Jewish Health

Sylvia - Interview 7

Age at interview: 74

Brief outline: Sylvia was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease aged 29. She has since had two hemicolectomies and is currently on anti-inflammatory medication. Sylvia's experiences of going out are affected and she feels it is important people don't ignore signs of Crohn's Disease.

Background: Sylvia is a retired social worker. She is a widow and has had two children. Ethnic background/nationality: White British

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Sylvia, a retired social worker, was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when she was 29 after experiencing acute pain for several months. She became seriously ill and had a hemicolectomy which seemed to resolve the problem. Apart from B12 injections, Sylvia describes getting on with her life for the next thirty years or so. When she has the odd flare up, she manages it with a bland diet and plenty of rest.
Two years ago, Sylvia’s son committed suicide and a couple of months later she became acutely ill and had a second hemicolectomy. She is still experiencing some symptoms and is very concerned that she will end up with a colostomy. Sylvia has recently started taking anti inflammatory medication to alleviate the symptoms but is keen to avoid taking steroids.
Having Crohn’s Disease has had an impact on Sylvia’s experiences of going out and going on holiday. She is always aware of where the nearest toilets are and describes feeling embarrassed because Crohn’s affects bowel function. She thinks it is important that people don’t ignore signs of Crohn’s Disease and see the doctor straightaway.

Sylvia had an Orthodox background and though she is less observant over the years, she keeps the dietary laws and her Jewish identity is very important to her. Sylvia does not think that her health issues are related to her Jewish background. 


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