Chapters - Table of Contents

Please click on the links below to read various chapters from the book The First Year: Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colitis, and learn how to take control of your inflammatory bowel disease symptoms today. Personal stories from many IBD sufferers are incorporated into the chapters, as is special information for children with IBD (and their parents).

Are you frightened? Or just confused? These are normal things to feel when you have been diagnosed with a chronic, essentially incurable disease. But with education and support, you can feel more confident and content not only about today but also about the future. Surgery, tests and several medications can be difficult to manage, much less grasp on an intellectual level.

Coming to terms with having a chronic illness is the first step in the process that includes becoming educated about the disease, and gaining empowerment to make choices in medication and surgical options and to help you to navigate the altered course of your life that this disease can force upon you. While I wouldn't wish this on my meanest sister, I welcome you to a wonderful community of people who understand you and support your journey. You are NOT alone.

Day 1 ~ Living: It's Not Your Fault
Being told that you have something incurable or only curable with the surgical removal of the colon can feel like a slap in the face. So, for your first day, we are just going to deal with what you have right now: a diagnosis and a bit of shock. Just let that sink in. And as you are going through all of the accompanying feelings-perhaps a bit of denial and certainly a lot of wonder-just remember this next line: there is nothing you did to cause this nor did anyone else.

Day 1 ~ Learning: What is IBD?
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a catchall phrase that encompasses a variety of conditions that are marked by inflammation and can occur anywhere from the lips to the anus. There are two main diseases that are commonly referred to as IBD: Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis strikes the large intestine or colon, whereas Crohn's affects the entire GI tract.

Day 2
Living: Grieving: Are You Sure?
Learning: What the Tests Tell Us

Day 3
Living: Acceptance and Hope
Learning: The Workplace, the Law and IBD

Day 4
Living: Finding Solace and Support
Learning: How the Diseases Work

Day 5
Living: Assembling Your Health Care Team
Learning: The Intestinal Complications of IBD

Day 6
Living: When to Call the Doctor
Learning: The Ailments that Accompany IBD

Day 7
Living: Coping with Pain
Learning: Genetics and Other Causative Factors

First-Week Milestone

Week 2
Learning: The Role of Medication in the Treatment of IBD
Living: Living with the Effects of Medication

Week 3
Learning: Drugs that Help, Drugs that Hurt
Living: Compliance

Week 4
Learning: Vitamins, Herbs and Other Essential Nutrients
Living: Seeking Alternative Therapy

First-Month Milestone

Month 2
Learning: The Role of Nutrition
Living: What Can I Eat? What Should I Avoid?

Month 3
Learning: Non-ostomy Surgical Options
Living: Surviving Surgery and Other Hospital Stays

Learning: The Ostomy
Living: Coping with the Ostomy

Month 5
Learning: Cancer and IBD
Living: Surviving the Colonoscopy and Other Awful Tests

Month 6
Learning: Sex and Fertility
Living: Intimacy Issues

Half-Year Milestone

Month 7
Learning: Pregnancy, Childbirth and Lactation
Living: Coping with Pregnancy, Childbirth and Recovery with IBD

Month 8
Living: Living Daily Life
Learning: Remission: Life Beyond Disease

Month 9
Living: Travel and IBD
Learning: Insurance and IBD

Month 10
Living: Children and IBD
Learning: Treatments for Children with IBD

Month 11
Learning: Understanding Research
Living: Participating in Research

Month 12
Living: Moving On
Learning: Finding a Cure


For Further Reading


All information is copyrighted by Jill Sklar, 2002. All rights reserved.

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