Everyone with Crohns Disease has a story to tell. For me, it had a fairly tight grip until I was 30 and was a very private illness. I’m a woman, and however wrong it may have been, it made me feel less feminine to discuss the symptoms. Everything took planning, even facing a plate of food. I was conflicted by hunger and fear. The potential for pain and embarrassment in getting it wrong was too great not to consider.
I was always a tomboy and I still think boys had more fun going on a pirate’s treasure hunts or pretending to fly to the moon or be a superhero while girls would pretend to be grownups raising families and paying bills on our pink calculators, or be princesses or hairdressers!
Since I shaved my head I’ve found times when I’ve really not felt feminine. I stopped shaving and that made me feel unfeminine at times too. I realised (and am still realising) that femininity is not defined by how I look or act and that being a woman can’t be boxed.
When my son was born, he gave me the dirtiest look as if to say ' was that really necessary, I wasn't ready to be born! I knew he was a special child! I am the only girl and the youngest of all my brothers, all 4 of them.
Often when I relay this to people, they think I must have been spoilt but life was pretty lonely.
My name is Julia. And I am a fighter. I was the first female trainee in my hospital in Lithuania to become a neurosurgeon. Medicine is still plagued with medieval traditions and ways, from bullying to discrimination and plain disrespect from seniors doctors towards their juniors.
I moved away from Italy to avoid fitting in a stereotypical patriarchal box that was built around me by the Church and the fear of men losing their power. The fear of the foreigner, xenophobia towards different mindsets, fat ladies, non-binary genders and minorities empowerment.⠀