by Toni Webster
(Indianapolis, IN)

My name is Toni and I recently turned 31 in March and I been struggling with severe pain, cramps, and rectal bleeding since I was 20 years old. I was recently diagnosed with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) back in November 2008 and I been upset. I think I am more upset at the fact that I feel that they could have seen this many years ago and my symptoms wouldn’t be as bad as they are now. So now I’m aced with dealing with a whole life change from eating differently and the whole nine. I really don’t have a real problem with eating different because to me it’s eating healthy which I haven’t always done and I use to love to have alcohol drinks when I partied or whatever now I can’t do that which I feel is a good thing also. I had my first “REAL” Flare- up this past February (2009) and it was the worst thing I have EVER been through. I was sick for a little over 2 weeks which consisted of in and out the hospital, dehydration, losing 15 pounds ( I am 5’4” and was only 145 lbs) so that was a lot of weight, not eating or drinking anything, and the list goes on and I wasn’t told about flare-ups at all. So I thought I was dying because it was all knew to me. I wish I knew ahead of time what to expect and to make matters worst I lost my health insurance December 31, 2008 and I had an appointment to meet with the Specialist and to be put on medication January 2009. So I never went to the appointment I work part time so I don’t qualify for health insurance so I have a pile of bills, no medication but the antibiotics that I got from the hospital, and now I’m suffering another flare up as we speak. It’s like I’m learning this horrible disease as it’s happening to me! I find myself crying and getting very depressed everyday. It’s like you never know when a flare-up will hit or how severe it will be and I have no insurance or medication. I am also a student at the local College and I can barely do my homework because I’m tired and I have a 7 year old daughter. My Mom have to come stay at my house when I’m going through my flare-ups because I am in so much pain I can’t help my daughter with homework or anything. Please give me some advice with emotional support, what I could do about health insurance or whatever. This disease is a REAL ENEMY!

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