What is Crohn’s Disease? (The Basics)

What is Crohn’s Disease? (The Basics)

For those of you who are unaware I suffer from a chronic and incurable condition known as Crohn’s disease. Throughout ‘Jake Borrett’s Writing Blog’ I will be posting a number of articles about my own personal experiences living with this condition.

This entry deals with the basics of the disease, and hopefully will start to raise awareness about the disability. To do this I have drawn up a list of some of the possible questions that people have asked in the past and may ask in the future, and my attempted responses to them.

Please remember that each case of Crohn’s disease is different, so the given responses from each person would vary.

Okay, here we go.

Question 1: What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is a relatively uncommon condition. It is part of the group known as ‘Inflammatory Bowel Disease’. The other disability is Ulcerative Colitis.
  Crohn’s Disease causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system in the form of ulcers. This can affect anywhere from the mouth to the back passage, but often occurs in the last section of the small intestine known as ‘ileum’ or the largest intestine known as ‘colon’.   

Question 2: What are the demographics of Crohn’s disease?
It is currently estimated that at least 115,000 people are living with the condition in the United Kingdom and many more around the world.
  Whilst Crohn’s disease can occur at any age, the most common year of diagnosis is between 15 and 35. It affects both the male and female population.

Question 3: What are the symptoms of Crohn’s disease?
The common symptoms of Crohn’s disease include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fatigue, blood and mucus in the faeces, unintended weight loss, and stunted growth.
  People can experience something which is known as ‘remission’. This is when they go through for a period without having regularly symptoms. At troublesome times sufferers can experience what is known as a ‘flare up’. This is when the disease is more active and can lead to further complications.

Question 4: What is the cause of Crohn’s disease?
There is no known cause for Crohn’s disease. Research however shows that genetics, the immune system and environmental factors might have some impact. This is not fully proven yet.

Question 5: Does diet play a part?
There are many myths surrounding Crohn’s disease and diet. Of course each individual case is different.
  Some people who have Crohn’s disease may have or will be placed on a liquid diet some point in their life. This generally but not always happens after their diagnosis. This involves going a number of weeks where food is replaced with protein supplements. This is often under the brand ‘Modulen IBD’.  This treatment is meant to allow the bowel to rest. Then after that specific length of time has lapsed food is gradually introduced again.
  In terms of everyday diet, the issue is more subjective. Sometimes high fibre foods are avoided as they contain a substance called roughage, which is harder to absorb if you have Crohn’s disease.

Question 6: How can Crohn’s disease be treated?
There is no known cure for Crohn’s disease. Symptoms can be relieved through inflammatory and steroids medications, and on occasion surgery.
  I shall be discussing more about this from a personal perspective as the treatment varies accordingly.

Question 7: Do you have any last remarks?
Whilst Crohn’s disease is a long-term incurable condition, many sufferers have found ways of coping. Most of which have gone on to lead successful, fulfilling and enjoyable lives.
  In my case I have used my illness as a motivation to achieve success in my education, working and social life.

Question 8: Where can I find more information?
Of course I have only listed the basics that surround Crohn’s disease.  
You can find more information on the internet and or by talking to specialists, who will often provide you with accurate information.

I suggest the following sites:
          The National Health Service: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Crohns-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx which will provide you more details about the condition itself.
          Crohn’s and Colitis UK: http://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/ which is a fantastic charity which helps to support those with Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Please donate generously. 


Thanks to everyone who has read this article concerning Crohn’s disease.

Please remember that every case is different. So the cause, symptoms and treatment will not be the same for each person.

I will be sharing my own personal experience living this Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the near future. So the aspects which are not covered here will be found in the ‘My Life Collection’ as part of this blog.

Please do share this entry so many more people are informed about this lifelong condition.

Thanks for the support.

My Life: Iceland

There is one particularly place where I always wanted to visit. On Monday 10th March 2014 I got my wish and journeyed to Iceland.  

Day 1: Monday 10th March 2014
At exactly 4:00am my alarm went off and I woke up to complete darkness. No matter as my exhaustion was lessened from my excitement. Well kind off. I was shattered to be honest with you.
  After a three hours flight my mum and I landed in Reykjavik. Yes we had been told that Iceland is cold in the winter months, but not this cold. It was pouring with rain, and snow was all along the ground. We did not mind too much as that adds to the magical experience of travelling to a Nordic island such as this.
  The day was mainly spent exploring the city. I noticed that it is not part of their custom to accept any tips. So when you go out to eat and get given big portions of food, as shown in the photograph, they do not expect you to give them extra money for this service. So that means you can keep back some of those Krona for other activities. Trust me you need them.

Iceland has big food portions

Day 2: Tuesday 11th March 2014
Tuesday was certainly a highlight for the trip.
  In the morning we went on a Geothermal Helicopter Tour. We were taken up in the skies, away from the city and into the snow and glowing larva fields. The scenery was stunning. This is especially the case as there were only five of us there. Yes, just the pilot, a couple from Toronto, and us.
  Usually for this tour you get about an hour of flying and the helicopter lands once. For some reason we had to two stops. The second stop involved landing on a mountain which had a view of the snowy landscape, the water and of the city. It was here my mum and I witnessed the engagement of the Toronto couple. What a place do it.

