I was diagnosed at 13 and feel I have always led a pretty normal life. I work, raise a family of 4 boys (5 counting the hubby!
) housework, cooking, looking after the pets, ride my motorcycle, going out on our boat most weekends in the summer, and go on camping trips with the family in which we sleep in a tent.
I may have to figure things out before hand (don't eat if I won't be gone long, take extra immodium if I am, make sure I know where the bathrooms are and make frequent pit stops, carry extra clothes with me) but I DO NOT let this disease control my life. I refuse to sit home, worrying about what COULD go wrong. If something happens, I deal with it and move on. Admittedly, there are days where I am exhausted and just want to veg and watch tv or sleep, but don't people without crohn's have those days too?
I have people in my family who, while I wouldn't necessarily call them hypochondriacs because they do, admittedly, have something wrong, will sit at home watching for, waiting for, and sometimes imagining the newest symptom they are going thru. I decided a long time ago when I was first diagnosed with this DD that I was going to live life on my terms. For several years, I even ignored it, which has come back to bite me in the butt (literally! ) now that I'm older.
You can LIVE with this disease. It's not a death sentence, just an inconvenience.