Project Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s Disease:

Our journey with Crohn’s Disease began in March of 2014. What exactly is Crohn’s Disease? The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation define it as this:

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn’s most commonly affects the end of the small bowel (the ileum) and the beginning of the colon, but it may affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, from the mouth to the anus.

My husband had just been let go and was out of work. This was obviously very stressful for him, and the doctors think that the stress is what was the catalyst of activating his disease. He began to have lots of pain, which landed us in our local hospital, with a diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease and an intestinal blockage. He was put on steroids and tried to go on with life as normal, until we ended back up in the hospital with another intestinal blockage in August. We were transferred to UNC Hospitals, where their Gastroenterology team and GI Surgeons began to care for him. It became clear that surgery to remove the obstruction was our only option, so mid-way through a two-week hospital stent, he had 18 inches of his small bowel removed via intestinal resection procedure.

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After surgery, he felt like a brand new man, better than he had felt in years. Fast forward to April of the next year, and on the day that his brother was getting married, he knew he was blocked again. He took as much pain medication (left over from surgery) as he was allowed, and floated his way through the wedding. He ended up at UNC Hospitals again later that week and had scans and blood-work and met with GI and Gi Surgery. He was put on Humira injections every other week, that he administers himself at home.

July of 2015 we ended up at UNC Hospitals once again in the Emergency Room. Oh, and in September, we landed right back in the hospital again, too. They discharged us with instructions to come back within a week and a half for surgery. Another small bowel resection.

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Crohn’s is a mean disease, that disrupts the daily life of the patient, as well as their family. We’ve been in the hospital for birthdays, anniversaries, and narrowly avoided missing big events. We are learning to deal with the chronic nature of the disease and have absorbed weekly injections and hospital visits into our routine. We’re looking forward to managing the disease symptom-free for awhile, and would love to hear from you if you have Crohn’s disease too.

Stay up to date on our journey with Crohn’s disease.