I Have Crohn’s (Again)

Well, the CT Scan results are in and unfortunately they showed what I expected they would show. After nearly 30 years I still have Crohn’s…

No surprise to me, though still a little disappointing as the doctor really suspected that I did not have it. On the plus side though I had the rare privilege of having a doctor say “I have to admit my suspicions were wrong.” Wrong? Did he just admit he was wrong about something and i was right? I almost asked to see his Med School transcripts! Of course he isn’t a surgeon so maybe it’s okay for him to say he was wrong. And heck, no need for the tests if doctors are always correct, right? But, as I so often do, I digress…

So, I have Crohn’s no surprise, but there is some bad news. The Crohn’s is more advanced than I thought. In addition to some permanent scarring and narrowing of my intestine there is also at least one fistula. A fistula is basically a “shortcut” that my bowels have made to avoid the narrowing, a new opening where there should not be one. It’s a bad thing and we need to do something about it.

There are two ways to treat it: 1) by medicine, which ironically could make my symptoms worse as the fistula heals and food goes through the narrow section of the intestines; or 2) surgery.

I’m not a fan of surgery, given the inherit risks of being cut open, anesthesia, infection, etc. But if my symptoms worsen under the medication (which also comes with risk) surgery may be the only option.

Am I disappointed? Yes. Am I upset? Well, it’s hard to be upset about something that’s been part of me for so long and I’ve also actually been quite blessed to have had such a mild case of Crohn’s. I know several young men and women who have been struggling for a short time compared to me but have already undergone surgeries. Who cannot gain weight (fat or muscle) because they are simply too sick. My Crohn’s has been inconvenient and sometimes embarrassing but for the most part my life has not been altered because of it and there is no reason to suspect that this will change.

I just have to remind myself of this each time I wake up in the middle of the night to vomit or have diarrhea which last for what seems like hours and worse, often in a public restroom…the frightened looks I sometimes get when stepping out of a stall….priceless! And let’s not forget the constant gurgling, burping, and uh, other emissions.

However, on the brighter side, the CT Scan also revealed that except for the Crohn’s my insides are “unremarkable” and that, as Martha would say, is a very good thing.

Next up, colonoscopy. I bet you can’t wait for the blog on that!

Onward!

Dave

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