‘Go Your Crohn Way: A Gutsy Guide to Crohn’s Disease’

“Before I begin, let me make one thing crystal clear. This is NOT a self-help book.”

Book review: Go your Crohn Way

The author, Kathleen Nicholls, has been living with Crohn’s Disease since her youth, but wasn’t officially diagnosed until 2010. This book is her story. The highs, the lows and everything inbetween. Go Your Crohn Way is full of advice for maintaining confidence and positivity, while navigating the world of relationships, careers and toilet-related conversations.

However, Nicholls does not class this as a self-help book. It is her personal experience of Crohn’s, told through wit and laughter. It is informative but relatable, serious but amusing and most importantly, an honest recollection of life with Crohn’s.

Sally Cooney, ForCrohns charity patient ambassador, says:

“What a refreshingly honest account of life with the disease. As a Crohn’s sufferer, you will find yourself nodding as your turn the pages through many experiences we have all gone through…”

“… It’s no small achievement to make such a tough topic light-hearted. I think this book could be enjoyed by those newly diagnosed and those who have suffered for many years.”

One of our favourite sections of the book, “Into The Danger Crohn” is a chapter dedicated to any tips Nicholls can share in dealing with the often-scary diagnosis. The chapter features her top 10 tips, including:

  • Crohn in 60 seconds: “Don’t panic. This is much, much easier said than done. Believe me, I know.”
  • Sherlock Crohn’s: “Learn all you can about your new condition.”
  • Dog with a Crohn: “Be relentless.”
  • Make no Crohn’s about it:Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the drama surrounding your illness.”
  • Crohned to Perfection: “If it’s a viable option, try to enlist a family member or partner to take care of things for you on the outside of the hospital walls.”
  • The Twilight Crohn: “Push yourself outside your comfort zone.”
  • Heart of Crohn: “Don’t force yourself to enter a world you aren’t ready for.”

While every person with Crohn’s disease will have their own story, this account is funny, honest and true. Many people will relate to many of the stories in the book, whether it be the unknown suffering at a young age, to the frightening diagnosis. Nicholls’ humorous writing style is a great way to raise awareness of the condition, removing the negative connotations and welcoming a larger, fresh perspective to those who had only heard rumours, or what was in the media.

The raw honesty featured throughout the book has opened a new way to discuss Crohn’s disease. Nicholls is talking directly to the sufferer, as if they were a friend. Despite being diagnosed six years ago, Nicholls continues to share her fears.

“I’m slowly but surely coming to terms with the fact that Crohn’s disease will always play a massive part in my life.”

If you have been recently diagnosed, or living with Crohn’s for a number of years, this book may be of comfort to you. The refreshing opinions of Nicholls make the book an enjoyable read, while still recognising the painful symptoms and effects the condition can have on both mind and body.

“Whatever the situation, it’s important to remember that although Crohn’s Disease is a serious, incurable and chronic illness, it’s not the end. Your life will go on. Quite how much you allow it to change really is up to you.”

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Written by Ellen Lees
Head of Content.
Written by Ellen Lees
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