Colitis Strikes Again
It’s amazing; I am always hearing of new people being diagnosed with either Crohn’s or colitis. A few months ago, my girlfriend described to me that she was seeing blood when she went to the bathroom. She also had extreme pain in her right side. After the doctors ruled out problems with her appendix, they scheduled her for a routine colonoscopy. I did my best to not stick my two cents in; as I know a lot about inflammatory bowel disease.
A diagnosis of mild colitis
She did very well with the prep and was ready for her procedure. I was really surprised when she told me that the doctors saw some inflammation in her bowel, resulting in a diagnosis of mild colitis. Her blood work did not match up with classical colitis blood work. Her white and red blood cells look good, Hemoglobin was in range, and she was not dehydrated. Nonetheless, they started her on a small dosage of oral medications.
Recommendation for a second opinion
I wanted to recommend that she go get another opinion. I always recommend that a “fresh set of eyes,” take a look at the situation. It can’t hurt, right? I remember flying to Cleveland Clinic, to get a second look. I would do anything to make sure that I was being diagnosed. But I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes.
How can I talk to my significant other about Crohn's and colitis?
I didn’t want to bring up the disease in conversation with her. I didn’t know how comfortable she felt with it. I could tell she was upset, but what could I say or do to make her feel better? I didn’t want to compare my terrible experience with hers, and I sure did not want to scare her! So how do I help?
I actually started reading basic material about “how to listen to people.” There is great reading material out there, and I recommend that you take a look at it. People can call me a “know it all,” so I wanted to make sure I approached this right. I don’t know everything; if I did, I would be a doctor.
I guess I did a great job listening because she told me that she felt so much better that she knew somebody that was close to her that had the disease. Great! I was successful. I made sure that she was taking her medicine the right way, and asked her how she was feeling.
Sharing and helping others with Crohn's or UC
I made sure not to annoy her! I know in my other articles, I commented on how I enjoy helping others with this disease. I also like learning about the disease as well. I don’t know everything. I read a lot of your articles, and say to myself, “wow, I never heard that before.” It’s important as a person with IBD to look out for others with IBD. That’s how we get by from day to day. We share experiences, share secrets, and share remedies that have worked. I was glad that I was able to help yet another IBD patient, especially if it was somebody so close to home.
Which aspect of awareness week are you most excited about?