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Meet Sara Ringer: DripDrop Ambassador

Meet Sara Ringer, our DripDrop ambassador, and this week's guest blogger. Sara has been living with Crohn's disease for over 18 years. She shares her experiences and how she became a voice for patients in her post below. 

There is a game people are forced to play amongst a group of strangers. They call these games "ice breakers" but everyone knows that everyone hates doing ice breakers. The game is called Two Truths and A Lie. Do you know it? You are forced to go up to a stranger, awkwardly tell them your name (In my case I would tell you that my name is Sara), and then give them 2 facts about you that are true, and 1 statement that is a lie.  My Two Truths and a Lie generally goes like this:  1. I was on the Today Show. 2. I don't have a large intestine. 3. I had 14 pet snakes growing up. Can you guess my lie? I didn't have 14 pet snakes as a kid, it was actually 15!

It's true, I don't have a large intestine. And yes, I was actually on the Today Show. Admit it, not having a large intestine is pretty cool, right?

I do think that living my life without a colon makes me unique, but I didn't always feel that way. In college when other students were doing things most college students do, I was trapped in my dorm room.  I had been living with Crohn's disease for over 10 years at the time, but by the time I reached college it was out of control.  In a matter of two semesters my weight had dropped to 90 pounds, I was having fevers around 103 degrees every night, and was in so much pain I was certain I wasn't going to last the year.

One of the symptoms of active Crohn's disease, for most patients, is a need to use the bathroom often and urgently. I was averaging 30 trips to the bathroom per day that were painful, urgent, and came with a lot of blood loss. The blood loss caused me to become so anemic that I was too weak to do most things, and with the pain, fevers, weight loss, and dehydration I had to quit school, lost my job, and moved back in with my parents. A month later I was hospitalized, given 3 blood transfusions, and was fed intravenously.  The medications I had been taking were not working and before long it became evident that my colon had to come out before it perforated. It was a long journey that resulted in six months total in the hospital and two major surgeries.

I got out of the hospital at 82 pounds and couldn't remember the last day I had a day free of pain. I had become depressed and anxious and I was afraid that I would never have a happy life again...but slowly things got better. A couple years later I started my blog and my YouTube channel. I wanted other patients to be able to watch my videos and connect with me, and 3 years later I am the top Crohn's disease YouTuber out there!  Life certainly isn't perfect - I get regular infusions to try and keep my disease in remission and at the beginning of this year I had another major surgery that resulted in 3 months in the hospital and has left me getting the majority of my nutrition this year intravenously.

I love being a voice for patients, and most recently I have become a DripDrop ambassador. I discovered DripDrop when I was asked to attend Digestive Disease Week this year in Chicago. Without my colon one of the things I struggle with is keeping myself hydrated. In fact, it is a huge issue for so many patients in my community due to diarrhea, vomiting, or intestinal surgeries. Being an ambassador for DripDrop, so many patients ask me: "do you actually use the product?" My answer is 100% yes! ORS's are effective and DripDrop actually tastes great. My favorite is the lemon flavor.

So that's me, I'm Sara, the one without the large intestine!

You can follow Sara on Twitter or you can follow Sara's story at her blog, Inflamed and Untamed. She even has a zazzle store full of IBD goodness!


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