Well, for those of you who are friends of mine on Facebook and longtime friends here you already know this but this is for anyone else who happens to stumble upon my infrequent blogs…
About 30 years ago I started to lose weight for now reason. This was accompanied by an intense pain in my gut that seemed nearly constant. Within a matter of 2 or 3 months I went from a relatively healthy 180 pounds (at 5’11”) to a clearly unhealthy 140. All the muscle mass I had worked a couple years to put on was gone almost overnight. Vomiting and diarrhea were the norm for me. Well after many medical tests – most of them uncomfortable at the very least – the diagnoses was in. I had Crohn’s.
Now this was much better than my worst fear which was that I had cancer. My family was worried, my co-workers were worried, my friends were worried, and so on. The good news is that I was given some pills (sulfasalazine and prednisone) reacted well to the medicine and within weeks started to put the weight back on – and then some. My doctor’s instructions at the time were to take one of the sulfasalazine pills each day and the prednisone only for my worst flare ups. This treatment seemed to work and unlike so many other Crohn’s sufferers – some who are friends here on Bodyspace – my life was pretty normal. I’ve actually gained too much fat (along with a fair amount of muscle by the way) and flare ups have been few and far aweigh.
My treatment was coming from my primary care doctor and I never saw a gastroenterologist in all those years until last week. And he pretty much rocked my world. After discussion he said, “I’m not sure you have Crohn’.” I said something along the lines of “Whaaaaaa?” and he went on to explain that though my symptoms are Crohn’s like that the dosage of the medicine I took at best had a placebo effect and that there are many other conditions which mimic Crohn’s and we know so much more today. My colonoscopy a few years ago was so good (yay) that there is no indication of anything odd in my gut.
We are starting from scratch. I have a CT Scan scheduled for next week. IF there’s evidence of Crohn’s I get to have a biopsy taken. If I don’t, well, we don’t know yet.
So this thing, as bad as it has been, has been part of my life for three decades. I didn’t like it but it had a name and in many ways has become part of my identity. I’m not really sure how I feel about possibly not having it any more, but if what I do have can be cured…well, I’m all for that.
Oh, and once again my job is in jeopardy. The College I work at is about to go under a “fiscal watch” by the state, we are all getting another pay cut and lay offs will be announced in January. So, I’ve got some interesting stress in my life right now.
How’s everything with everyone else?