The Book

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After a couple of false starts (or in this case “false ends”) my book “Wrestling The Octopus – The Diary of an IBD Patient” is finally finished. Several times I had thought it was complete only to find that some new, unexpected experience warranted adding an extra chapter or two.

What’s the book about? It charts the 40+ years from my diagnosis with Crohn’s Disease up to the start of this new decade. It is not intended to lay out a plan for living with the disease but I hope you find that some of the situations I describe and the ways I have coped (or not coped) may help you with your own methods to mnage your disease.

The book has been adapted and expanded from the original online journal that I started writing almost ten years ago. Why did I start? Wind the clock back to Summer 2010. I was going to be away from work for an extended period whilst undergoing surgery. A colleague made an off-the-cuff remark that she would like to know how I was getting on whilst away so why not try blogging? She thought it might also prove interesting to other IBD sufferers who were about to follow a similar path. As the list of individual posts grew it seemed sensible to amalgamate them into a narrative and take the opportunity to cull some of the more long-winded or repetitive sections.

To fill in the years up to 2010 I obtained my medical records all the way back to diagnosis. They have allowed me to reconstruct the whole story and answer some of the questions that I have had for a long time. The research and writing have proved very therapeutic. I believe it has helped me cope with various new conditions that have arisen and I would recommend it to anyone suffering from a chronic illness.

Who is it aimed at?  Some of the chapters are Crohn’s-specific, but others contain information that may be useful to anyone with a long-term condition; about to undergo the same tests; or approaching surgery. Hopefully, it will also prove of interest to medical professionals wanting an insight into the thinking and attitudes of a long term NHS patient.

If you have any questions, comments or feedback I can be contacted @crohnoid on Twitter.

The book is in pdf format as this is universally readable and allows the pages to display correctly. It can be freely downloaded here –


My automedicography – a personal view