Using art and craft to cope: Monique’s IBD story

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease back in 2019 at the age of 23 after only a few months of experiencing symptoms. The diagnosis came as a shock because I had never heard of IBD before and had never experienced any health issues up until this. Fortunately, I was able to get into remission within a year and so I think the serious reality of IBD didn’t hit & I thought I would just take some medication for the rest of my life and be fine. 

Unfortunately though at the end of 2020 I would end up in a flare that would take over two years, many failed medication attempts and a hospital admission to get back under control. It was absolutely the most challenging time in my life and I think the reality of having a chronic illness came crashing down on me at this point. However, during this time I found an outlet in crafts and hobbies. I think it is important to have a hobby that you can do at home during these times where it is a struggle to leave the house and also something that can provide you with some distraction and a sense of accomplishment. Now I use my crafts as a way to process the many emotions you go through when living with IBD. 

I try to use humour and bright colours in my art as a way to look at my Crohn’s in a different light. My favourite projects have been my colonoscopy incense holder and I recently finished this ‘Stelara Sweater’, I thought I would create some Crohn’s medication merch. Stelara has given me my life back over the last year and a half and I am finally back into remission so I wanted to celebrate it on a jumper that I knitted and designed myself. 

So at the end of the day, I have my wonderful friends, family and crafts to get me through the bad times and to celebrate the good times. 

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