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Friday, September 14, 2018

Crohn's IS Ugly - But It Didn't Have To Be

I didn't want this to be my first post after such a long hiatus necessarily, but I just saw this in my newsfeed and I need to talk about it.

It isn't a huge secret that I have a problem with a quote Shannen Doherty made about having Crohn's disease.  "There's nothing sexy about women saying: 'I've got to go to the bathroom right now,'" the television actress reportedly told Star magazine more than a decade ago. And she hasn't ever said anything else about her Crohn's disease - ever.  However, she has highly publicized her battle with breast cancer.  Here is the latest article about that. This leaves me fuming.

I'm not upset that she is doing well and that cancer changed her life for the better; on the contrary.  I am very happy that she not only battled cancer and won, but I am pleased how she portrayed her battle on social media and in the news.  I think that is a remarkable thing to do and it brings much needed attention to a very important cause.  I'm glad she is healthy and doing well.  I wish her no ill will.  I just wish that she would have given the same consideration to Crohn's disease.

Crohn's isn't as well known, or accepted, as breast cancer.  Back when I was first diagnosed with Crohn's, I remember laying in the hospital recovering from exploratory surgery being totally doped up on morphine and watching Beverly Hills 90210.  I remember my cousin called me and we were talking about my new diagnosis of Crohn's and I was in such a drugged haze that I was mixing up reality with what was happening on the show during our conversation. I asked my cousin if she showed her mom the ring that Brandon had given her. ( If I recall correctly, it was the episode where Brandon asked Kelly to marry him. )  Thanks morphine!

I didn't know anything about Crohn's at that time.  I didn't even believe that I really had it. I didn't understand.  I was 18 years old and had no clue how to handle a chronic illness that had no cure and would cause me to fight every day for the rest my life. Had someone been able to say to me, "Hey, you know that girl who plays Brenda on 90210? She has Crohn's disease and look at her.  Look at everything she can do."  I think it really would have made a huge difference. Everyone knew the show 90210.  Name me one girl who wasn't in love with Dylan. Go ahead, name one, I'll wait.

Shannen Doherty could have used her celebrity status to bring awareness to Crohn's disease a long time ago just like she did for breast cancer, only she chose not to because it wasn't sexy.  That's sad.  To me, that says she was more concerned about her appearance and what others thought of her sex appeal than helping someone who might be struggling with the same disease she had.  It's all well and good if I, some girl from Ohio, says I have Crohn's and talks openly about the struggles of it, but I'm no one.  If Shannen Doherty says it people would actually take note. There would be cool hashtags like #kickcrohnsass and #crohnswarrior all over the internet and people would know what it means when someone says they have that disease.  Those of us who suffer would hear things like, "Oh yea, doesn't Brenda from 90210 have that too?" Instead of, "What's that?"

Again, I'm honestly glad she is well and beat her cancer.  But I'm disappointed she didn't act the same way for something she considers unsexy.  Crohn's disease IS ugly, but maybe if more beautiful people like her talked about it openly it wouldn't be.

Now let's take a moment to admire Dylan for old times sake. Drink it in ladies!

(Rest In Peace, Mr. Perry 3-4-18)


Lenette Sparacino said...

I 100% agree with this! BTW, I’m _lifewithcrohnsdisease_ on IG!

Jenni's Guts said...

Thanks Lenette! And I gotchu on IG! ;)

Mirabella Jackson said...

Oh my gosh I seriously think the same thing, we get labeled as oh that disease where you poop a lot. If more people on her platform used it to speak about the other affects crohns has on us, more people would understand and not just think we only poop for a living.