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Crohn's Disease Forum » Your Story » Bowel resection within two months of first symptoms


08-12-2015, 02:32 PM   #1
steele344
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Bowel resection within two months of first symptoms

Hi
First would like to say I'm glad I found this place as it seems like a well balanced, informative and genuinely helpful site!
My story is a strange one so I'm hoping someone else has experienced something similar. Last September I started getting stomach pains which being a guy I stupidly ignored until the pain got too much I passed out. The hospital did a CT scan and the Crohn's diagnosis came back which I obviously wasn't thrilled about but as a Pharmacy student I knew that there is a lot that could be done so there was mixed emotions there. Got discharged from hospital a week later after the inflammation and infection had died down, with more follow up tests in the pipeline. However after about a month of steady improvement, the stomach pain retuned ten times worse than before. I was violently sick all night and the pain was excruciating. The hospital ran another scan and said I would have to go for an operation that day as they could see numerous blockages, abscesses, fistulas and my blood work suggested peritonitis. I had a right hemicolectomy (excuse the spelling) and ended up losing 90cm of small intestine and 20cm of large but thankfully the fantastic doctors and Wishaw General in Scotland managed to reconnect everything.
The recovery was slow but a couple of months later I went back to work and have been working full time since. I am now getting ready to return to university in September. The pathologists report suggested I'd had a leaky/burst appendix not Crohn's. Subsequent MRI's and a colonoscopy have shown my insides to be normal looking with the tiniest bit of bit of inflammation at the joins from my operation. Biopsies have confirmed a diagnosis of mild to moderate IBD.
Anyway I'm now a reasonably healthy 20 year old, almost back to full fitness and I'm determined not to let any worries about what the future may bring hold me back. I haven't had any stomach pain since I got over my operation but I do get the obligatory Crohn's diarrhoea (not sure if this is from my operation or the Crohn's...been told both). Meeting with Doctor's soon to discuss medication options. Bit worried about side effects making me feel worse as I'm currently very well (if a little tired at times) but then again I don't want any relapse. Any advice would be most welcome (and if I can give any pharmacy advice let me know )
Thanks for reading this far
08-12-2015, 04:29 PM   #2
DustyKat
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Hi steele344 and welcome to the forum.

Iím sorry to hear of all you are been through.

Iím also sorry that I have donít have time for a lengthier response just now but work beckons. Ugh! Thursday morning here in Oz.

Both of my children have had the same surgery as you and for the same reasons. So I will just quickly make a few major points:
  • Unfortunately the complications you have experienced so soon after diagnosis that required surgery place you in the category of having severe Crohnís at the outset. This should be major consideration from the docs when deciding future treatment.
  • The inflammation at the anastomosis is where you expect inflammation to recur following surgery. The presence of the inflammation means you need to go onto maintenance medication to keep your Crohnís in check.
  • By removing the affected area of bowel you will experience much better health post op. How long this lasts varies form person to person, with my own children my daughter had surgery 9 years ago and has remained in remission since then. My son had surgery 4 and half years ago and flared at the 4 year mark. But even with my son his flare was not anything near as bad as his symptoms when diagnosed.
  • The diarrhoea is due the surgery. The area of bowel you had removed means that you arenít reabsorbing bile salts back into the body and as a result they are being dumped into the large bowel and causing bile salt malabsorption diarrhoea.
  • There is medication you can take that binds to the bile salts and so alleviates the dumping effect. Questran is a prescription medication but my kids use psyllium husks which work the same way as the Questran, they prefer them over the Questran powder. You can also get the tablet version Welchol.
  • Be aware that the terminal ileum is the only area of the bowel where B12 is absorbed so keep and eye on those levels. They may be okay for some time but your levels will eventually drop and you will need to have it replaced, usually by IM injection.
  • Also keep any eye on your serum levels of Iron, Folate, Vit D, Magnesium and Zinc.
Goes without saying that everyone is different but both of my kids have had no issues with meds and side effects.

Good luck with the upcoming appointment!

Dusty. xxx
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Mum of 2 kids with Crohn's.
08-14-2015, 12:58 PM   #3
fuzzy butterfly
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Hi, yep pretty much agree with dusty iv not had any side effects from any of the many drugs iv been on, except for aza which sent my liver function results sky high. As for the feeling tired I'm afraid that can be part and parcel of having Crohns :-( , I'm permanently tired these days and suffer Joint pain, but other wise pretty well for a Crohnie :-), wishing you all the best...
08-15-2015, 02:41 PM   #4
steele344
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Hi
Thank you both for the advice. It can hard not to worry sometimes so it has certainly helped put my mind at rest. Been started azathioprine this week so fingers crossed for further improvements. Lots of positives to be thankful for. All the best
Andrew
08-15-2015, 02:57 PM   #5
fuzzy butterfly
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Hi glad we have been of some help, hope the aza works for you it is supposed to be very good if it suits you,so heres hoping . please remember there is always someone here to listen,help and advise if need be, wishing you all the very best of health and luck...
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