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The Day After Diagnosis - How Should I Feel?

Hi, I just joined this site about 5 minutes ago. Yesterday, I was diagnosed with Crohn's as well as Ulcerative Colitis, caused by the Crohn's. I'm a young chef and struggling with overwhelming fear of the effects this will have on my life. I can't shake this feeling that this is the end of my career and my dream, and that I must have done something wrong to deserve or inflict this on myself. I feel like I'm drowning and I don't know how to feel or who to blame or what to do next. Any tips on the first couple steps I should take? I'm completely lost.


Forum Monitor
Sorry you've joined the club.
I'd honestly say whatever you're going through today is expected (numb, overwhelmed, angry, sad, in total denial, etc)

It takes time to adjust. Not just days or weeks but maybe months.
I'd suggest checking out ccfa.com. (Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America)

Sending you my support.


Super Moderator
Hello and welcome, fellow Wisconsinite! First of all, whatever you're feeling, it's okay to feel those emotions. You've just been told that you have a lifelong, incurable illness. There's definitely a grieving process that goes along with that. It's totally valid to grieve the loss of the life you thought you'd have. It's okay to be angry, sad, terrified, frustrated, depressed - whatever you're feeling, it's okay and it's normal to have some extreme emotions when you're facing something like this. And we're always here if you need to vent or get support or just to know that someone else has been through it too.

And besides those negative emotions, it's also okay to feel positive emotions. There are a lot of good treatments which can get the illness into remission and get you feeling pretty much normal again. :) And they're coming out with new treatments all the time - if you'd like to feel hopeful, have a read about what they're doing with stem cells, with the MAP vaccine, the SSI vaccine, fecal microbiota transplants, and so on. There may well be a cure not too far off in the future. So just remember, although there isn't a cure now, that doesn't mean there won't be a cure. And in the meantime, there are many treatment options to get you feeling much better.

As for your career, I can't really answer to that. Honestly, I have heard that being a chef is very stressful, and stress tends to make our symptoms worse. You might need to take more breaks to rest or use the bathroom more often. I know though that just like with medical treatments, there are also some innovative things going on in the culinary world. I have a friend who is a chef, and he's always spitballing ideas about starting a food truck, or an underground restaurant in his home, or a pop-up restaurant, things of that nature. He makes it all sound very exciting. So, if you find that your health is preventing you from being a chef in the traditional sense, you might want to look into other options like that if possible.
Cat-a-Tonic gave some awesome advice.
As for being a Chef, you can always write a cookbook for people like us. There are so many people that suffer from gastrointestinal disorders and there are few recipes out there that are tasty, easy, and healthy.
To reitierate: YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG. This happens. We sometimes get an unlucky break and we have to put up with it, why? Because we are all beautiful in other ways, maybe not our bathroom habits but how is that something we can have control over?

Your life will require a bit more planning, but your body and mind will also require more compassion. Remember not to demand too much of yourself. That is not the same as giving up, but rather having realistic expectations that also take the disease into account.
I see it as a black cat that I have to carry around. Sometimes it's a kitten and it just sleeps in my pocket, at other times it's a lion pinning me down and there's little I can do. Just remember that it helps to talk, never pent this up inside because it is not a usual situation. Many people will not understand, but those that love and respect you will.
All the best for your news, I am sorry you have to join us in this odyssey.


Well-known member
Its not the end of the world by any means. Look at it this way, now you and your doctors know the source of your medical problem. You can better deal with it and tame the dragon. With that said treatments and or adjustments to diet and lifestyle could very well improve your quality of life. Your career may have been given a boost.