First Really Major Episode of Crohn's

by Michael
(Brooklyn)

I've had Crohn's for more than 20 years, but always managed to keep it under control. No sudden urges to run to the men's room. No dramatic weight loss. No surgeries. I was careful with my diet, took my medications regularly and visited the doctor when I was supposed to do so. I had the occasional blockage and sick day, but that was it. In short, I was lucky. All of that has now changed and I'm looking for advice from those who have emerged from the more serious complications of Crohn's.


At present, I am flat on my back, medicated with Prednisone, Flagyl, Cipro and Pentasa. I have a severe stricture adjacent to my terminal ileum. I have waves of nausea. I throw up at least once a day and can't eat. I have diarrhea several times a day. I've lost more than 20 pounds and no longer have clothes that fit me. (I was 157 pounds to start with which, at 5'9," was thin. Now, I'm a scarecrow.) I've missed three weeks of work and show no signs of improving. I have been to the doctor several times, but I am told that the next step is the hospital which is more scary than anything else.

Does anyone have any advice for me? For the first time in my life, I have no idea what to do next?

-Michael

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First Really Major Episode of Crohn's NEW
by: Annette Young

Hi there,
I am so sorry to hear that you are in such pain at the moment. Crohn's can be so aggressive and it can flare up out of nowhere. It can also be very frightening, so I hope you have people around you for support. If you have gone a long time without much pain, then this would be a real shock to the system.

If your medication is not working, you need to ask for additional help from your doctor. Many people have to ask for alternative treatment and many people who go through this type of extreme pain do come out of the other side of these nasty bouts. So please hold onto this as a positive. Sometimes as fast as it comes, the Crohn's can subside. It is possible that the condition has worsened and this is why you need extra medical checks.

Equally, you may have triggered off an attack unknowingly. Have you changed your diet recently? Did you drink or smoke? Have you had additional bouts of stress? If you eat dairy products, you might suddenly be lactose intolerant. There are lots of things that can be triggers.

Learn relaxation techniques to keep tension out of the body and abdominal areas. Sleep as much as you need if you are experiencing extreme fatigue. Listen to your body. The best way of coping with Crohn's is to take a simplistic approach to health.

I hope this helps but please do keep in touch and let us know how you get on.

Best wishes,

Annette

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