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Crohn's Disease Forum » Your Story » Success Stories » SUCCESS STORY - 7 Years of Crohn's - "a model patient for Remicade"


05-11-2017, 09:41 AM   #1
Hopa
 
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SUCCESS STORY - 7 Years of Crohn's - "a model patient for Remicade"

7 Years Ago, this month, I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at age 13.
After missing school for a month and a half with a 103 deg fever, inability to walk (swollen lymph nodes), extreme stomach pains, and absolutely no appetite, I was admitted into the Arkansas Children's Hospital with moderate to severe Crohn's disease. My entire system was covered in ulcers from the back of my throat all the way to... you know. I cried when I was forced to eat and would almost immediately throw it back up. By the time of admission, I was down to 80 lbs, though I should have been close to 110. But anyway...
This is my success story!
I was immediately started on Remicade treatment. After only a day, I was finally able to wake up and stay awake. I had energy!! After 5 consecutive days of treatment, I could finally leave. I felt like I was on top of the world! My doctor called me a "model patient". I was then scheduled to receive Remicade every 8 weeks.
My body had become too weak for any contact sports or sports that were hard on the body, so this is when I took up competitive swimming. After just a couple years, I was one of the fastest swimmers in Arkansas. With 3-4 hours of practice a day and extra weight lifting sessions, I was the state champion by sophomore year of high school. Then my senior year, I broke the state record and received multiple offers to swim at NCAA D1 universities.
For the most part, I was entirely symptom free! I would have my occasional flare up if I ate the wrong food or got too stressed out about swimming and school. These usually didn't last more than a few hours before they calmed down, but sometimes I would have to sit out of practice. I'm a lucky one for sure.
Then comes my first year of college... talk about stress!! Swim practices were 5x harder than before, I had to figure out classes on my own, and I had to live without mom to take care of me?? This was the first major flare up I ever had. For weeks, I had painful stomach ulcers. My doctor told me to lay off of dairy products because those can cause inflammation. She also said that the ulcers should go away on their own when my body gets used to that level of stress, and she was right.
So now I am finishing up my sophomore year of college, hitting the 7th anniversary of my diagnosis. I was named CCFA local honored hero, I've had multiple newspaper articles written about me, and I even had a magazine article written about me titled "15 in 2015" in the Saline County Lifestyles magazine. I received a swimming scholarship to a NCAA D1 school where I now attend. I am enrolled in the honors college as a pre-med biology major.
I've been blessed with many years of remission and living a mostly normal lifestyle. I can assure all of you, I am not putting it to waste!

Last edited by Hopa; 05-11-2017 at 06:06 PM. Reason: Title change
05-11-2017, 10:20 AM   #2
ronroush7
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That is great and I hope it continues for you.
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Diagnosed in 1990. On Humira, Imuran, Gabapentin, Colestipol, Synthroid, Lialda. Resection in April of 2010. Allergic to Remicade, Penicillin, Flagyl, Doxycycline. Thyroid issues and psoriasis and neuropathy and mild cerebral palsy. Mild arthritis in my lower back.
05-11-2017, 05:44 PM   #3
Hopa
 
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That is great and I hope it continues for you.
Thank you! After college, I am going to try to go off medication all together. It is very expensive! I don't want to accidentally mess up my swimming scholarship, though. So that's why I'm waiting.
05-11-2017, 05:53 PM   #4
Scipio
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Yay for athletes who don't let IBD slow them down! I think the discipline required of athletes helps develop the drive and mental toughness to stick to their IBD therapy and diet as well.

Keep pushing, and don't let the partying and other lifestyle temptations of college life knock you off either your training schedule or your IBD medication regimen.
05-11-2017, 06:01 PM   #5
Hopa
 
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Yay for athletes who don't let IBD slow them down! I think the discipline required of athletes helps develop the drive and mental toughness to stick to their IBD therapy and diet as well.

Keep pushing, and don't let the partying and other lifestyle temptations of college life knock you off either your training schedule or your IBD medication regimen.
You are very right! I try to stay away from alcohol and other things that could bother my stomach (though occasionally I will have a drink.. haha). But I've stuck to training, eating well, and getting good grades! My team even won the conference championship this year
05-11-2017, 06:14 PM   #6
ronroush7
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Thank you! After college, I am going to try to go off medication all together. It is very expensive! I don't want to accidentally mess up my swimming scholarship, though. So that's why I'm waiting.
Just keep monitored by a doctor

05-12-2017, 09:51 AM   #7
Scipio
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Thank you! After college, I am going to try to go off medication all together. It is very expensive! I don't want to accidentally mess up my swimming scholarship, though. So that's why I'm waiting.
As severe as your disease was prior to getting it under control, going off all medications is risky and likely to bring the disease back with a vengeance. Crohn's under control is a sleeping dragon - not causing any big problems but still there and still smoldering. Going off all medication is likely to trigger a full fire-breathing rampage.
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