My Crohns Story

Hello Everyone,

I’m a bit new when it comes to sharing my experiences with living with Crohns. But I believe the experience I’ve been through could help others or even encourage others to live their lives and not allow Crohns to live it for you.

My name is Stephen McLennan. Im 37 years old and I’ve been a Crohns fighter since I turned 21. Wow that seems like a long time ago. I was working for Fed Ex at the time and began having intense stomach cramps. Hemroids developed and the increasing urge to using the bathroom. It wasn’t until I was at work using the bathroom and I started bleeding out of my rectum. Which freaked me out. I really thought I was dying. Went to the Dr.s and was sent home. (Crohns wasn’t the first diagnosed. First was GASTRITIS, then IBD and UC). They scheduled a colonoscopy and told me I had Gastritis. Told me to eat bland food and no spices. After going back and forth with the 3 different diagnosis, fast forward 2005, working for a data entry company as their IT, I fainted in my office. Next thing I knew I was waking up to the Fire Department thumping on my chest calling my name. They rushed me to the hospital. After about a week in the hospital a Dr. finally diagnosed me with crohns. Since then I’ve been on several different medications. From Asacol, humira to steroids like prednisone. For a while the prednisone worked. I went up and down on ml. But as we all know you can’t stay on prednisone forever as the side-effects started to take toll. Taking this medication at the time was saving me or I thought. I started realizing it was causing more damage then good and I needed to get off. The Dr put me on Remicaid and I’ve been on it for the past 5-6 years and doing well.

Going through 4 surgeries. One major sugery of having my appendix, spleen, gulblatter and the right side of my colon removed in 2006. Having ficulas on my buttocks and having C-tongs placed 3 different times. Being hospitalized at least over 20 times in the past 15 years. Including being quarantined twice for C-diff as well as spending your birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and new years in the hospital. In 2008 – 2009 after being hospitalized for so long I had to quit a job I worked so hard to climb the ladder to become a manager for Wells Fargo I had to go on permanent disability. This lasted 3 years. This was the longest 3 years of my life. I thought this was it. This was my life. I’m not going to be able to do anything. My life was worthless. Depression really started sinking in and I hated life.

After being on Remicaid for a few years I began to feel better and wanted to start working agan. Nothing too big just something part time to bring in a little money and give me something to do. I got hired for an afterschool program for an elementary school. At the time I didn’t have kids just a big family, with a lot of little cousins.  So for me it would be perfect to work w/ kids. But I didn’t know it would lead me to where I am now. So far from where I’ve  begun. Well fast forward 5 years later to the present day. I am proud to say I’m working FULL-TIME with the MDUSD school district and doing well. Not only am I a campus supervisor at a middle school, I also run their sports, help with academics, coach their sports, coach basketball at one of the local high schools, I’m VP of softball for our community baseball/softball league, starting my BA degree in child psychology, married my beautiful wife of 9 years in 2014 and we had our first baby jan 9th 2016.

This story is my story. My Crohns story. Not to tell you about my accomplishments but to help you live your life. Trust me. There where times I wanted to give up. Stop trying. And think I could never be happy or live happy with having this disease.  But I was wrong. You can live. You can have it all. You can be happy. Its all possible. Just never stop fighting.

Thank you so much for this site to allow someone like me, shy and not realized that I’m not the only one going through this, to be able to express myself and share my feelings and experiences with Crohns.

Thank you
Stephen M

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

Comments

View Comments (2)
  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    6 days ago

    Ugh, my heart! Thank you for sharing your story. This really resonated with me. I love how you push us to never stop fighting, and you are a living and breathing example of that. You have been through so much and I thank you for being so open and willing to share. You are a remarkable example of what it is to not lose hope.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • SusanHU
    2 years ago

    Hi Stephen,

    Thank you for sharing your story with our community – and welcome!

    It sounds like you have been through a lot on your path to diagnosis and finding the right options but we’re glad to hear that things are better now than in the past.

    Please feel free to add your voice to other articles and stories and keep us updated on how you’re doing.

    Have a great day!
    Susan
    (www.inflammatoryboweldisease.net Team Member)

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