This week’s guest is Meghan Cary Brown. At 27 years old, Meghan has lived 10 years with active disease, 13 years with indeterminate Crohn’s/Colitis, and 3 years with an ostomy. But IBD can’t stop her. In that same time, she’s also gotten married, graduated college, lived in four different states, travelled abroad, adopted a zoo of fur babies, and–most recently–landed her dream job as a Patient Coach.
As an 8th grader in Middle School, Meghan began having her first bouts of severe diarrhea and IBD symptoms, but doctors dismissed her as just being a nervous child. After about a year, she received a Crohn’s diagnosis and started down a path a trying various prescriptions from oral medications, Methotrexate injections, and biologics. Too sick to stay in school, she was home schooled for the next few years.
During the summer before her sophomore year, she finally responded to Remicade and went into remission. With her parents’ encouragement and being concerned about the possible side-effects of biologics, she went medication free and did well for about five years with the help of a homeopathic doctor. But, during her junior year of college, life and stress caught up and she was back in a Crohn’s flare.
Meghan shares what it was like to start back at square one and how she got through the struggles and kept a positive mindset. Then, after finding relief with Entivyo for a few years, in 2015, her doctor told her she had high grade dysplasia–a precancerous colon. Coming to terms with the fact that her best option was to remove her colon and rectum, she chose to have the surgery for a permanent ileostomy.
Looking back, she has no regrets and the ostomy has changed her life for the better. Listen as she shares what the recovery process was like–including the initial learning curve she battled with caring for her ostomy–and the importance of talking with someone who’s been through the same thing. Now serving as an advocate for IBD and as a patient coach for 11 Health, she shares what it has been like to not only help others, but how it has also helped herself heal. She encourages every IBD patient to reach out and talk with someone, to take a step back and not worry about the little things, and to take care of yourself every day.
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