I struggled to write this article. I was imagining people scouring the article for every little thing I did wrong. I was constantly questioning the worth and validity of what I had to say. I'm still doing it as I write this.
When people hear about Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, they do not hear these stories. However, to get a full understanding of how serious these diseases are, it's essential that these stories are shared.
Three days before my first solo show, I stood alone in a Dallas art gallery staring at one of my paintings. Tied Up At The Hospital is about my first visit to the hospital when I was five years old. This painting is about the moment when I realized that I was powerless in this fight.
Art has provided me with the tools to transform that pain and anguish into beauty and healing. Line and color provide a conduit through which I can reach into the deepest part of myself and share the treasures that lie within.
Six years ago, I had not heard of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. I lived in a world where I was blissfully unaware of inflammatory bowel diseases, where the debilitating symptoms didn't impact my life. Then I met my now-husband Dan, and everything changed.
My husband has some residual pain and small scars from the surgery, but his Crohn's disease is mostly under control. Going through these serious hospitalizations and the surgery taught me the importance of being in control of your loved one's medical care.