For years, doctors told a British woman she must have an eating disorder because she was so malnourished, but finally, it was discovered she actually has Crohn’s disease.
Lorna Haymes, 33, became so malnourished as a teen doctors assumed she had anorexia nervosa. After every meal, Haymes would go to the bathroom. Until she was in her early 20s, medical professionals told her she must have an eating disorder.
“When I was a teen, I lost so much weight just sitting in bath would have me in agony,” Haymes said. “My spine was so bony, I was a skeleton and my bones dug into me. I would go to the toilet straight after eating, so doctors thought I was taking laxatives. In the end I was so malnourished I couldn’t even pick up a cup.”
“I had always been a healthy weight and suddenly it was dropping off,” Haymes continued, noting that she didn’t start becoming underweight until she was 14 years old.
“It would just keep happening. My weight was so up and down. Aged 16, I was wearing clothes meant for 13-year-olds I was so skinny. (Doctors) kept asking me how I felt about my body. I told them I had no issues with it. But they said I wouldn’t know if I did have an eating disorder. Everything I ate went straight through my body, so they thought I was abusing laxatives.”
Haymes says she got to the point where even “picking up a cup would hurt me,” and she couldn’t keep food down after any meal.
Finally, Haymes discovered she had been dealing with Crohn’s disease the entire time. At 24, Haymes underwent a procedure that diverted her small intestine through her abdomen and into an ostomy bag. She now proudly displays her bag and even got together with others who have Crohn’s disease to start the hashtag #getyourbellyout.
“I’m the only one of us with an ostomy bag so I bit the bullet and had my picture taken so others in the same position would see it,” Haymes said of the disease. “I took a picture of myself standing in a tiny top and shorts showing my bag, using the hashtag. I thought, ‘Someone’s got to be the first one, so it may as well be me.’”
Haymes is now in a solid relationship with someone who doesn’t mind her bag, and she says she hopes she’ll inspire others with similar stories not to be ashamed of their condition.
Photo Source: Lorna Haymes via Daily Mirror