Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week!

Almost 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. For over a year, I had suffered with horrible allergies to everything (food and contact allergies) as well as abdominal cramps and other intestinal issues. No one could figure out what was wrong with me. I lost a ton of weight until I got to 98 pounds at age 15. I was tested for Crohn's Disease but was told I didn't have it. Everything came to a head when I was doubled over in pain one day and couldn't sit or stand up. I went to the doctor again and was immediately admitted to the hospital for more tests. An upper GI showed I had an intestinal blockage. Surgery was required. The surgeon told me that I had Crohn's Disease, and that if he hadn't removed the blockage (and about 6 inches of intestine to include my appendix) I would have ruptured and died. Heavy information to give a teenager. Strangely enough, I was never scared while in the hospital. I was at peace for some reason. Maybe I knew deep down that I had to be there to get fixed.

Thanks to the resection, I was in remission for 7 years. I have been under the care of a physician and on medication of some sort for 12 years. Today, I live a relatively normal life. I have a great doctor who is super concerned for me. I have poor eating habits and most of my flare ups are because of that. I have several, several strictures throughout my intestines but with medication and a modified low residue diet, I can handle them. I will have to deal with Crohn's Disease the rest of my life. I will be worried for the rest of my life that my daughters will suffer from this disease. But maybe with an increase in awareness of this disease, great strides will be made to find a cure.

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