In this week’s episode, Krista Deveau shares her 18-year Crohn’s journey. Diagnosed at just 9 years old, Krista has gone through multiple surgeries, had a feeding tube twice (one time as a child and another as an adult), and tried just about every medication available for IBD. A little over a year ago, she received an ostomy and has been enjoying a new lease on life, thanks to Stella the Stoma.
Krista shares her experience as a child with Crohn’s Disease and what it was like to have a feeding tube. She talks about the incredible support she received from her family, friends, and community and gives tips and advice to parents who might have a child with a feeding tube. Her disease continued to progress as she got older, never really reaching remission, and she talks about how it wasn’t until the last six years that she really considered herself to be sick.
It was while she was finishing her degree, moving with her husband, and starting a career as a teacher that the stress and changes in life were becoming too much for her body to handle. Like many IBD Warriors, through sheer determination and stubbornness, she pulled herself through the immediate challenges, but then knew it was time to start healing.
A little more than a year ago, she had to advocate for her own care and sought the opinions and advice from friends and other ostomates about her next options. Her doctors wanted to delay surgery and keep trying medications, despite how sick she had become and even though she had never truly been in remission. Knowing it was the right decision, she asked for an ostomy and it gave her back her life.
Over the last few years she has learned to listen to her body and understands that rest and slowing down are just as important to her overall health as the surgery and medications have been. She talks about the benefits of sharing her IBD with her boss and coworkers and how supportive they have been. In learning to slow down and listen to her body, she’s also learning how to balance life, stress and Crohn’s, including making the transition from full-time work to part time.
Finally, she shares a little bit about what it’s been like to reintroduce foods back into her diet after surgery and talks about the experience her husband had while wearing an ostomy bag during World Ostomy Day this past October. It’s now been over two years that she’s been sharing her Crohn’s journey and raising awareness for IBD with no plans to stop! To keep up with her story, follow her on Instagram @my.gut.instinct