Ever since she was a teen, doctors were adamant that Lorna Haymes suffered from anorexia because of her extremely low weight. However, medical professionals were nothing short of shocked after having misdiagnosed the 33-year-old woman for all those years.
Things started for the woman back when she was just 14-years old and doctors became concerned about her weight. However, it wasn’t until the woman was in her 20’s that she was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.
Despite the fact that she repeatedly told doctors that she would have a painful visit to the bathroom after every meal, they simply told her she wouldn’t know she had an eating disorder and actually began to suspect she was abusing laxatives. She continued to argue with doctors throughout the agonizing years, but it seemed that they already had their minds made up.
“When I was a teen, I lost so much weight just sitting in bath would have me in agony,” Haymes later explained. “My spine was so bony, I was a skeleton and my bones dug into me. I would go to the toilet straight after eating, so doctors thought I was taking laxatives. In the end I was so malnourished I couldn’t even pick up a cup,” as it physically caused her pain.
“I had always been a healthy weight,” she said, but one day it simply started “dropping off.”
“It would just keep happening. My weight was so up and down,” she went on to say. “Aged 16, I was wearing clothes meant for 13-year-olds I was so skinny. (Doctors) kept asking me how I felt about my body. I told them I had no issues with it. But they said I wouldn’t know if I did have an eating disorder. Everything I ate went straight through my body, so they thought I was abusing laxatives.”
Luckily, doctors were able to get to the source of the problem and found out that Haymes was actually suffering from Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines, especially the colon and ileum, associated with ulcers and fistulae.
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America explains, “People suffering from Crohn’s often experience loss of appetite and may lose weight as a result. A feeling of low energy and fatigue is also common. Among younger children, Crohn’s may delay growth and development.” Just as Lorna Haymes experienced, the disease “may cause pain and bleeding, especially during bowel movements.”
Luckily, Haymes has been fitted with an ostomy bag after doctors diverted a portion of her small intestine through her abdomen. Rather than wallow in her unfortunate bad luck, the woman has decided to try and empower those who have found themselves in a similar circumstance. She has since created the hastag #getyourbellyout to both spread awareness and show women they don’t have to be afraid of, or hide their condition.
“I’m the only one of us with an ostomy bag so I bit the bullet and had my picture taken so others in the same position would see it,” Haymes later said. “I took a picture of myself standing in a tiny top and shorts showing my bag, using the hashtag. I thought, ‘Someone’s got to be the first one, so it may as well be me.’”
It’s really quite a shame that this woman’s doctors didn’t listen to her when she tried to tell them she had a serious problem going on. Although she was forced to suffer at the hands of her disease for a few years, it’s good to know that all is well today.