Kate Montgomery was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an often aggressive inflammatory bowel disease that attacks the lining of a person’s gut, 11 years ago. She spent most of her 20s exhausted, researching and testing any possible cure — and dealing with the more mortifying aspects of having to wear an ostomy bag. We talked through her story for Impolitikal, and why she’s feeling better than ever.
How long have you known you have Crohn’s disease?
I was diagnosed when I was 23. I was really lucky in a way because I went to the doctor when I started having symptoms, and she said, we need you to have a colonoscopy, and they took biopsies and diagnosed me with Crohn’s. That was the process of my diagnosis. It takes a lot of people years to know what the issue is. I’ve had it for 11 years now, in fact almost exactly 11 years, because I was diagnosed on the 12th of May.
Your hated having surgery the first time round, and then you had to do it again several years later. How did you deal with that?
It was really tough to start with, but I’d already started seeing my therapist by then. Without her, I never would have coped the way that I have now. If you told me of two years ago that I would be like I am now – putting my story on the internet, and wanting people to know about it, to help them, I just wouldn’t have believed that that could be me. My therapist has enabled it, but I’ve done the work. It took me a long time to not be like, you’re a freak, no one’s going to ever be attracted to you. I hope you liked having sex in your 20s because it’s never going to happen again! It was really hard having my self-esteem so flattened.