Crohn's Disease Forum » Your Story » Success Stories » Last eight months have been rough but ready to smash life again!

02-08-2012, 11:51 AM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Last eight months have been rough but ready to smash life again!

Most of us have a similar story so I'll try to keep this sort and sweet.

I'm 25 from Dublin, Ireland.

Had stomach issues all my life, diagnosed with Crohn's at the age of 12. My mam took great care of me and tried all sorts of remedies. From 12 to about 19 I was on a coeliac diet which we believe to have kept me in remission for a long time. At 22 I had a big flair up while I was in college. Spent a week in the hospital after they found my Terminal Ilium riddled with ulcers and inflammation. Doc had me on prednisolone and immuran till my symptoms receded and after about 3 months and I stopped medication.

Now, for my whole life I never realised the seriousness of this disease. I thought that the 'stomach cramps' i was getting were nothing to worry about as long as they didn't last too long. AND I didn't know the chances of needing surgery were so high. In my mind i was thinking that I'd be at least 40 before anything serious could happen. So as a young lads do I went out often in college, drank a lot, ate bad food etc. (For Americans, the Irish drink excessively) But i stayed very fit. After college I did a ski season in the French Apls, had a great time with no stomach issues and came home to Dublin. I felt great, it was the fittest and strongest I had ever been in my life. I had just run a 5 mile race in under 50 minutes. I was planning a move to Canada for a year, everything was going great. I was on such an awesome path.

Then boom, I came home from a friends party over the weekend in July 2011. Had some uncomfortable cramps for a day and they didn't go away. Then the pain got worse until what felt like suddenly I got the most intense pain I could imagine in the middle of my abdomen. I was doubled over screaming and throwing up from the pain. In the ER I was screaming my head off, the pain just didn't go away. They gave me morphine and paracetamol to calm me down but i was still in bits. I couldn't move.

Turned out that my small bowel had perforated and majorly infected my abdominal cavity. What followed was hell, 4 days of agony before surgery. They did a loop ileostomy and 30cm of my terminal ileum was removed. Then i spent a further 20 days in hospital due to a wound infection and pelvic infection. It was horrific. But I have to say, nurses were awesome.

People said I handled it very well and that they couldn't see themselves going through something like that with any grace. I'll admit, I handled it ok. When you're in that situation you have absolutely no control so you just have to sit back and let the guys do their job. I never felt scared for my life but there were moments before my surgery where people didn't think I'd make it. I was in too much pain to think and naturally assumed everything would be ok. After they cut me open the surgeons were surprised how I made it. I could only say that my fitness is what helped.

The hardest part about all of this 'having you life on hold bullshit' is trying to stay mentally healthy. What helped me the most were my friends. I'm lucky to have several very close friends who are great people. They kept me in good spirits and I needed that. But they can't always be there so I needed something else to pass the abundance of time. So I did loads of stuff, I tried to keep myself busy all the time. And even with all that work, my self esteem plummeted around mid dec. It's unavoidable and part of going through something this serious. I'm still finding it very hard. Writing down my thoughts helped me a lot. The only thing I will say is that going through depression you can really figure out what is important in your life. You realise the things that have been missing and you can begin to work towards a better life knowing what you want.

I've already had the reversal done. I spent 4 nights in the hospital in January. The shits were awful (like f*^king awful!) for while but they got back to normal after 2 weeks.

Today, 3 weeks after the reversal i went for a light jog and i'm booking a flight to ski in france soon. I can't wait to get my strength and fitness back!! I'm going to do so much. I'm moving to London this summer to pick up some new skills and get a job. I'm going to smash my life (in a good way) and i'll do it better than most people because they don't know what it is to be sick. All I know is this, if i have to go back to hospital again because of this disease (which is likely), I will want to be happy with my life and achievements before I do it. I'm never going to look back again and think 'if only'.

Make good choices, keep lots of close friends. Everything else after that is easy.


P.S. Any questions?
02-08-2012, 12:23 PM   #2
mikeyarmo's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Hi Eoghan,

Thanks for sharing your story with us! While you have gone through some tough times, it is inspiring to see how you are certainly trying to make the most of them.

After my surgery almost 5 years ago, I came to a similar conclusion as you did. I may one day have to be back in the hospital or suffer again from my Crohn's Disease; however I want to make sure I am happy with the effort I put in to manage the disease by myself and with what I was able to achieve while healthy.

Hopefully we both can remain healthy for a long long time though.

I hope to see you around on the forum more and good luck as you prepare for the move to London!
02-08-2012, 01:59 PM   #3
Angrybird's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Cambridge, United Kingdom

My Support Groups:
Hello and welcome Your tummy doesn't do things by halves when it's not happy does it? Glad things are improving and you certainly have the right attitude. Hopefully with a good diet and working meds (what have the docs currently got you on?) you will be able to take the world by storm Hope to see you around and keep us updated on how you get on.

DX: Crohns July 2002
Surgery: Ileocecal Resection Sept 2011
Now:Tummy behaving itself and new mummy to baby Nicholas
Current Meds: 6-MP 75mg,B12 injections every 3 months
Previous Meds: Budesonide, Prednisone, Remicade, Pentesa,Hydroxychlorequine,Azathioprine (tried twice) and Methotrexate
06-11-2012, 06:36 AM   #4
New Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Your story is inspiring and I don't know anyone else who is in the situation I am in so it nice to read that someone else has come through and out the other side . I am just a few months after my operation and I have a stoma and a mucous fistula. My recovery took a bit longer than anticpated and I had several complications after the surgery, MRSA, Illeus to name but a few.. but I got through it. I live in Dublin and as far as I can tell there is really no support group here (or is there?) and I do not know anyone else who has a stoma or a mucuous fistula as said I have both. I would welcome anyone who has experienced the same as i don't really know all the facts and the surgery was so unexpected, I had never been diagnosed with UC before i got sick!. I am also faced with the prospect of maybe having a pouch put in and a sort of "reversal" to be done in the start of next year. I have a great support network, and a wonderful partner, but nobody to really talk to and swap stories, experiences. If anyone wants to contact me please feel free to mail me, as I said this is all new to me and quite daunting.
06-12-2012, 04:14 PM   #5
Amy (worrywart)
Amy (worrywart)'s Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Dublin ireland
Hey eoghan
Welcome to the forum ",)
Just wanted to say fair play to u for keeping up the positive attitude it's hard sometimes with this poxy disease !! 4 ops for perianal disease I've finally decided to kick it in the arse and not worry so much hehe , whatever will be will !!
You've been through a right battle and came out the other side
And Myke I know there was a Facebook support page for peeps all round Ireland there's also the get gutsy web page if there any help to u
Anywhoo keep the heads up
Hugs from a fellow dubliner Xx
06-12-2012, 04:47 PM   #6
Sarah84's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Nottingham, United Kingdom
Thanks for sharing this, it was really inspiring. I go in next weds for a very similar op. They plan to remove about 20cms and give me the ileostomy to help me recover. I am kind of getting my head round it now and reading stories like yours really do help
06-12-2012, 06:31 PM   #7
Senior Member
carrollco's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Grass Valley, California

My Support Groups:
WOW! And again, WOW! Way to go!
First diagnosed 12/4/10
Humira 4/7/11 and lovin' it

Previous Meds:

Methotrexate--had kidney/liver damage
Lialda--allergic to aspirin--but didn't know until my Crohn's got much worse.
Prednisone--only when I have to!

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