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Friday, February 25, 2005

Crohn's Update 

Just a short update today. Since finishing my nightshift about 2 weeks ago, my crohns symptoms have been minimal. My aches are very minor and few and far between. This is a bit of a mixed blessing. On one hand, I don't want the anguish and pain, but on the other hand, I want to ensure the doctor next week finds the disease (otherwise I need to do a small bowel series which I don't want to do).

Next Thursday is my colonoscopy so assuming I can remember what the doctor tells me afterwards (the sedative makes you forget.. of course, I have a memory of a siv anyway, so hopefully the two will cancel each other out :), I hopefully will know a little more after the procedure.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Crohn's update 

I'm starting to get a little depressed at the thought of my Crohn's being active again. My stomach aches are occuring a lot now. It seems to be getting worse by the day.. I really hope we can get it under control quickly. It's just progressing much quicker for my liking. Here's a description of what occurs.

I will be fine one minute, and then without warning, i'll get a rather strong stomach ache which lasts a few seconds. During the ache, I feel pretty ill. Life slows down. You basically walk slowly, don't eat, or do much at all during the course. Fortunately the ache only lasts a few seconds. It becomes a problem when it happens often though, and is accompanied by other Crohn's symptoms eg. the pains. I'm at this stage now, without the pains.. let's hope it stays that way.

When the pains start, life stops. You basically stop walking, hold your breath and wait it out the best you can. The problem is the pains come in waves, due to the intestine motions. When a pain comes, you can expect several others, the first being strong, then each wave decreases in strength until the pains cease for that particular episode. Sometimes, you can have an overlap, where the waves get stronger, not weaker. When I was sick 3 years ago before my surgery, I had aches and pains many, many times an hour, day and night. Back then, my crohn's markers were well above 100, so I was particularly sick back then. The pains are hard to describe. They're not sharp pains like you've been stabbed, but rather blunt strong pains like someone is squeezing your intestine, then releasing it, and then doing it over and over again. I find during the pains, the most comfortable position to be in is laying on my back with one leg folded up. The worst position to be in is standing up or sitting down.. Sitting down is okay if you can lean back a bit, but given the choice, i'd be flat on my back.

As well as the aches and pains comes the loss of appetite, loss of weight, fevers, hot flushes, increased bowel motions. Currently I'm up to around 10 times a day. Pardon the pun, but it gives me the shits thinking about how often I have to go, and if that's not enough, you get the side effects of the symptoms eg. dehydration from not drinking, malnutrition from not eating, increased eczema from scratching, due to the added stress, and depression from being sick.

Once the waves of aches and pains cease, I can feel perfectly fine until the next wave.

Well.. that's enough of my descriptions for now. Like I said.. i'm only at the aches stage at the moment (with other minor symptoms). With any luck the medication will get it under control soon. We can only hope because usually the medication takes around 6 months to start working, and a hell of a lot can happen in 6 months.

Watch this space.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Crohn's symptoms starting again 

To my dismay, over the last couple of weeks, i'm reminded of my Crohn's disease pretty well every day. While still very minor compared to what i've been through in the past, I'm occasionally noticing aches, each and every day. Fortunately, i've yet to experience weight loss, loss of appetite, and pains. Once they start, it's a bit of a fight. Last time it occured, I became malnourished, dehydrated, and lacked any kind of quality of life due to the severe pains.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Specialist Results 

I just got back from the specialist.. It appears last time I saw him, i dodged a bullet, but this time, perhaps not. He agrees with me, in that my Crohn's looks like it MAY be active again, however today also had a mix of good news thrown in. First, looking at the results of the bloodtest, no alarm bells are ringing to him.. yes my Crohn's is possibly active again, but he doesn't think it's that bad at the moment. However, we're organising a Colonoscopy sometime over the next 3-4 weeks so he can get a better idea of what's going on. In the event nothing is visible via the colonoscopy, he will get me to do a Small Bowel Series (yuck). This is where they make you drink a liquid brick and possibly stick a tube down your throat (via your nose) and then feed the tube through your bowel from above. Not a fun experience I must say.

On a brighter note, he felt the lump in my gut (near where the scar tissue had been), and he said it's definately not going to be cancerous, but rather, the scar tissue is just starting to break up and move about. He said it should break up even more over time, until it eventually feels normal. Whew!! This was worrying me for a little while. Now I can relax.

The last bit of good news, is that I was wrong about the Vitamin B12 level. The blood test was correct, in that it dropped from litterally 1400 odd, to 185 in 3 months, but apparently, that's normal. He's actually given me permission to have my next injection in 6 months, instead of the normal 3 months. I only had my injection a few days ago, so the next one will be in 6 months time, which is great. I need to get a blood test a week before the next injection though, to ensure it's still at a reasonable level, and if it is, he reckons I'll probably be able to spread it out yearly instead. Let's wait and see what happens though.

My next appointment will be one week after the procedure. I'll be booking the Colonoscopy, and next appointment after my night shift next week. Next health update will be in about one month.