In the first of a series of monthly columns, Angus mum Debbie Hamilton reveals how she deals with living with Crohn’s Disease.
I am a 45-year-old married mother of two, a full-time Early Years Practitioner within a Primary School who also happens to live with Crohn’s Disease.
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s in June 2019 after a few years of feeling increasingly unwell.
Some people say they got a sense of relief when they were diagnosed – I was one of those who did not. I felt it was the beginning of the end and went into a state of grieving, grieving for the future I thought I had and also feeling fearful of what now lay ahead.
The following year was a challenge both physically and emotionally as I dealt with the hurdles that living with an autoimmune condition brings – frequent hospital visits, blood tests, intravenous and oral medications and a restricted diet.
On my consultant’s advice, I ate bland and, in all honesty, boring food which was a real challenge for me.
I am a big foodie, I loved eating out and I loved cooking for my family.
Before diagnosis, I would cook as much as possible from scratch, as much as being a busy working mum allowed.
Post-diagnosis I couldn’t face it. Why cook when I couldn’t eat or enjoy it? Another thing I felt I had lost because of Crohn’s. My diet when downhill and my symptoms were troublesome at times and on the worst days I was fearful to leave the house –“what if I can’t find a toilet in time?!”.
Yes living with Crohn’s can sometimes mean your life is planned by where the nearest toilet is located. As time passed I was given the go-ahead to eat what I want from the consultants and see how you manage and I regained my love for cooking once again.
Fast forward to January this year and we were back in lockdown and now planning, preparation and cooking meals was the focus to get me through shielding for the second time.
My husband, Gregor, came up with the idea to start my page on Facebook.
“A place to share your recipes and maybe help someone who is in the same position as you,” he said.
After some encouragement and persuasion “Crohn’s Cooking & Me” was born and the interest in it is growing.
I share my recipes that I have adapted that my digestion can tolerate, using organic and local produce wherever possible.
People have started to reach out to me sharing their own experiences with living with IBD and how they are “desperate to eat something tasty again”.
It really has turned a negative into a positive, people are actually using my recipes, yes my recipes!
You can find the Facebook page by clicking here.