A disease will not differentiate age or gender. It can affect your whole life without making any exceptions. As I have been diagnosed with Reflux and Gastritis as early as in my early 20s I had to make several changes in my life. I have to endure people saying it cannot be me who is so young to change the way she eats. I cannot feel this much pain! Why don’t I eat this or try that? I also experienced fear in the nights where I cannot sleep and breathe that I will die or I will experience more pain than I can endure or I will be a huge discomfort to the ones I love. I felt anger when I couldn’t do the things I imagined doing or seeing people the same age as me doing what I want to do. As I get older and wiser and started accepting my situation, I started to look in a different way to the life and its mishaps. I can still go out with friends, only if I eat before and enjoy some drinks outside. I don’t have to drink coffee or eat chocolate and it is not the end of the world. This disease is not a death sentence, it is a struggle as of many in life that I had to find my way out. I tried new foods and recipes at home one-at-a-time. I even travelled abroad- which was a big fear of me not to find something to eat or become very sick in an unknown country. But I did not get sick and tried to cook at my staying place and all went very nice. I did not get to experience cuisine as much as I wanted to but that’s ok. I experienced other parts of the journey, went to lots of sightseeing and stuff, which all in all was nice.
As my advice to others suffering from this illness or any other one, accept it. Accept it early so that you can redefine yourself. I won’t lie to you, you won’t be the same person, you cannot do the same things but you will find a new-self that will enjoy life. So accept and move on!