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Kelly’s Story (Crohn’s Disease)

Crohn's Story I am 23 years and have had Crohn’s disease for one year now. I remember the day I knew something was wrong. It was my first semester of college and my bowel movements started to change. For 5 years I insisted there was something wrong. My mom has been battling Crohn’s disease for the majority of my life so my instinct was Crohn’s.

Finally towards the end of last year, I could not eat without being in pain. The doctor confirmed my instinct and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s. The medicine I was put on initially caused horrific knee pain. I could not get out of bed. I kept thinking to myself how am I going to be a physical education teacher when I can barely get out of bed in the morning.

My parent’s saw how much I struggled walking and we went to the ER. The steroid was causing inflammation in the knees  and I was taken off the steroid. Two weeks went by and I was feeling better. All of a sudden I got extremely sick. I was getting sick after every meal and dropping weight like crazy. I lost about 15 pounds in two months. I struggled to stay above 100 pounds. I couldn’t keep food down and struggled to get through my final semester of college.

My parents let me move back home so someone could take care of me. I was fed like an infant every three hours. I was given small portions of food until I was able to keep food down. Eventually we discovered an abscess was formed and the infection was making me extremely ill. I had surgery to remove the abscess and have been in remission for three months now.

My message is to follow your instinct. If you really believe something is wrong then make the doctors appointment. My persistence allowed me to catch Crohn’s disease early. I am currently teaching PE and no matter how bad the medicine makes me sick to my stomach I never let it control my day.

Nikol V
Connecticut
Submitted 1-17-2013

The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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5 comments

  1. Kelly-
    Keep up the good attitude girl. I am so proud that you do not let Crohns rule your life. I have had it since I was your age and I am now 53 years old. I won’t tell you that it will always be easy, but you already know that. I can promise you though, that you can live a long and satisfying life despite this disease. Do all the research that you can and learn what your body tolerates the best when it comes to food. I body build and believe me, I did it despite what the doctors or anyone else told me because just like you, I fight like a girl! 🙂

  2. Just had to share my experience with Chron’s Disease! I was 22 yrs old, recently married, and found out my husband was going out on me. After trying to work things out, decided to divorce him, and being my childhood sweetheart, it was very difficult for me. My stomach kept hurting worse and worse, and had constant bowel pr0blems every time I ate. One day, I woke up and was so sick, knew something was wrong, so went to a Dr. who said you are so swollen in your stomach with gas, go home and take a fleet enema. When I did, not knowing, for 24 hrs. I burst my colon in 5 places, and was bleeding internally. Soon I was so ill, couldn’t walk, so my Grandmother called her Pastor to come to my parents house where I also moved back in after my divorce. When he prayed he said all he could see when he prayed was “blood”. He told me I should go to the hospital. That night, they told me I had a 5% chance of coming thru surgery. I was engaged to my wonderful husband of 37 years, now. I came thru the surgery but because I was bleeding internally, they could not take out my ascending colon, so for a year I was in the hospital, had a colostomy(temporarily) and got down to 62 lbs., lost my hair, had to learn to walk again, had a needle put in my neck to feed me nutrients to gain weight. After getting up to 89 lbs. the decided I was strong enough to have surgery to remove my ascending colon. Soon after, I started to gain weight, and fully recovered! I really believe I am a miracle! The night of my first surgery, I felt an amazing peace, that God was with me and everyting would be OK. It took time, but because of my healing, I got remarried, had to adopt, because of scar tissue in my fallopian tubes, causing a hysterectomy, when my adopted daughter was 8 months old. Always remember like the girl above said, go to the Dr.!!!!! I was afraid and waited too long!!!!! I have never had chrones since, eat anything, really believe God healed me of this terrible disease! My brother had chrones also, after me but got medication and is doing great! So please if you even have just irritable bowel, don’t let it go, please, hope this helps someone, God Bless!

  3. P.S. I forgot to tell you, with my post above, I am now 62 years old! You can fight this, stay strong!!!!

  4. I won’t share my whole experience of Crohn’s, but will tell you a few things you might not know yet. The first thing is that it may be tolerable for a while, then come back with vengenance! (After my 1st flare-up settled down, I took no meds and only had occasional pain for 2 years. I thought the worst was over. I was wrong!) Also, you may get to a place where the meds are not helping. (At one point I was taking 24-30 pills a day, and still ending up in the hospital with obstruction and abcess.) You are young and seem to be a strong, determined person. I highly recommend you get a book called Breaking The Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gotschall. It outlines the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) which can heal Crohn’s. It seems like a hard thing to do at first, and most people don’t want to limit what they eat unless they are at death’s door (some not even then). But since you are a PE teacher, I thought you might be interested. You should at least read the book before you decide. I have been on it for 2 years now. I’ve been off all meds (with the dr’s permission) for a year. The only regret I have is that I didn’t start sooner! I hope this helps.

  5. Kelly,
    I wanted to thank you for sharing, your story has helped me with my school project. Your Crohn’s story has helped me agree with the facts that i have found.
    Thanks!!

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