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10 August 2006 @ 07:14 pm
Crohn's Disease  
A few months ago I was raving about my shiny clean colon that was polyp free. I thought wow, part of my body is in good shape anyway. I basked in the good news that I didn't have to worry about colon cancer. And I still don't.

But the doctor who did the colonoscopy, Dr. Nguyen, suspected Crohn's disease because there were some areas that were raw and inflamed. I groggily remembered her suggesting Irritable Bowel Syndrome at the time, but she was also trying to rule Crohn's in or out. She got the report of my April hospital visit for some kind of intestinal bacteria or virus that really ravaged my system. They told me at that time that she had been concerned about some areas of my colon. So I asked my PCP if I should go see her, especially since she'd ordered some follow up tests after the colonoscopy. I kind of expected to be told that my symptoms were IBS for sure and how to manage it. I didn't expect to be told about this disease that I have that may or may not be an auto-immune related phenomenon. (The medical community has theories about this but no cause has been proven though they observe it often runs in families.)

On the bright side, I have a mild case (it can be quite severe and require surgery for some people) and it usually remains steady at the same level rather than getting worse over time. It's unlikely that I will get worse.

Dr. Nguyen confirmed it with some blood tests measuring c-reactive protein and sediment rate. Both were markedly elevated. (Of course c-reactive protein is implicated in cardiovascular disease as well.)

I looked up the new medicine I was given to manage the symptoms of Crohn's and discovered one of the side effects is severe headaches. I started taking it last weekend--and have been having them ever since. I thought it was hormonal but maybe it's also the medicine. So I am discontinuing it, especially after reading about other medications that can be used. It has some other potential side effects I'd be afraid to experience. (Isn't that true with most of these medicines? Often the side effects are scarier than what you originally are suffering from.)


I've been considering how my mom would have loved this diagnosis. I'm sure she would have exaggerated her symptoms and gotten a surgery out of it. Ack.

I'm just tired of my growing medical file and list of diagnoses. Really tired.
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labrys6 on August 11th, 2006 03:24 pm (UTC)
Headaches suck.
I'm so sorry, Tapati. Side-effects are such a bother it makes some meds seem worse than the disease!

No wonder you are worn out!
Ariana Dawnhawk: Eartharianadawnhawk on August 18th, 2006 06:12 am (UTC)
I'm glad it seems to be mild! My dad has Crohn's and has had a few surgeries for it, not to mention is on various meds. His doctors seem to have treated it as an auto-immune issue.

*hugs*