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We got this!

Crohn’s disease started to wreak havoc on me at 3 years old. My parents took me to many doctors and the emergency room a lot. No one could figure out what was going on. I had high fevers, nausea, vomiting, rectal bleeding, painful bowel movements, no appetite, malnutrition, weight loss, lethargy, you name it.

One day we had an appointment… with at that time, a gastroenterologist, whom I had been going to for a while. He got in an accident and another doctor came in to take over his appointments. He talked to my parents for 10 minutes and said, “wow it sounds like it could be Crohn’s disease”. He did an immediate colonoscopy and I was severely diseased. I finally got my diagnosis at the age of 7.

We started going to a different hospital then. They started me on Remicade infusions, and did a total proctocolectomy. I got a permanent ileostomy at age 9. There were some complications after the surgery that resulted in small surgeries.

It saved my life. My stoma’s name is Buddy.

I was okay for a few years, continuing the Remicade and other medication. But at the age of 12, I started having problems again. Horrible painful bowel movements, no appetite, lethargy, etc. After a while, they discovered I had developed an abscess and fistula. I had stool traveling where it shouldn’t.
They had to put in a drainage system to drain the abscess. Also to get me healthy enough for the surgery, they had to put in a central line, in my chest. This is how I got my nutrients for months. I wasn’t allowed to eat.

My surgeon was awesome. He promised I would be better by the time the next school season started back up. Once I was healthy enough, he went in and repaired the fistula and took out some of my small intestine. My new stoma got relocated to the other side of my belly then. I made it back in time to start school and be a cheerleader. After that I only had flares here and there. I graduated high school and a vocational school. I worked in the medical field.

In the beginning of my 20s I started to have some problems again. They eventually found that I had a structure in my duodenum. Which it needs stretched every few months via scopes. Also developed some other conditions. I took a break from college and working. I needed to take care of myself. I needed to put myself first for once. In doing this, I have been able to focus on my health more and I have been able to conquer dreams that I wasn’t able to fully before. I promote awareness and help others daily that suffer from Crohn’s and Colitis. I blog, paint Crohn’s/Colitis awareness rocks, started a local support group, talk to nursing students, volunteer with the ccfa, and much more.

My parents and husband have been amazing and so supportive in my journey. IBD has had a huge impact on my life, but it makes me who I am..and I know I am to help others. We can all endure these chronic illnesses! Yes it’s a difficult life, but there will be good times too. You can always advocate and help others with their journey too. I’m here for you, too!

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

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    8 months ago

    Beautifully written.

    You have definitely been on one long journey and to see your positivity and willingness to turn a bad diagnosis into good is lovely and refreshing.

    Keep spreading awareness! We need more people like you!

    Wishing you the best!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • MegA author
    8 months ago

    Thank you

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