Numbers and Crohn’s

When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s, I had no idea about the medical field. I was always so healthy, and never had any issues. As the years went on, and I became familiar with the same tests, ie- blood test, colonoscopies, and small bowel follow through. When I spent a year of my life in the hospital, I really started to study the numbers that was associated with just about everything. I remember since I knew I wasn’t going anywhere, I would ask questions about my blood work. I would ask questions such as, “What is the normal range that my white cell count should be at?” “What is my blood count today?” After a while it started to become second nature to me.

Becoming obsessed with my numbers…

The only problem with knowing all the correct ranges that your blood work should be in, is that I would go crazy when the numbers weren’t perfect. I became obsessed with watching them taking my temperature, blood pressure, and sugar. It got so bad, that it was all I would think about.

If my temperature was 99.5 instead of 98.6, I would get so nervous in the hospital, making my pulse rate go up. In result, that became another number I would watch!

I remember when I was very sick after one of my surgeries, and the doctors were waiting to see how much bile and other stomach fluid would fill up the container. I remember that if it was less than 200 mililiters in one hour, then that was safe for them to pull the tube out. I would watch the container the entire sixty minutes. It was crazy.

Basically I could tell the nurses what to do, the dosage they would need to give, and the rate they would need to pump my TPN each day/night. Remember, I did not eat for seven months, and was fed through a port by TPN. At night, the nurses would hook me up to it, and would pump it at a slow rate for about an hour. I would call the nurse when an hour came to be to remind her that it was time to increase the rate.  You can tell that I was becoming a bit of nudge to the doctors and nurses.

Not living by the numbers…

Finally, it came to the point that the doctors and nurses wouldn’t tell me the numbers of tests unless they were bad. I had to settle for them telling me, “everything is fine.” I had to get over the fact that I was not in charge of my care, and my body. I also learned that all blood tests were not perfect. If you would draw blood a minute afterwards, the numbers would be a bit different than the first one. Also, I had to concentrate on getting healthier, and it starts with my mind. I had to put the trust back into the doctors. The numbers were out of my hands. My body was going to respond the way it should. Today, I don’t look at numbers as much… It just doesn’t matter!

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