By 22 I was back in Birmingham, newly single, working at a local pub and living with some friends, I was really enjoying my time. And I was planning a month long trip to visit my brother in Australia who I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. It was about a week before I went to Oz that I started to feel ill I thought nothing of it and powered through, I went to Oz and I struggled, I struggled to eat to keep up with all the things that my brother had planned but I did it because I was so excited to be in a new place and to see him. When I came back I continued to struggle with pain and exhaustion, I continued to work because I had bills to pay. The hospital was changing my medication but nothing was working, it wasn’t until a couple of months later, it took my boss to send me home from work and he told me not to come back until I was better. The next day I took myself to A&E and they admitted my then and there. I was mortified I didn’t want to be admitted I just wanted something to for the pain, I was supposed to go away that weekend to Blackpool for my sister in laws hen do, I would of still gone as well for fear of letting her down,
I still believe this is the worst my health has ever been to date. I lost nearly two stone in weight (I was down to 6 stone) I was so malnourished that they had to give me food gradually in fear that too much food would shock the system. During this two week stay they ran some of the usual tests and realised three sections of my intestines that was cause for concern, they were ulcerated and inflamed. They had a plan, the main section that caused concern was where I had on surgery several years previous one this section they performed a balloon dilation (which is very similar to a stent in the heart) They inserted a balloon into my intestines and used a balloon to stretch out this section. We had also agreed to try some previous treatment again (the infusions where I initially had the allergic reaction) as the formula has changed slightly and they were confident that this would now work. Which it did, for about a 18 months..
This February I was once again in hospital, again I was well for quiet sometime but the passing of my grandad and seeing my nan become ill was clearly too much for me to handle. I was starting to notice a pattern every time I went into hospital there was some stress or trauma beforehand. When I was 13 it was school, when I was 17 my parents had separated, when I was 22 I has spilt up with my long term boyfriend (which initially I coped with really well until I was drunk one night at an engagement party and was scrolling through facebook to see he now had a new girlfriend, a girl who I was suspicious of while we were together, yeah I didn’t deal with that well) and now a grandparent passing.
This time when I went into hospital I was a lot worse than I thought, I only went for a general appointment but the doctors where so concerned they admitted me. This was the first time I recall being on a drip for vitamins and minerals due to malnourishment, I felt better quiet quickly as another change in treatment was issued I was changed from one infusion to another as it turns out my body built up antibodies to fight the drugs.
Which brings us to now..The same thing is happening again, my body is building up antibodies to fight the treatment, not work with it. Good going aye. And as of yesterday it has been confirmed that a second surgery is now needed. There are two section that are inflamed one in my small intestine and one where the join is from the small intestine to the large (this is where I had my previous surgery). The plan is to remove both of these and the bit in between as they are quiet close together and re-join the healthy bowel together. All that’s left now is to meet the surgeons, who I already know from my previous procedures, and set a date which will be in the next 3 months. So now I just got to wait and stay as healthy as I can so that I’m strong enough for surgery. Which may be difficult but I’ll definitely try and although the idea of surgery sounds daunting I’m quite happy with this plan, the fact is there is a plan and I feel I’ve needed surgery for a while now I was kinda just waiting on the doctors to say when. And I’m very optimistic for after. After my last surgery I was the healthiest I’ve ever been for a good 18 months. I’m excited to feel that way again.
In a weird way I’m grateful for what I’ve gone through, this illness has taught me so much about my body and myself which I would not have no known. I am a lot stronger then I give myself credit for, I am much more understanding and compassionate and I work a lot harder for what I want and although whatever I want will take me a hell of a lot longer than most to get there if I’m determined enough I will get there.
This blog is for all of those who think Crohns and Colitis are just stomach problems. For those who have loved ones that suffer with these illness’s be sympathetic, there’s a lot more going on than you realise, they are putting on a brave face for you. And of course this is for those with Crohns and Colitis who have suffered/are currently suffering to let you know, you are not alone! We can get through this together and we will xxx
Between 18 – Present I realised that Crohns causes a lot more complications then just with your stomach. As it’s classed as autoimmune disease meaning the immune system attacks and destroys the healthy tissue in the body. This has led to a lot more complications than just what you see e.g cysts on my eyes, tonsillitis, shingles, erythema nodosum, problems with my joints, my hands, my back, anaemia, fatigue and weak bones in general.
List of medications (Not in any particular order) – Pentasa, Azathioprine, Mercaptopurine, Budesonide, Vitamin B12 Injections, Methotrexate Injections, Humira Injections, Infliximab Infusions, Vedolizamab Infusions and of course the infamous Prednisolone (Countless times)
Links to Crohns Websites (For those of you wanting to learn more or want official explanations) –