The first stop as part the of Geothermal Helicopter Tour
Day 3: Wednesday 12th March 2014
On the morning of Wednesday we went to The Blue Lagoon. This a geothermal spa located in a lava field in south western Iceland. It might have been raining but we could not feel it pelting on our heads as we were too busy bathing in the hot springs.
  I have always dreamed of seeing the Aurora Borealis, best known as the Northern Lights. As it rained all day it was uncertain whether the skies would be clear enough to see them. Despite this our tour guide insisted the trip would go ahead. We had a thirty minute drive out of the city and were taken to a field. We waited for the displays to happen. And guess what? They did. It was incredible.
  Unfortunately my non-high functional camera was not able to pick the lights up. So we gave my email address to some of the others tourist so they could send me snaps. As you can see they did. The person in the photograph is actually me.
  Weirdly enough as we arrived back to our hotel, the Northern Lights appeared just outside. It was like they were shining just for us.

Jake Borrett standing behind the Northern Lights

Day 4: Thursday 13th March 2014
Our final day was dedicated to a popular tourist route called ‘The Golden Circle’. From this we stopped at three particular places. This being the poetical beautiful national park rift valley called ‘Thingvellier’. Then we moved onto the sheer wonder of the waterfall called Gullfoss, translated as ‘Golden Falls’. Our final stop, as shown in the video, was at the geothermally active valley of Haunadalur, home to the geysers Geysir and Stokkur. This all was brilliant of course.
  This was all completed before we sat down to our last meal. This being lobster, something which I have never tried before. It was tasty but was not cheap in price.

Day 5: Friday 14th March 2014
On Friday we had to say goodbye to the wonder that is Iceland. It was a place which I always wanted to go, and am so grateful that I have now been.

This ‘My Life Article’ does not emphasise enough how elegant the country is and how friendly everyone was. Yes of course it is expensive and the weather is constantly changing every five minutes, but this does not stop it from being magnificent. So if ever get chance to go there, no matter how long for, I suggest you do. Trust me you will not be disappointed.

Thank you so much Iceland.

Washing Away My Guilt

Warning: Contains strong language

Washing Away My Guilt

I hate to admit it but I have cried before. It wasn’t because I flunked a school exam or was hit in the nuts by a football. Though that does fucking hurt.  I’m not a wimp after all. Give me some credit. I’m far stronger than that.

No, it was because my stunning Lucy got stabbed. Yes that’s right I’ve said it, fucking ripped to shreds. Satisfied are you? You can see how much it pains me to say it. Asides from those murderous cunts, I do feel partly responsible. Just before the brutal attack we had a fight. It was over something so insignificant. If it weren’t for me she wouldn’t have run off and died alone on the fucking pavement.

When I heard what happened to her I wanted to be shut off from the rest of the world. The kids playing outside my bedroom window bugged me to death. Those smiling sick bastards can rot in hell for all I care.

My mum of course checked up on me to see how I was coping. I can still remember what she said:
 “I know you’re upset but everything will be fine in the end. You’ll see Chickpea.”

Fucking chickpea? What the hell? I went crazy and started smashing up my room. I tore up a picture of me and Lucy at a nightclub. Too many tainted memories. 

My love fucking died on a stormy night in June just last year. The rain wiped away Lucy’s blood. If only tears could wash away my guilt.  

A Bitter Taste

                                                                    A Bitter Taste

Script Key
Name: The character who is talking
[italics]: The stage directions
---: The interruptions in speech

Cast List
The following is the cast list of the speaking parts in my script:
Scott: The Waiter
Gentleman: The Stranger
Manager: The Cafe Manager

The following depicts the theatre drama script:

A modern cafe is displayed. The surroundings are welcoming and lively. The place has the usual tables, chairs, soft padded red booths, and clearly presented menus hanging on the walls and upon the seating areas. Although at the back of the cafe one window has been covered to provide shade from the blazing heat on this summer afternoon.
  At one of the shaded tables on the right hand-corner is a gentleman. He sits alone. He is his late forties. He dresses in a dark grey suit with a black tie. On in his table lays an alcoholic beverage, a pad of paper and a black fountain pen.
  Serving the tables is a young waiter named Scott. He is in his mid-twenties, wears the required uniform and carries around a pen and a pad of paper to take customer orders.
 Observing the area is the cafĂ© manager. He is in his mid-forties. He wears a well-groomed business outfit.
 Scott walks towards the unnamed gentleman and the action starts.

Scott: Excuse me sir. Is there anything you would like to order?

Gentleman [looks up from his note pad in order to gaze at Scott]: Oh hello there. Well as you can see young man, I am sitting alone on a hot Friday afternoon. I could do with some company if you don’t mind? You see I’m not having a good day.

Scott [earnestly] I would like to, honestly I would, but you see the cafe is busy at the moment and I doubt the manager would allow me to have a break at this point.

