I started my first blog, livingwithUCintheQC when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, back in 2011. I thought that writing about it would raise awareness and make me feel better just to put it out there. I hate this disease. I had a wonderful love affair with remission a while back but I am stuck in limbo now. I’m sick and really want to get well. I just can’t get there. It is so frustrating. When I am well my family and friends forget I even have it. When I am in remission, I forget I have it. But when I am not…I remember. I feel the horrible cramping and see the blood. My husband remembers. He sees me exhausted, dehydrated, taking tons of medication and tweaking my diet to feel better. My friends know that I stalk all public places for a restroom . My poor children know. They see Mommy running home and leaving them at the bus stop most mornings. They joke that Mommy could poop in her pants at any time. My family and friends love me and support me, but they don’t really get it. I love that there is a community out there of IBD sufferers like me. (Thank you social media!)
So, what is this Get Your Belly Out thing? If you search for the hashtag #GetYourBellyOut on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you will see tons of belly photographs: some scarred from surgery, some unscarred, some with colostomy bags, some pale, some tattooed, some wrinkled tummies, some 6-packs, and even dog bellies. (Yes, that is Toby‘s belly shot above!)
The #GetYourBellyOut campaign celebrates the fight that IBD sufferers go through. It’s also raising money to go towards finding a cure for IBD. This is a disease that is silent because most people are often embarrassed and ashamed. Have you ever heard the saying, “Never trust a fart?” If you haven’t, you aren’t a IBD sufferer. That is a common joke for us.
When I was making the collages of all the belly pictures it was so touching. Scrolling through all the picture of just bellies–not faces seemed so innocent, and heart-rending.
Want to join in the movement? You don’t have to have Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis to take part in the campaign – EVERYBODY CAN GET INVOLVED! Take a photograph of your tummy and share it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, adding the #GetYourBellyOut and #IBDawareness hashtags.