Conference v. Camp?

18 08 2010

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about where I fall in the medical community.

I have Crohn’s. I have an ostomy.

My friends with ostomies don’t have Crohn’s. Most of my friends with Crohn’s don’t (at least anymore) have an ostomy.

Having both is a completely unique experience. I have had Crohn’s for 12 years and have been through an incredible amount of, well, crap. I’ve had an ostomy for a year and a half and have loved it. But the Crohn’s doesn’t go away.

When I do have the chance to meet someone with everything going on that I have, it’s like something CLICKS! It’s amazing. You have the same stories, the same meds, the same love of the bag. It’s pretty great.

Recently I’ve been getting more involved in the Crohn’s community with a fundraising walk for CCFA as well as camp and the ostomy community with the message boards and conferences. It’s kind of cool. It’s nice to have people around me with bodies that suck as much as mine.

What I’m really struggling with (which seems crazy because it is literally a year in advance) is next year the UOAA ostomy conference and CCFA’s Camp Oasis fall on the same week. Both of these experiences have introduced me to people my age from across the country, even the world. Both have helped me become comfortable with my disease and my body and increased my confidence in advocacy. Both are experiences that I talk about for weeks afterwards and count down the time to go back!

The conference only meets every 2 years, so at this point I’m planning on an every other year approach for both events. But I almost feel like I need to figure out which medical community I fit best in. I think though, that I have a foot squarely in both.

So if you haven’t gotten connected yet, I highly recommend it. Check out CCFA events, UOAA message boards, the community. You won’t believe how wonderful it feels.




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