I need to rant/whine a little bit. And I just need to be heard, I think.
I’m feeling frustrated at the invisibility of ulcerative colitis. It’s an invisible illness, yes, but I feel like it’s invisible-er than other invisible diseases–particularly Crohn’s. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two main types of inflammatory bowel disease.)
People have heard of Crohn’s. There are Crohn’s awareness posters and t-shirts and bracelets. A lot of people know someone with Crohn’s. They even have a name for themselves: Crohnies.
But most people don’t know about ulcerative colitis. I think I’d maybe vaguely heard of it before I was diagnosed, probably from a drug commercial on TV that I wasn’t really watching. We don’t have a cool name–I mean, what are we going to call ourselves, Ulcerites? We’re mentioned on joint IBD awareness stuff, but I’ve never seen any awareness anything just for people with UC. When UC is recognized, it’s often minimized in comparison to Crohn’s because less of our digestive systems are affected.
The heart of the matter, I guess, is that I don’t want to be invisible. I want my struggles and pain to be seen and validated, not compared and minimized. I want people to know that what I’m living with is real and painful and difficult. It’s isolating enough on its own without being swept to the side.
I want to be seen.