Most people who know me or read this blog know me as a dollmaker, an artist or a sculptor......even a bit of a gardener.
What most people don't know about me is that I live with an auto-immune disorder called Crohn's Disease, having been diagnosed in my late forties. Quite a lot has been discovered about Crohn's in the past ten or so years, but what causes it or how to cure it are things that are still not known.
The genetic marker for Crohn's was found a few years ago (hla B27+) - the same genetic marker that in other people causes rheumatoid arthritis, I believe. In people with Crohn's the disease is manifested in various different ways, probably the most severe and debilitating is the ulceration that can occur in any section of the digestive tract, leading to some very nasty complications. It is
this kind of severe ulceration that leads many sufferers, myself included, to require major surgey to remove sections if the intestinal tract. But it can also affect the liver, skin, eyes, joints and other bits I don't know about.
I count myself as quite fortunate - incurable condition notwithstanding - because after surgery in 2003 I have been relatively symptom-free, bar the occasional "flare-up" and I can mostly live a fairly normal life. In fact, most people who meet me casually have no idea that I live with Crohn's (even if they do know what it is).
I decided, after some thought, that I should post about Crohn's, because it is important that people understand about such things, I think. So I hope you don't mind me using my blog to raise awareness of a very debilitating condition that many people live with. If you are interested in finding out more, a quick google search will yield scads of information. Thanks for bearing with me!