I remember it like it were yesterday even though it happened when I was fourteen years old. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (later found out it was actually Crohn’s disease) and from the moment I knew I had a disease I felt…different.
I suppose I am not the only one who feels this way. There are moments in your life you can recall so easily, and then moments you no longer remember or have little recollection of. But the change I felt when I was diagnosed with a chronic disease, well that moment I can recall so vividly. It was like time moved in slow motion or had stopped and all I could think about was that I had a disease.
(Me at the age I was diagnosed)
It was 1996 that I was given my diagnosis. My mom and I left the doctors office and drove to the city I used to live in to pick up one of my best friends who lived on my old street. I was silent the entire ride there as time moved in slow motion. I was trying to show that it was no big deal and that this didn’t really affect me. Internally I was SCARED. I had a disease. everything had changed. I, ME, Sara Danielle Ringer had a disease! As a teenage girl I was already so self-conscious and hyper-aware of everything about myself. Would people be scared of me? Would they think I was gross? What if they didn’t want to be my friend anymore? Was I going to die? What did this all mean? All I knew is from that moment on things changed.
I’ll never forget that car ride home and the change that happened inside of me. The change that happens when you go from a healthy person to someone who has a disease.