Crohn’s or No Crohn’s – Step One Completed

Well, as I mentioned earlier my new gastroenterologist wanted to re-check to see if I really had Crohn’s.

 

Twenty some years later - about 100 pounds heavier (fat and muscle).
Twenty some years later – about 100 pounds heavier (fat and muscle).
Me shortly after beginning treatment for Crohn's, smiling with food!
Me shortly after beginning treatment for Crohn’s, smiling with food!

 

Crohn’s is the disease which has in part defined who I am for the about 30 years now. I have mixed feelings about the possibility of no longer being considered a Crohn’s sufferer for several reasons. But, one of the biggest is simply because if it’s not Crohn’s then what the heck is wrong with me?

I have many questions, such as:

Q – Could it be something worse?
A – Not likely as it has not gotten worse over the past three decades.

Q – Can it be treated differently if it is Crohn’s?
A – Possibly.

Q – Is it possible that whatever the problem was years ago has gone away?
A – Maybe…but not completely based on how often I do get sick.

But these are not the point of this post. I’d like to talk a little about my first CT (CAT) Scan tonight at the University of Michigan Hospital.

First off, I’ve gotten to know this place better than I’d like to. This is where, despite excellent care, my father passed away much too soon and every time I walk in memories come flooding back.

Second, I do feel that I get great care through UofM and that’s why I’m still with their health system. I’ve never had a CT Scan before, though I had a MRI, and the prep wasn’t much different. No eating 4 hours before, no drinking 2 hours before, and don’t wear any metal.

I arrived an hour before the actual scan as requested and after making my way through the cavernous B1 level I checked in at Radiology Reception A (I think they go up to D). The clerk checking me verifies that I’m me and then says, “just a minute you need to drink something before your test.” Not unexpected, what was unexpected was that there were actually three drinks all together about 60 ounces…more on this later.

At 6:25 I went back to the men’s changing room to wait for the nurse. Since I arrived in sweat pants and my favorite “Summerfield Bulldog” t-shirt I had a chance to finish the third drink and look around. On the table was a journal where patients could write down their thoughts to leave for others. I looked through this journal and almost cried reading some of the comments left by cancer survivors, those waiting diagnosis, and one defiant entry from a Crohn’s sufferer who said that he was not going to let this disease get him down or rule his life. Regular people coping with unusual struggles…very cool. I, of course, wrote nothing.

The nurse came in to attach my IV and noticed my handsome shirt and said, “oh, you’re from Summerfield?” I said, “no Petersburg actually…” and prepared to explain why the school’s name was different than the city’s and she said “Sorry, that’s what I meant. I’m from Deerfield.” Which is the town across the river and 3 miles down the road. Small world!

Back to wait for the tech, a pleasant young man who escorted me into the scanner room. He explained that I would like the CT scan better than an MRI as the unit is much more open and the test wouldn’t take as long. He had me lay down and attached the IV to the “contrast” chemicals and said, “now you’ll feel warm in about 30 seconds.” I said, “that’s okay it’s a little chilly in here anyway.”

Well, within 20 seconds I started to feel flushed – interestingly in my nether regions first (I thought I was wetting and messing my pants) and then it felt like Satan had decided to give me a taste of Hellfire! Warm, indeed. But it was over in just a few minutes. A couple passes through the machine and I was on my way. However, just about the time I passed the first restroom those 60 ounces of liquid decided that they needed to get out. I’m not sure what the stuff was but I’ve had enemas which were less effective! But, about 15-20 minutes later I was able to leave the restroom and head home…

Not much of an adventure but possibly an important one. Now we play the waiting game for the results or “Hungry, Hungry, Hippos.” Your choice.

Onward!

 

 

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