Does anyone find it difficult to be brief when you try to explain your illness? After writing for this blog for two years and all the research I’ve done I still don’t have that “Elevator Speech”. An Elevator Speech can be defined as a clear, brief message or “commercial” about you . When I was first diagnosed and people were asking what is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)? I think I was a little too detailed. To me, explaining IBD was to discuss the many symptoms I had so the person could picture it lol which is a little much . . . but it was my daily life at the time, I only shared what I knew. Even though now I know much more about IBD, I still don’t believe I am capable of explaining to someone on an elevator, in that short period of time, what is my disease. I came up with the following exercise to create my Elevator Speech :
- What is the goal?
- To spread awareness about IBD and share what it is like to live with the disease.
- What disease?
- In order to be brief, it’s probably best to talk about which of the IBD diseases you have, if you’re diagnosed. After a recent follow-up with my new GI, he believes I have Ulcerative Colitis (UC), . . . I swear it changes every year, but UC is my current diagnosis.
- What type of disease?
- I would say an autoimmune disease of the digestive tract, which still might confusing, so instead; a disease of the digestive tract.
- How it affects your life?
- For those that have had surgery or their colon removed you can say that, it’s very brief and a clear picture of how it affected your life. Since my disease is not as severe, I would say, I have to avoid eating certain foods that could cause severe pain.
- End it on a happy note.
- Since it’s a brief statement you want to leave it in a positive light or a call for action, which is something I always do when I end a blog post. “As always taking one day at time, and remaining hopeful”. Or you can end it with a call for action to find a cure, or want to become an IBD advocate, etc.
After doing this exercise my Elevator Speech is as follows:
I have Ulcerative Colitis which is a disease of the digestive tract that makes it hard for me to eat certain foods because it would cause severe pain. Even though it can be hard to live with this disease, I remain hopeful that one day we will have a cure.
I think it covers all the basics, what do you think? Do you have your own “Elevator Speech” about your illness?
2 thoughts on “Explain your disease in 30 seconds!”
I’m getting there with Addison’s. I generally leave out the other things (anxiety, IBS, hypothyroid) and say “The adrenals are glands which are on top of your kidneys, and produce hormones which you need to live. Mine don’t work, so I have to take replacement hormones for life.” Any more detail depends on who they are and whether they ask questions or not. I haven’t got to the point where I can put a positive spin on it, only having been diagnosed for less than a year.
Yes I understand it really does depend on who you’re speaking to, good point. That positive spin is going to take a while, you have to be at that place with your disease, and it’s good to be honest when talking about your illness. Faking it is not really helpful if your goal is to increase awareness.
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