A Six Letter Diagnosis

A Six Letter Diagnosis

Previous article on Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis:
‘Next Stop: Colonoscopies and Endoscopies’:

I would say that ‘A Six Letter Diagnosis’ is one of hardest blog articles I have written so far and may go on to be one of the hardest I will ever have to write. For this reason I am going to try and keep my words brief. Before beginning I would like to thank you all for the support I have received, and please do not think the intention of this article is to insult doctors because many of them do a fantastic job.

Back in November 2007 I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy to find out why since the age of nine I was suffering with abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and stunted growth. I was about to be given the news that I had Crohn’s Disease. However, as I sat with my mum and dad in the waiting room I had no idea how this was going to be put to me.  

At the age of thirteen I had very little experience of how doctors were supposed to break the news. I was not present during my dad’s diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or when my mum was told she had Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME). I occasionally had watched dramas about hospitals but they were fictional. So admittedly I was scared. Saying that, I wanted some light to be shed on four years of dark times where ‘Doctor One’ branded my suffering as both ‘imaginary’ and a product of my mum’s anxiety.

‘Doctor Two’, as I will call him, sat on the opposite side to the three of us. The only words I remember from this meeting were the ones he used for my diagnosis. He used these words:

"You have something, with six letters, beginning with C…” Then a pause came. “It’s not Cancer."

Unfortunately the rest of our meeting is blurry in my mind. I cannot tell you how I or my parents reacted to his words. I cannot tell you if he then went on to explain Crohn’s Disease in more detail and then showed me photographs of my inflamed small intestine. Sadly all I remember was coming out of the hospital thinking why I had sat in silence. Maybe I did or maybe I did not. All I know, as I write this article, is that I was a scared thirteen year old boy. After going through four years of suffering I was scared.

I have to say this. I cannot imagine for one moment what is like to have Cancer. I cannot imagine the emotions or the journey that goes along with this dreadful disease. All I can hope is for a future where all doctors break the news sympathetically for every condition and patients get the support they deserve. Each case is different so everyone should be treated with dignity.

On reflection I have written ‘A Six Letter Diagnosis’ not to curse ‘Doctor Two’. That was not my intention. I wrote this article with the intention to tell you my story living with Crohn’s Disease through my own eyes. Every time I try to imagine that day in November I picture a scared young boy about to go on a journey. A journey where he will receive overwhelming support from a loving family, brilliant friends and wonderful people willing to listen. For this I am truly thankful.

I picture a scared young boy about to go on a journey...Copyright © 2015- Borrett family and Paul Kielty. All rights reserved.

The Ducks

The Ducks

On Monday I sat on the park bench pouring fistfuls of breadcrumbs into the lake. The breadcrumbs floated along the surface. No ducks wanted to eat my bread. I saw no ducks.

On Tuesday I came back to the park. I walked past the bench. A young girl and her father were dropping small pieces of bread into the water. Ten ducks rose from the lake, eager to eat. All my bread had gone.

All my bread had gone...Copyright © 2014- Jacob Harper and Rufus Lakin. All rights reserved.