For quite a few years I have been aware of support groups going on for people with conditions such as Crohn’s and colitis. While being aware of these I have never actually taken part in them. I’ve always buried my had in the sand and gotten on with it on my own in a rather stubborn manner. It’s only really since my operation that I’ve started looking into these groups and have wanted to really get involved in them. I know that there are the online groups, a number of really active ones being on Facebook. Over the last few months I have started to join and take part in some of the discussions on these groups, sharing my experience on a certain subject, sharing some supportive words with people going through a rough time and just as importantly joining in on when people are feeling good. This participation has got me interested in going along to some of the monthly ones that take place in some of the hospitals.
I have been in touch with my local IBD nurse, Gini, and have spoken to her about getting involved with one of these groups. From what I gather there is nothing like this going on at Broomfield which is my local hospital. Meetings take place at other hospitals in the area but nothing here. Between us we have hatched a plan to visit some other groups, find out how things are done, and then put together our own group in Broomfield which is really exciting. Of course I will be updating this on here for anyone with Crohn’s or Colitis who is based here in Essex. One meeting that does take place in Broomfield is a twice-yearly medical meeting, where IBD patients can go to hear talks from doctors, specialists and other relevant people. The next one is in November, and I intend to head along to check it out. If anyone is interested in finding out about this then do check out the Crohn’s and Colitis web page for this here.
Slight tangent here from the title: I was at a fair over the weekend, and I had been given permission to promote the wristbands and the blog. I got chatting to the parents of some old school friends of mine, the dad of whom is a head teacher of a local school. He mentioned the idea of getting in touch with local schools, and preparing a short talk to give to school kids. Thinking about this: it actually strikes me as a really good idea, seeing as a lot of people who are diagnosed with Crohn’s are in the teenage years or early twenties it makes perfect sense to increase the awareness of this sort of thing amongst people in this age group. This new idea needs more planning, but the idea is there at least!
After this event I had to head out to play in a pub gig with my band; chatting to the landlord I mentioned about the bands and he gave me his full support on selling these in his pub. Just going around and telling people about it, I managed to sell 16 wristbands, and a fair few people just donated money, which once you take off the cost of the bands amounts too £38.20 in one evening, so thanks to everyone who took part!