There was once a little girl named Jane. Jane was a pleasant little girl who loved princesses and fairies. Along with her best friends, Chloe and Sarah, Jane would often be in trouble at school for playing make believe. Their teacher would often tell the girls that fairies didn’t exist and magic wasn’t real but this didn’t affect them because in their hearts they knew Mrs Kook was wrong.
One morning Jane woke up with a sore tummy. This wasn’t like the sore tummy she usually got when she ate too much fairy floss, this was much more painful. Her tummy felt like it was tying itself in knots and she felt as though she was going to vomit. All of a sudden, Jane had to use the bathroom and she noticed her poo was very runny and it was painful to use the toilet. Jane’s parents were woken from their sleep to Jane’s cries and they drove her straight to the hospital.
At the hospital, the most beautiful young doctor saw Jane. It was uncanny how familiar this young doctor looked to Jane’s fairy godmother! The doctor approached in her exquisite gown and from her little bag, the doctor pulled out her wand.
“This must be the lovely Jane?! Hello Jane! My name is Grace and I am your fairy god mother”.
“It appears that you have been having some trouble with your tummy Jane. We can’t let this keep happening now can we? We need to use some special powers to find out what the problem is. To get to the bottom of this I need to perform a few magic tests to create the perfect potion!
Firstly, I need some of your blood; you will only feel a tiny scratch! Grace whipped her wand around and placed the end, which was rather sharp, on Jane’s arm. Thank you Jane!
I know this might seem funny to you but I also need some of your poo. This is a key ingredient to the potion!
Next I need to see inside of your tummy and take a little sample for my fairy friends to look at under a big special magnifying glass. Close your eyes tight and count to 10 Jane!”
“1, 2, 3, 4…” Jane drifted off to sleep before she could even make it to 10. She dreamed of being up in the treetops with Chloe and Sarah having a party with their fairies.
Jane woke up lying in a bed that felt like the clouds. Grace was peering excitedly over her. Grace pronounced that she had something very important to tell Jane and her family.
“Now that I have done these magic tests and created my potion, it appears that Jane’s tummy has bad magic inside. This magic has resulted in a disease called inflammatory bowel disease. This isn’t something Jane has caught from one of the naughty girls at school, nor is it something she can pass on to one of her friends. This bad magic can sometimes happen, even to the loveliest little princesses like Jane.
This disease happens when your body decides to attack its digestive system with bad magic. This causes ulcers and tears that give you pain, bleeding and runny poo. Your digestive system is a long hollow pipe, which goes all the way from your mouth, into your stomach and to your bottom. As you chew and swallow, food passes from your mouth, down your oesophagus and into your stomach. Your stomach helps break your food into smaller bits so it can pass into your intestines where your body takes nutrients from your food. After the nutrients have been taken, what remains is pushed into your rectum where it will wait until you next need to poo.
There are 2 kinds of inflammatory bowel disease. One is called Crohn’s disease and the other is Ulcerative colitis.
Crohn’s disease develops in your intestines but it can affect anywhere between your mouth and your bottom hole. The whole thickness of the tube wall is affected making it sore and swollen.
Ulcerative colitis only affects part the way through the tube wall and happens in your colon and rectum.
Both of these diseases last many years and, over time, they come and go over and over again. But don’t be too worried! Many kids, just like you, have long periods of time, sometimes years before they have any troubles with their tummy!
Every time the inflammation flares up, your tummy will become sore and you poo will become loose, even with blood in it sometimes. Just like what has been happening to you now Jane.
Lucky for you though, this disease is very treatable and I have used my magic tricks and tests to create a special potion that makes you feel much better! I also have a lot of fairy friends who know everything there is to know about inflammatory bowel disease.
One of my fairy friends knows everything about the digestive system, another is excellent with different kinds of food, another helps you with your feeling and there are many more of my friends I cannot wait to introduce you to! I also want you to tell your friends Chloe and Sarah what I have told you. It is important that they know so they can help you and support you when you are in trouble.
The first thing I need to give you is a potion to help overcome the bad magic. This is a very powerful medication called a steroid, which stops your body causing damage to your tummy. You will feel better in the next few days after this good magic.
Once you are feeling better I will give you another special potion to keep you feeling better. These magic potions are quite complicated and I will talk to your mum and dad about them!
Even though Mrs Kook is a kook, I don’t want you to be missing too much school with your sore tummy. The potions should help with that. It is also very important that you take care with yourself. Play as much as you can with your friends, eat delicious food, and take your potions. I want you to grow as strong as possible and I don’t want your tummy to play up!
That is all I have to tell you for now Jane. But remember with my advice and the magic potions you are no different from your friends Chloe and Sarah!
For more information about Crohn’s disease:
Crohn’s & Colitis Australia is the peak national body representing the more 75,000 Australians diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. They provide support services, fund research and create public awareness of these chronic diseases.
The UK’s leading charity in the battle against Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.