Gentleman [sombrely]: I understand that.

[The Manager, who has been following the conversation, comes over.]

Manager: Don’t worry Scott, we have got this covered. Take a break so you can please this gentleman. [To Gentleman.] Sir, are you sure you don’t want anything more to eat or drink? We have some lovely cakes on offer.

Gentleman: I’m quite sure thank you, but I may be tempted later.

[Scott puts his writing pad and pen in his trouser pocket and sits down on the chair opposite to the Gentleman. The manager goes back to overseeing the cafe without paying attention to their discussion.]

Gentleman: I must say that I am very grateful for this. I just got fired at the office just over the road. I didn’t get paid too much and it wasn’t overly fascinating but it gave me something to do.

Scott [whilst noticing the gentleman’s notepad]: Oh I’m sorry to hear that. [Pauses to gather his thoughts.] I hope you don’t mind me asking but what have you got written down there?

Gentleman [slowly moves his notepad away from Scott]: Oh please don’t look at that. I’m sorry, but that is a private matter of mine. All I can say is that I am writing a novel. Yes I know what you’re thinking, another novelist. Now I’ve been fired it has given me something meaningful to do. Anyway, enough about me. I am curious to know, do you like working here?

[Gentleman looks around the cafe and gives a look of distaste. The Manager passes the gentleman’s table.]

Scott [lowers his voice and without noticing the manager]: Not really. The hours are long, I’m on my feet for most of the day, and the customers can be rude. Just last week two baboons came in and demanded dishes that weren’t even on the menu. Utter swine they were. 

Manager [looking down at Scott]: I heard that.

[Scott jumps, then looks at the manager and gives him a cheeky grin. The manager shakes his head at Scott and then walks away as he notices a middle-aged couple entering the cafe.]

Scott: But I don’t have much choice as I need the money. I have just finished university and the student loans are ridiculous. With that and the cost of rent on my bungalow I needed to work someone to pay off my debt. Oh, I’m Scott by the way.

[Gentleman listens intently and writes something down on his black notebook. He ignores Scott’s open hand.]

Gentleman [curiously]: So Scott you must work a number of hours and at least a few days of the week to pay off your debts.

Scott: Yes I have to. Let me think. [Pauses for a second in order to remember his work hours.] I work on Wednesdays between from 10 and 4, Fridays between 11 and 5, so another three hours until my shift finishes today. Also on the weekends I do between 10 and 6.  

[Gentleman continues to write frantically as Scott looks slightly confused.]

Gentleman [directs his attention to outside]: Well with those long hours and early starts I guess you don’t live too far away.

Scott: Yep it’s only a ten minutes away from here. It’s near the park on Kingston Lane. I don’t suppose you know it?

Gentleman [whilst writing]: Let me think. Is that near the train station?

Scott [slightly concerned]: Yes it is. Living in the house right next to the park can be irritating. Especially when you hear children playing nearby when you’re trying to have a kip. [Pauses and looks down at the pad in front of the gentleman.] Sorry but what are you writing down?

Gentleman [cunningly]: I’m sorry I don’t mean to be rude but I’m just brainstorming ideas for my novel. You remember the one I told you I was writing?

Scott: Oh yes I remember, sorry.

Manager [Calls over to Scott]: Scott your break is up. We need you. Can you take this couple’s order?

Gentleman [grinning]: Well thank you for talking to me Scott. Your company has cheered me up. Good luck with paying off your debts.

Scott [smiles back]: No problem. Good luck with your novel and I hope it goes accordingly to plan.

Gentleman: I’m sure it will.

[Scott and the Gentleman shake hands. Scott rises to his feet and goes back to serving the tables. The Gentleman relaxes back upon his chair to bask in the shade around him.]

Gentleman [quietly to himself]: Thank you for making my day Scott. I guess you’ll have to take on more shifts when you find out your house has been burgled.

Voting System: Reading Genres (The Results)

Hey everyone!
The first voting poll has now finished and the results have been counted.
Here they are:

'What genre of writing do you like to read?
Love and Romance: 12
Horror: 10
Science Fiction: 3
Crime and Thriller: 3
Fantasy: 2
Family Life: 2
War: 2
Adventure: 1
Other: 1

Total Votes: 36

 Interestingly it is all very close until the last couple of days when ‘Love and Romance’ took the lead.

You can expect to see some ‘Love and Romance’ and ‘Horror’ related content soon. Of course there will be other genres as well. Perhaps they may encourage you to try something different in the future.

Thanks to all those who voted.

Voting System: Reading Genres (The Poll)

Hey everyone!
On occasion there will be a ‘Voting System’ which you can take part in. These help me understand what sort of writing you would like to see on my blog.

Due to the nature of blogger, please use this link provided to access the poll:

This will ask you‘What genre of writing do you like to read?’
The options are as follows:
Science Fiction
Love and Romance
Family Life
Crime and Thriller

For this poll you can select multiple answers.

This Poll Closes: Friday 7th March 2014 (12:00pm, GMT +00:00: London)
The results will be announced sometime before the next blog entry is up this Friday.

Thank you very much.