, but still) die from it. But on the surface it’s a bowel disease. People don’t like talking about it. Most people reading this have probably heard of UC or Crohns disease, but won’t necessarily know that much about it. That is why what started as a personal therapy became a soon-to-be published book. I want people to know about it. I want people to know how it affects people’s lives by reading about my own experience. Talking about it openly has been the biggest factor in my physical and mental recovery, and a lot of people would benefit from doing the same, but often they feel like they cannot.

I emailed the NACC website (national association of Crohns and Colitis) and talked to them about my book. They are a tremendous charity organisation who raise great awareness and funds for the condition; so do look further on . Anyway I mentioned the word “colitic”. They replied very cordially, and also mentioned that we should not use the word “colitic” because “colitis sufferers” do not like to be pigeonholed this way. Fair enough I suppose, but pigeon holing certainly wasn’t my intention. I am a “colitic” myself and I don’t mind being labelled that way. Why should I? It is the single biggest influence on my life as I know it; I have become so accustomed to incorporating that word and everything that goes along with it into my life that (as corny as it sounds) I am proud to be a “colitic”. An awful lot of benefit has even come as a direct result of developing this life altering illness. An awful lot of bad has come from it too, but that has only made me stronger… except the immuno suppressant and muscle metabolising medication I suppose. But you get my point. I don’t presume that by telling people that I am a “colitic” they will think that everything else they know about me becomes void. It is an addition to my life that cannot change. I am male. I have green eyes. And I have colitis. They are all mere descriptions. I doubt if I were to contact a society of males with green eyes they would have a problem with being “pigeonholed” as green-eyed men. No one would think this, so why should colitics? Colitis is so frequently suffered in silence, and talked about with great reluctance. This is such a shame because the only way to come to grips with an illness like this is through acceptance.

These are the main aims for my book – to increase awareness of the disease, and to make people feel able to come to terms with being colitic. And one will help the other with regard to these aims. People are often surprised at how willing I am to talk about the illness that rendered me bed bound for much of two years, and that I am even willing to laugh about it.

Please check out the book’s website and the facebook page or follow the twitter @sh_thappensJC. The book is now available, and ordering is possible through the website 🙂 Thankyou for reading, and please help me achieve my aims and make this book a success! Also for every book sold £1 will be donated to the National Association of Crohn’s and Colitis. Let’s raise thousands to help get tens of thousands into remission.

I will end this blog with a quote from the book. “Sure, this is an embarrassing illness, but that doesn’t mean I have to be embarrassed about it.” (Shituation) 2012.


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