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Monica’s Story (Crohn’s Disease)

Crohn's Disease StoriesMy story may not pull at your heart strings, but it is my story. In 2003, I became a Registered Nurse. I was finally doing what I enjoyed. I got to take care of people and get paid for it. I took care of my patients, my friends, and, most importantly, my family. Never did I ever imagine that one day I would rely on others to take care of me.

In January of 2010, that all changed. At the age of 29, I was being sent for a CT scan of my abdomen. I had been in pain for 2 days and, finally, one of the doctors I worked with said that was enough and sent me for the test. I didn’t know what to think. I just thought it was a pulled muscle or, at worst, my gallbladder. The results came back suggestive of a Crohn’s flare up. I remember thinking “whatever, I don’t have that”. I faxed the results to a GI doctor and 4 hours later I was being admitted to the hospital for more testing. The final diagnosis: Crohn’s disease.

During my stay in the hospital, I missed my son’s 4th birthday party. Not only did I now have a diagnosis of a chronic illness but I felt terrible because I wasn’t there for my son. I didn’t know what to think. Now the journey began. My doctor and I had to work to find the right medication to help control my disease. Unfortunately, none of the oral medications worked. I was soon placed on IV Remicade. So, here I was, now relying on people to give me my medication. Every 8 weeks, I went into the hospital and sat in a hospital room for 4 hours while I received my medication. Everything was going good or so I thought.

In December of 2010, I went into the ER because of a flare up. I was given morphine and started back on steroids. I slept for 15 hours and ended up missing my shift at work. Upon waking, I realized I had several missed calls from my job. I immediately called to explained my situation. Everyone knew I had Crohn’s. I never went back to that job because the next day I was terminated. I now had no insurance and no way of getting my medication.

My doctor put me on 2 different drugs in hopes of controlling my Crohn’s until my insurance kicked in. Things were good for awhile but in April of 2011, I was in the ER three times because the pain had gotten the best of me. Then in May, my insurance kicked in. My doctor placed me on Humira at that time. I had given family members and patients injections but now I had to face the reality of giving myself one! I knew I could do it but I never imagined how much each shot would hurt. Now, every other week, I count to 3 and press the plunger on the injection. I know the pain will come but I also know this medication is working for me. With my last shot, my son, who is now 5, asked how come I didn’t say ouch? I told him I was being brave and said it in my head. He looked at me and said “It’s okay mommy. You can say it out loud”. I did the only thing I could think of. I held him tight, told him I love him, and cried.

So with my head held high and peace in my heart, I will fight like a girl against this disease. I will never give up!

Submitted 12-5-11

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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  1. mo

    Hi Monica, Thanks for your story and sharing your life’s ups and downs. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s during a surgery for an ovarian cyst in 1986. Thankfully I have had only minor flare-ups over the years, and one surgery for diverticulitis. I do take steroids for my other condition (addison Disease) so I think that really keeps the Crohn’s in check. I hope you stay well, and the medication works long term for you. Keep fighting like a giel!

  2. Lynn

    Hi Monica; i too am an RN working in the OR and like u inever dreamed id b the pt. In dec i went in for a routine hysterectomy,pathology report came back as cancer so i too have found myself fighting like a girl! Keep your head up ill keep u im ny prayers!

  3. Dora Bitowf

    Hi , I just posted a long story on your post on fight like a girl , Girl I know what your going thru ,I have been there ever sense I was 16 yr old on so many med when they first told me ,I left the hospital with No LIE A BROWN PAPER BAG FULL OF MED’S … I CRYED MY EYES OUT !!! I just knew I would never fine my true love becouse of my health anyway I did , we stay married for 20 yrs . but got a divorice , when I come down with all the other thing , but I have a wonderful husband now that is so great . anyway I was on the Humira but I ended up not beable to take it had gotton really sick from it , then I went to Remicade but I was getting mine every four weeks , I would get sick too from that but it work , so we keep on doing the treatments , I didnt have as may flare ups :0) my weight can back on again to 125 pound most I weight in awhile yay . then I had to stop the Remicade becouse I came down with the Small Cell Carcinorma Lung Cancer, Going thru the chemo and Radiation has put all my other thing I have that wrong with me into remission for now … But they say when it comes back its going to hit me hard again , so thats why I will not give up my fight at all ,You can do this ,I know its hard I have been there I was in and out of hospital with both of my sons when they where little and my ex was in the navy so he was gone alot and I had to be mom and dad alot too when I didnt have family around to help I had to fly someone in to stay when I got so bad I just couldnt take it anymore . Its not easy by no means but your love can and will pull you thru it it did me ,I just had my 49th b-day and looking forward to my 50 th :0) .so if you just want some one to talk to I am here for you . ok It help me take my mind off my thing anyway l.o.l. Well I talk your ear off now . I will let you go hope to hear from you , if not I wish you all the best . Dora

    • monica

      Thanks so much for sharing. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Or if u need a shoulder to lean on I am here.

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