Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wedding Woes

I was never one of those women that had girlhood dreams of her wedding day. In all honesty, I never thought I would get married. That all changed when I met Neil and knew within a few short weeks that he was the one for me.

As the wedding date drew near (Halloween!) and my Crohn’s was in full blown flare, I started to think about the minute details of the wedding. I realized that being in my wedding dress, corset, fake bum and all the other underthings that are part of a bride’s trousseau would greatly hamper my getting to a washroom fast enough. Then a horrible thought struck and stayed with me right up until the day of the event. I had a vision of me, bedecked in all my finery, floating down the aisle, family and friends smiling and looking on while a beaming Neil waited at the end of the walk when all of a sudden, it hits. I have intense cramps and break out into the cold sheen of a person who knows they are doomed. Is it wedding nerves? Cold feet? Second thoughts? No, it’s diarrhea. The type of diarrhea that only a person with Crohn’s or Colitis can have. The sudden, painful knowledge that it’s coming right now and there is nothing you can do but hope that you are able to get yourself to relative seclusion and cleaned up quickly.

With that very real possibility running through my mind I hit up the internet in hopes that I could find something that would effectively plug the bum. Everything I came across I had tried in the preceding 10 years to no avail. It was a daunting and frightening daydream that didn’t seem to have an answer.

The day of the wedding arose warm and clear. My fear of having a rainy outdoor wedding wouldn’t come to pass. Between all the preparations, Fat Tuesday's, the hair, Fat Tuesday's, make-up, fat Tuesday's, running up and down the strip (we got married in Las Vegas), Fat Tuesday's and the occasional bill thrown into a slot machine, the day flew by and I was walking down the aisle like a normal bride. The dreaded diarrhea didn’t rear its head and my wedding day was surprisingly Crohn’s symptom free.

The day after the wedding was another story. I managed to get myself up and out of bed so Neil and I could accompany some of the cousin’s to the Eiffel Tower at Paris Paris. We ascended the outdoor structure and realized it’s just an extravagant viewing tower. No washrooms. Not even a place to cop a squat if the need arose. The need arosed. I had to beg the elevator operator to take me down to ground level where I did the bum clench waddle to the closest washroom. Have you ever tried to find a washroom in a Las Vegas casino? It would be easier to find Atlantis or the holy grail then try to find the elusive toilet. Once again, Crohn’s reminded me that I was not normal.

All that changed when I received Oscar. No more running and clenching.

Thank you Oscar for allowing me the opportunity to savour important days and be fully in the moment, not ½ in the moment and the other ½ thinking about a washroom.


  1. The Great Comebacks event recognizes the achievements of people who have overcome Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, colorectal cancer and other conditions that can lead to ostomy surgery – and the caregivers who have helped them transition to life after surgery.

  2. Hi Dan,
    I know of the awards! I was the 2010 Western Canadian recipient. I wish I had dedicated more time to my written submission but it was early on a Saturday morning and the coffee hadn't kicked in yet!