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33 and Living with Crohn’s

I was 29 when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. It was Easter Sunday, I was coloring eggs with my son, husband, and friends kids. Then, out of nowhere, this pain in my abdomen and anus happened. I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t even lie down it was so intense. We cut our day short and I ended up at our local ER with a 10/10 on the pain scale. I was white-knuckling the edge of the bed I was on. Morphine, then Dilaudid was pumped into me to take the edge off. Finally, the pain subsided for a few moments where I could catch my breath.

I was undoubtedly needing to be admitted, so they did the inevitable and admitted me. The doctors came in to talk to me. I was on so many drugs, I don’t remember the conversation. All I remember is my husband coming in as the nurses were wheeling me off to go to have “exploratory surgery”. My husband said no and I was transferred to a more knowledgeable hospital in Columbus, OH. From there, I had my first of many colonoscopies and MR Enterography. It was determined that I had inflammation in my terminal ileum. I wasn’t officially diagnosed until May 1, 2015, but the doctors had been suspicious of the diagnosis from the beginning. I began Imuran and Remicade almost immediately after my 2nd hospital stay.

Fast forward to 1 year later

I was all set up for surgery to remove about 5 cm of my small bowel. I had my surgery appointments and then I had my colonoscopy afterward. My colonoscopy showed that I was in remission already. I was in remission, thankfully, for 3 years until recently.

In July of 2019, my Crohn’s decided to flare up. I was at my GI’s office for an appointment with the nurse practitioner. My pain was at an 8/10 on the pain scale. She sent me directly to the ER. Again, I was admitted. I stayed for a week without food or water. It was a grueling time. I had my 11th colonoscopy and 2nd MR Enterography. The scans and colonoscopy determined my Crohn’s was active again. The plan is to start Entyvio as soon as all of the paperwork is submitted.

So, here I sit, at work typing this and my stomach is on a rampage. I’m sure you’ve felt it before. Gurgling, cramping, pain, diarrhea….you get it. I continue to push on because my family needs me and so does my work family. It hasn’t gotten easier, I’m just dealing with it a little better each day.

So, that’s my story in a nutshell. I feel blessed that I don’t have it as bad as others, and I feel terrible for those who have it worse than I do. All I can say is, keep your head up and march on through those difficult days. Hold onto something precious, whether it be a memory, physical item, or pet. Keep them close and use them to brighten your day.

Many thanks and love,

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    4 months ago


    Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry that you have to go through all of this, but it is inspiring to see that despite your trials you remain positive and strong. I pray that you will find relief from the pain soon and that the days of just “getting through” will be behind you.

    Rooting for you always.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • Julie Marie Palumbo moderator
    4 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your story, Erica.

    Your journey sounds similar to mine, and if it helps, I reached remission while on Entyvio and I hope the same for you!

    I love your positive attitude and suggestion to keep things that brighten your day close, as I feel that our positive outlook and the way we deal with our disease emotionally is the only “cure” to the disease that we have.

    Thanks for being here!

    –Julie (Team Member)

  • crystal.harper moderator
    5 months ago

    I’m sorry for all the pain you’ve been going through recently. I want to say thank you for sharing your story though. I know it’s not always easy to do but I do believe that getting your story out there could potentially help so many people. I also want to say thank you for the advice. Keep that positive attitude, it’s inspiring!


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