Crohn's & Me
Its been an a 10 year roller-coaster since I was diagnosed with Crohn's at the age of 12. In between that span I have been hospitalized about seven times with my longest being just shy of a month. I know what its like to be vary in weight from 120-140 over eight years; I still wear the same size jeans I did my freshman year in high school (I am now a senior in college). But most notably, I know what it is like to live with a moderate/sever case of Crohn's and all the agony that comes with it
My most recent flare-up landed me in the hospital for 3 weeks - right in the beginning of my spring semester of college. Leaving the hospital on prednisone and TPN, I was going to try to make the best of the school year. However, after an EGD procedure, I was rushed to the emergency room. I came to find out as my doctor tried to balloon my stricture he accidentally made a perforation in my intestinal wall that allowed gastric juices to pour out. Let me just say - Crohn's is painful as hell, but this was an insufferable pain that left you stock-still and helpless. I entered surgery an hour after arriving.
Now in the hospital with a six-inch cut across my belly, one less organ (they remover my gallbladder too) and still combating my persistent Crohn’s, I was quite depressed and in pain. The healing took longer than expected so I was again laid-up for about 3 weeks. Three long weeks. Thankfully, I attend an understanding small Christian school and was therefore able to make-up the work I missed and listen to the lectures that were recorded for me.
The doctors have since wanted to perform a surgery that is very similar to that of a Whipple procedure which is used for those who have pancreatic cancer. Removing my affected duodenum and reconnecting everything else meant a massive and lengthy surgery. This I was not ready for nor am I today. Why go through something so enormous with possible complications and not have the problem cured?
It has been a rough year. I am still in the midst of a Crohn’s flare-up. I am currently off all meds but know that will change as soon as I convey my struggles with my doctor tomorrow at my appointment. I start my senior year in a week. I will have a full load and will be working part time as well. At this point, I would give anything for my health.