My name is Lucy Laube and I began showing symptoms of indeterminate colitis when I was 10 years old, but wasn’t diagnosed until I was 15. I was experiencing abdominal pain, urgency, blood, erythema nodosum, mouth ulcers, weight loss, joint pain, and fatigue. After many tests, I tried a few different medications, none of which did much to manage my IBD.
When I was 18 however, I developed a C.Diff. infection and a severe flare, and was hospitalized for a week. I was very underweight, malnourished, and in severe pain. It was then that the doctors realized I needed to be on biologics and immunosuppressant’s. Around this time, I started losing my hair. I got 20 inches cut off and donated it to charity.
Shortly after that, at an infusion center, a nurse administered an antihistamine incorrectly and I ended up developing PTSD and had to change to a different biologic. In 2016, I had a rare reaction to steroids that caused myopathy in my legs. I lost my job and for two and a half months I couldn’t walk or lift my legs. In the past year, however, I have been on the mend and in remission for the longest period in my life.
I am 21 years old and enjoy hiking, making art, and volunteering in the community. I have been volunteering at Take Steps since 2016, and in fall of 2017 I became the co-chairperson of Take Steps Portland. I also am on the Patient Education Planning Committee and organized a patient panel at our recent Education Conference in Portland. This year, I also had the opportunity to design and produce merchandise specifically for the Portland Take Steps walk, in addition to this national merchandise.
In December of 2017, I had the honor of having my story shared via video on the national Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Facebook page for IBD Awareness Week. I am a senior in college and majoring in Community Health Education with a minor in Graphic Design, and plan to be an Education Manager at the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation after I graduate.
Through this entire process, I have been very grateful to have friends, family, and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation by my side to motivate me and help me through some of the toughest experiences I’ve had. I hope to use my experiences and knowledge to guide and motivate other IBD warriors!