Not all Illnesses are Visible to the Naked Eye

Mallory - Orange Park, Florida
Entered on November 12, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Not all Illnesses are Visible to the Naked Eye

This I believe that not all illnesses make someone look deathly sick. The summer of 1999 can best be described as the worst and best summer of my life. The summer of 1999 I woke up from having a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. About a week later I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. One could say that my life was over right then and there, but later on in my journey through the stages of my illness I learned that living with Crohn’s Disease can be quite interesting.

To the human eye someone with perhaps a form of cancer can be pointed out in a crowd because the person may be wearing a wig, have no hair at all, or very skinny and brittle looking. Looking at a teenager like me who has been diagnosed with Crohn’s one could not tell that I was physically sick with a deathly illness. I am the perfect weight for my height, have all my hair, and I am very active with my friends and extracurricular activity.

The only time one could possibly tell that I was deathly ill was when I was in Wolfson’s Children Hospital for half of my freshman year. On October 20, 2006 I had a laparoscopic bowel resection, in other words I had fifty-five centimeters of my small intestines removed and my appendix. I believe that the only way to tell if someone is suffering from Crohn’s Disease is if one knows that the person has Crohn’s Disease and that person has done a little research on it or if the person is a nurse and knows what to look for. I am thankful that I do not look like I am suffering from a fatal illness.

The summer of 1999 helped me realize that although I look like every other teenager mentally I am not the same. Living with Crohn’s Disease strengthened me mentally as a person, helping me realize how much harder I must work to enjoy everyday activities like hanging out with friends when I am not in remission. Being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease helped me mentally and physically be able to with stand any test that the doctors make me go through and has helped me be a stronger person for any obstacles waiting for me ahead in life.

I am a senior at Fleming Island High School and I am writing to you today to inform whoever is reading this essay that not all people who are sick with a fatal illness like Crohn’s Disease look sick. I believe that Crohn’s Disease and other illnesses are unseen to the naked eye. I believe that although on the outside I do not look sick deep down I truly am. I believe that being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease proved that I am a normal teenager; I just have a stronger mentality and know how to work through my weaknesses to make me a stronger person.