For Kids With Crohn's, Drexel Student Creates a 'A Guide to Gutsy Living'
June 08, 2018
After seven years of living with bouts of excruciating gastrointestinal pain and constant trips to the bathroom, the option of ostomy surgery sounded “freeing” to then 19-year-old Jennie David.
She knew undergoing the surgery for her Crohn’s disease would mean wearing a waste-collection pouch on her abdomen for the rest of her life. But that seemed better than the alternative.
“For me, it was a matter of life and death. I can’t describe to you the amount of pain you feel when you have an organ dying inside of you, or the embarrassment of having an accident on stage during a dance recital,” said David, who grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada. “I knew it would give me tremendous independence.”
Still, after David underwent her surgery, she was left with more questions than answers.
“Could I be intimate? What kind of clothing could I wear with it?” David wondered. “After the surgery – when you’re still tired and in pain — the nurses teach you how to change the bag, but it has nothing to do with how you live with it.”
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