So I usually keep the blog pretty upbeat and fun. Focusing on my kids and my family and fun day to day life. But today I wanted to get a little personal with ya'll. I think its always fun to read posts that others write that really put themselves out there and share about who they are.
I had hoped to have this post written to share with ya'll yesterday but it just didn't happen. I had been in Charlotte since Monday visiting my family but also the main reason I was there was to have a colonoscopy.
Let me go all the way back to 2004. It was my senior year of high school. Second semester. I was supposed to be having the time of my life getting ready to go to college and being with my friends. Instead, I was sick. It started out as dull pain and progressively got worse and worse. No one could figure out what was wrong with me. I was losing weight by the day and pretty miserable. Graduation came and went and I was still sick. I went to summer camp to work that summer and was basically going through the motions all while being in immense pain. There was a scary ER trip involved and still no answers. It was not until 2 weeks before I was to head off to The University of Alabama that my GI doctor decided to do a colonoscopy. My mom was prepared to tell me that I would not be going off to college if they did not discover what was wrong. Thankfully that colonoscopy showed that I had Crohn's Disease. Not just mildly, it was severe. No wonder I was having pain! My doctors did not suspect this though because I was not having some of the main symptoms that go along with it.
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the GI tract. It can be found in any part of your small and large intestine as well as the colon. Mine was right where the small and large intestine meet.
So we had our answer, thankfully! By this point I had lost 60 lbs in about 5 months and I was trying to get ready to go to college. My doctors put me on tons of medicines to try and get the pain and inflammation under control. I was able to go off to college but took with me a dozen different prescriptions. I was taking close to 15 pills a day just to get the inflammation and pain under control. College was spent in and out of remission. Prednisone became my worst enemy. Every time I would have a flair up and my doctor would say the dreaded word "prednisone" I would break down into tears. At the time I thought it was horrible but I know it's really the only thing that would put me back into some sort of remission so I had to deal with it.
Fast forward to 2009 and I was really sick again. I graduated college in May and was unable to find a teaching job that following Fall. I really feel like it was a blessing in disguise because in December 2009 I had to have major surgery. I had stopped responding to treatment and my doctor felt it was necessary to go in and see what they were dealing with. I had about 12 inches of my intestine removed along with a giant mass of scar tissue. It was a horrible recovery. I was home with my parents for a month pretty much unable to do anything. But that surgery truly was a blessing! I am so happy to report that since 2009 I have had very minor flair ups, if any. Thank you in part to being put on Humira injections twice monthly.
I have had to have yearly colonoscopies since my diagnosis but because of babies and breast feeding I have actually only had 2 in the past 4 years. I had an excellent check up yesterday and my doctor is confident that I do not need a repeat colonoscopy for 3 years. All the praise hands!!
I do not openly share my struggle with Crohns with many people. Not because I don't want to but because I often forget that I have it. (This is a good thing!) It means that my disease is under control. Thanks to the surgery and the Humira I was able to get pregnant, have a flair free pregnancy and deliver two perfectly healthy baby boys. I am beyond grateful to my amazing doctor. I love him so much, hence the reason why I still go back to Charlotte for my check ups and procedures.
I often think that IBD/Crohns is not talked about much. I get it, why would anyone want to talk about their bowels. However, it is so so important to get checked out. If you are ever having any symptoms please see a GI doctor.
I know this post was long...and there were no pictures, but it was on my heart to share. I hope that you learned a little bit more about me as a person!
*Linking up with Annie