I was always a healthy child; I never complained of anything and was rarely sick. I never wanted to miss school even if I had a cold. But, that all changed on April 13, 2006 when I was fifteen and a freshman in high school.
I decided to stay home that day because I threw up the night before and I certainly did not want to throw up in school. After my mom left for work and my younger brother was at school I woke up because I was feeling extremely nauseous. I tried to eat a little breakfast, but that didn’t settle my stomach. I immediately ran to the restroom and threw it right back up. Over the course of the day I got progressively worse. By the time my mom got home that afternoon, she took one look at me and knew that something was wrong.
After I threw up about twenty times that day, my mom decided to rush me to the emergency room. After being in there for just a few minutes, I turned as white as a ghost. That’s when they knew something was terribly wrong with me and that I probably needed surgery. I was rushed by ambulance down to another hospital called Riley Children’s Hospital. I went in for my emergency surgery at four in the morning. I couldn’t sleep at all that night because I was in so much pain.
I woke up from surgery and my mom told me that I had something called Crohn’s Disease, which I had never heard of before. I was told it was an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the intestines. I thought that sounded easy until I found out there is no cure for it.
About six months after my diagnosis, my mom was looking at ucandcrohns.org and came across a link to this awesome site called Starbright World, a chat room for teenagers who have chronic illnesses. I knew my mom was a little hesitant about letting me join chat rooms, but she let me join Starbright World because it is very safe. I instantly fell in love with the chat room and became friends with everyone there. Everyone was so nice and helpful.
Since I joined a few months after I was diagnosed, everyone gave me helpful insights and helped me learn more about how to deal with my illness. I also got to meet the wonderful hosts on the site, who help monitor the chat room to make sure everyone is behaving like they should. Overall, I was very pleased with the site and would recommend it to teenagers who are suffering from a chronic illness.