Crohn’s Beginning Part 2

Crohnically Ill

I felt lighter than air. The doctor looked quizzically at me. He didn’t get it. I wasn’t crazy! I wasn’t crazy, I wasn’t crazy, I wasn’t CRAZY! Something serious was wrong with me. My brain hadn’t concocted this whole mess. He would prescribe me some pills and I could move on with my life. Right?

*Slaps “past” me upside the head 20 more times*

“I won’t give you an official diagnosis so you won’t run into health insurance problems down the road due to a preexisting condition.”

Nice gesture, but this screwed me when it came to school.

I began anti-inflammatories. My diarrhea subsided, but I still didn’t feel well. I tried running again, only to have accidents in the first ten minutes. As months followed with little improvement, I asked the doctor for a letter to explain to my professors why I was so sketchball. Due to his lack of diagnosis, it read “suffers from gastroenteritis.” AKA stomach bug. Seriously? I’ve missed half a semester for a stomach bug? My professors gave me that once over- the “yeah, she’s been partying too hard and wants an out.” Not true!

6 months later, the doctor prescribed imuran. I’ve never felt so exhausted. Getting out of bed was literally painful. I began, again, to think I was crazy. A really good friend of mine was going through depression herself, so we were able to compare notes. It was helpful for me. I wasn’t alone in being a failure (misery really loves company, huh?), and I could tell from her side of things that it really was my health holding me back. She didn’t suffer from physical limitations like I did. I just needed something to get this thing under control.

So this doctor prescribed Remicade. One dose. Just one. He didn’t want me to stay on it. Why? Not sure. It worked miracles. That next month was a light at the end of the tunnel. “So this is how normal feels!” I thought constantly with elation, whistling on my way to class and acing my finals.

But like I said, just one dose. Once the month was up, I fell back into the pit. But I had tasted the wine and it was good! I demanded another round.

“Well, if you don’t take it consistently there is a chance you have built up antibodies and will have an allergic reaction.”

A chance? Meh who cares! I’m sure I’ll be fine! Gimme the drugs!

I waltzed into the office ready for IV. In the first five minutes I couldn’t breathe, my face turning red and my stomach churning. Seriously? I can’t breathe? No for real, I can’t breathe! They gave me a trash can to chuck into while they pumped me full of steroids and benadryl. I passed out for 2 hours, woke up groggy but was told they managed to administer the medicine anyway.

Seriously? If I’m allergic, why in heavens name would you still give it to me? They told me to find a ride home. I called my worthless ex (at the time current) boyfriend who said he was busy taking his mom shopping. He was Muslim (to explain why he was a momma’s boy). I drove myself home and suffered my first migraine that lasted 2 days.

I decided I was sick of this doctor and made the switch to none other than my brother’s GI, the one with Crohn’s! He started me immediately on Cimzia, and for two years I got to experience a taste of normal. But as with all things Crohn’s, it wasn’t meant to last…

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3 thoughts on “Crohn’s Beginning Part 2

  1. I love this! Well not the crappy doctors/treatment/being sick part, but this made me laugh out loud 🙂 I’m chronically ill too (heart condition and immune deficiency), so I have totally been in this situation, dozens of times with every single specialist ever trying to figure out a diagnosis. And have also dealt with plenty of teachers and professors who are either skeptical that I’m really that sick, or just plain jerks about it. I’m hoping things are at least a little bit better off for you now!

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    1. Being young and ill is a pill professionally. It is somehow inconceivable for others to grasp that it’s possible to be very sick while young, and not even look it! As I get older and more confident in understanding my symptoms, I’m upfront with people and try to brush it off if they don’t understand. I work for some really great people though. It was college that was no fun. Good luck to you!

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      1. Absolutely. Especially when it can flip-flop so fast, one day I feel great the next feel terrible. And even then don’t always “look sick”. And totally agree 🙂 Having a diagnosis and definite answers to tell people definitely helps, other than a vague “I’m just sick a lot”. I’ve been lucky enough to get (mostly) understanding professors and I’m managing! Thank you 🙂

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