Tina Aswani Omprakash
Own Your Crohn's & IBDesis
At our center, we’re experienced in caring for patients whose conditions are complex and require exceptionally specialized care. We have the resources and expertise to meet individual needs, and our patients work with a team that may include nutritionists, radiologists, colorectal surgeons, and rheumatologists. With such a wide range of experts, we can provide the most comprehensive and advanced treatment available.My personal experience allows me to offer patients unique insight into managing their care. As a person living with Crohn’s, I understand the emotional complexity of IBD and can relate to my patients. When I work with them, my aim is to provide the most effective care and connect with them on a personal and empathetic level.In my research, I study malignant and infectious complications of IBD. Specifically, I want to understand how gastrointestinal infections may complicate IBD or trigger it to develop, with the ultimate goal of finding a prevention or cure. I am a member of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and speak at numerous patient symposiums and international conferences.My struggle with Crohn’s derailed my career, my prospects for further education, many of my friendships, my sense of self, and my personality in my early 20s when my life was supposed to just be beginning. I had over 20 surgeries in seven years along with hundreds of procedures and imaging studies since my diagnosis. I’ve dealt with Crohn’s colitis, proctitis, several fistulae, abscesses, and cysts over the years in addition to multiple extraintestinal manifestations and diagnoses.My life is now a perpetual case of living between doctor appointments and volunteering in between health crises. In addition to perianal, fistulizing Crohn’s Disease and my permanent ileostomy, I manage a long laundry list of other chronic health issues, including gastroparesis, post-surgical irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), pelvic floor dysfunction, vestibular migraines, vertigo, inflammatory arthritis, sacroiliitis, allergies, sinusitis, asthma, pyoderma gangrenosum, hidradenitis suppurativa, erythema nodosum, Sweet’s syndrome, sciatica, peritoneal inclusion cysts, and episcleritis. And let’s not forget anxiety, depression and medical PTSD, which are huge components of living with chronic illness.Nevertheless, after four near-death experiences, I am thankful to be alive, and for every single surgery and every single breath. I am ever grateful for my ostomy, which has given me a new lease on life. With the help of my faith, my family, and the friends who stuck around, I have managed to pick myself up higher than ever before despite all the setbacks. One of the things I’ve worked incessantly to improve in this process has been my self-image, self-worth, and self-respect coming out of surgeries that ravaged my being, yet gave me life again.