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Then I’ll take you back in time. Back to 1998 and junior high school (Hegra Ungdomsskole). In my senior year I got the disease Morbus Crohn. I remember the day at Levanger hospital and Dr. Kristian Hveem told me that Ingrid you have bowel disease “morbus crohn” . I probably had the disease several years before I was diagnosed. It took about 1 year from initial samples until I got the message.
“What did you call it? ”, I remember asking the doctor.
It started with abdominal pain, weight loss and blood in the stool. Lots of pain and cramps in the stomach. Running to the bathroom after every meal, no matter what I ate. Held at nothing. This also led to that I started eating less because I was afraid I was going to “shit” in my pants if I was not close enough to a bathroom. At the worst, I was on the toilet over 30 times in one day. It looked like I had vomited blood in the toilet. It was always worse at nighttime and in the morning for me. I struggled the most between 3 AM and 10 AM. This led to problems getting to school in time. I was weak and unwell, but that is not hard to understand …?
That I didn`t gain weight but rather lost kilos – was somehow okay for me. It was always a battle to be the thinnest, prettiest and best at everything. It’s a typical girl thing to be concerned about appearance. I could eat whatever I wanted – without gaining any weight. I just got thinner and thinner without doing anything. PERFECT?
But since I was in the toilet every time I had eaten at school or elsewhere, people began to react … Several students in my class at Junior High called my mom and asked if she knew I had a eating disorder. My mom asked me about it and then I just had to say what was going on.
The reason I had not spoken to her was that my grandfather had colon cancer, and that he discovered with blood in the stool. I was afraid I had the same my grandfather. I was afraid to die, and therefore I said nothing to protect myself and those around me . I was sure that I had cancer and was dying. But after I told my mom we went right to the doctor for some tests – lots of tests … After numerous blood tests and various other tests they found that I had Morbus Crohn in April 1998.
Meråker VG school 1999,2000 and 2001
I had been looking forward to begin High School. I was going to be handball pro! I certainly had big goals and dreams about it at least. Anja Andersen was and is my great handball idol. Therefore I saw this as a chance to develop my talent. I was supposed to be the “new” Anja. I was quick, skillful and gave everything everytime during matches. I was picked out on regional talent-teams and had ambitions to become something big. There was no “if”, it was rather a question of when I would be pro!! I was as fierce as Anja according to my dad … hehe
But that was not going to happen. Meråker became one true hell. My shape was just getting worse and worse. I trained and trained – no progress. I was slack, dizzy and got lots of minor injuries because of bad general condition. I understood nothing – I was supposed to be the best on the pitch. Handball was, and remains important to me. It was a real letdown to see his dream being crushed because of disease!!
It was neither a good feeling to be mistrusted by teachers at school. Many thought I was a truant and just lazy. It was hurtful to see that when I tried to explain I colud see in their eyes that they didn`t believe me. One day I got a teacher yelled at me after numerous trips to the bathroom in a mathlesson… “Ingrid – you can go to the bathroom during recess like ordinary people”
What could I do? When you gotta go, you gotta go!! Is not possible to wait! No one at the age of 16 thinks it’s okay shit in their pants … No understanding…
Not until I was found passed out in the locker room during a handball-session the second year. With my pants on my knees and blood everywhere. After days, months and years with the disease. Who would ever lie about a decease like this? Who would willingly tell about blood, stool and abdominal pain if they didn`t have it? Had I been a truant, I had never come up with excuses about a disease like this…. or what?
So I can tell you it’s been tough to be seriously ill in the years that is supposed to be your best teen years.Having lost many good friends, or to put it another way. Found out who my real friends are.
Having lost many good friends, or to put it another way. Found out who my real friends are.
It has been painful to see that those you think are your friends – are not when you need them the most.
Part III is about the importance of good, honest friends and a special event …