Healthy Living

A Patient’s Perspective on Routine Crohn’s Check-ups

Jenna shares her experience: In the waiting room

It all starts in the waiting room. You’ve somehow arrived on time and finally found a place to park in the busy, huge parking garage of the bustling hospital. Now you’re here sitting with dozens of other people, avoiding eye contact yet curiously wondering who else in the room has inflammatory bowel disease.

As someone with inflammatory bowel disease, Jenna says she can’t help trying to find others who also have the disease. When she meets these people, she immediately wants to become best friends with them and talk about her disease. She feels that most inflammatory bowel disease patients feel this way. Anyone with inflammatory bowel disease feels so much better when they can share their experience someone else who actually understands.

The entire room is usually filled with patients who are also here to see the bowel specialist.  However, despite an internal urge to talk to each other, you still end up sitting quietly and avoiding eye contact instead of getting to know each other. It’s intimidating to go up to strangers and strike up conversations about intimate details!

While pondering about whether or not your fellow waiting room guests are potentially new best friends, you hear your name called. You suddenly feel so relieved that the waiting times have somehow been shortened over the past years and get up quickly in anticipation. Maybe this time your appointment won’t take up your entire day. You pick up your belongings and follow the nurse inside, only to find out it’s a false alarm. The nurse is only checking you in by taking your vitals and weighing you.