My Personal Struggle
I first began feeling sick as a teen and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Shortly afterwards, I started experiencing complications related to my Crohn’s, including the first of many bowel obstructions. Despite a constant battle with my symptoms, I continued to push myself. I started a career as an executive in a healthcare company, I had two children, I ran 6 miles a day.
About 20 years ago, things really took a turn for the worse. During that time I endured 7 major bowel resections, with most of my small bowel removed, leaving me with short bowel syndrome (SBS). I had my gallbladder and appendix removed. I was hospitalized for 8 months in 2018 ending with a transplant team performing a double bowel resection after 6 months of TPN. My count of major bowel surgeries went from 7 to 9. I was prescribed a long list of drugs, including a fentanyl patch to manage pain.
Marietta - Health Investigator
During these years, I lived on chemicals and toast. I had severe weight loss, hair loss, and debilitating fatigue. I felt like an empty shell. I couldn’t even lift my running shoes, let alone use them. Not once did I have a doctor mention nutrition to me. In fact, they gave me a huge plate of lasagna and garlic bread right after a bowel resection surgery. It was not something they considered, and so, neither did I.
How I feel now
The best part is that I got my life back. I know how food and stress impact me, so I have the control over how I feel. I always wanted to be a public speaker, but I could never commit because I didn’t know if I would be too sick that day. But I have done 5 talks now and I love it. I have also dusted off my running shoes and begun running again. I actually ran my first 5K this summer… and I didnt even come in last!