ImproveCareNow Autumn_erwin


A Void...Filled

For so many years I remember being this young girl surrounded by so many people but feeling so alone… different than everyone else. I used to never acknowledge that I had a chronic illness unless I had to. When I would get stomach pain, have frequent need for the restroom, or was unable to do what others were doing, that’s when I felt so different…so alone. I was always the one with the (not typical) belly pain, that couldn’t eat anything, or that kept running to the restroom…always feeling singled out.


Medication Roller Coaster

I sit staring at what feels like a mountain of pills, my pillbox barely shutting. I just wish I could be a normal college kid. Taking daily medications sounds so simple and easy, but it’s often one of my biggest challenges. Trying to keep up with medications and even appointments gets very exhausting, especially since I’ve had to do these things from a very young age. I know nothing more than a life filled with pills and appointments. 


You have just met someone who also has IBD - you are not alone.

I remember feeling so alone in my illness. I was diagnosed with at age six and I grew up alone with this disease I was told I had and would never go away. I was surrounded by so many people but felt so peculiar because I was the only one with this disease. I always wondered to myself, “why doesn’t anyone else have this thing called Crohn’s disease?” and “why am I the only one with it?


My new irritable friend

In November of 2021, I was diagnosed with IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. I had an uninvited, new irritable friend that became a part of my daily life, just like my IBD. Leading up to being diagnosed, I had been experiencing gut-wrenching belly pain, nausea with pain, and fluctuations between painful constipation and uncontrollable and very urgent soft stools. I knew something wasn’t right. I had experienced fluctuations of stool type from my IBD, but this time it was different. 


The dreaded medications

Quote from ImproveCareNow Patient Advisory Council member Autumn, "As long as I can remember, I have been required to take numerous different medicines and to 'trial and error' different ones to find what works best for me."

I have been surrounded by medications and taking pills my whole life. Between being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at six years old and being diagnosed with IBS recently, with all the different medications I have to take every day and have had to try - feeling overwhelmed is an understatement!


Episode 26 of the imPACt podcast - IBD and Medical Trauma

Join me (Autumn), Henry & Samantha for a conversation about medical trauma in IBD with ICN SWAP (Social Workers & Psychologists) group members Dr. Jennie David (licensed clinical pediatric IBD psychologist) and Dr. Alexandra Fuss. We are honored to have them join us to discuss this important topic.


I was given this life because I’m strong enough to live it!

My name is Autumn; I am 20 years old and I am currently in college. I am from Ohio and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in July of 2008, when I was just six years old. I have had Crohn’s for nearly 14 years. Something most people don’t know about me is that I absolutely love to travel. Long road trips (at night is my favorite!) and going and seeing places I have never been to before is something I really love and enjoy… I see a lot of adventures in my future! A couple places I would love to visit one day would be Canada and Disney World. OH...I really want to fly on a plane!


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