06-10-2007, 09:56 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The onset

I was 25, driving a taxi, and not eating well. So when my bowel movements began to become loose and slightly more urgent, it was logical to conclude that it was because of my diet. So I began eating lots of vegetables and salads expecting that I would become truly healthy. But this did not seem to help and sometimes the lettuce would pass through me, without being digested, leaving strips of the green leafy stuff in the toilet. But I did not give up. I was just sure that I needed more fruits and vegetables. Everybody was saying, "eat more vegetables, get more fiber." In the morning I would eat a fibrous cereal with fresh fruit on top. At some point, I learned about lactose intolerance and figured the morning cereal with milk was the problem so I quit that. Yet the problems persisted despite my almost vegetarian regiment.

I also noticed blood in my stool a few times but did not think too much of it. It wasn't very much and I thought some natural healing on my insides was taking place until one day when a teenager jumped out of my cab without paying. He looked like a dangerous gang individual but it was a $25 fare and sometimes you just say enough is enough. I was in good shape and jogged regularly so was up for the chase. He was very surprised to see me coming out of the cab after him. I chased him through an apartment complex and then he jumped a fence that sat against a busy street. When I jumped the fence, he jumped back over, and then he jumped back over again, etc. We did this at least four or five times before he ran into the middle of traffic causing cars to slam on their brakes. I looked up and noticed the traffic had remained stopped to let me cross the street and continue the chase. He ran into a fenced lot so I had him trapped. I got a good hold on him and hauled him back across the street to the apartment where he said he would get me the money. But he shook loose and took off again. Eventually the police came but never found him.

Anyway, when I got home later that day and had a BM, there was a lot of blood in my stool which was a cause of great concern. But I didn't have insurance so was reluctant to do anything about it. Finally, one evening after having a dinner of baked catfish with my parents I went back to the apartment and was relaxing in front of the TV. I gradually began feeling ill and nauseous as every minute went by until at some point I was heaving over the toilet some green looking substance. This went on for some time as the pain in my stomach increased. Finally, I got to the point where I felt like I was going to pass out so drove to the hospital. They began re-hydrating me and injected me with demerol. They kept me in the emergency room all night but my temperature would not go down so they checked me into a room. It took three days to get my temperature to normal and they released me the next day.

The GI who saw me in the hospital said it might be Crohn's and gave me his card. I did some research on the cost of a colonoscopy and treatment for the disease and could not afford it. I still had a commercial vehicle driver's license, from a trucking job I'd had in the past, so I got a job with a big over-the-road carrier which had good insurance. I waited the three months it took for the insurance to take effect and then went back to the GI. During all this time I suffered from all the symptoms of the disease.

After the colonoscopy he diagnosed me with Crohn's and put me on a prednisone regiment which was to phase into pentasa. Like most everyone else, once the prednisone began to take effect my symptoms decreased dramatically. But they returned during the tapering off and the pentasa didn't help much. I read a lot about diets and supplements in the meantime and got onto some concentrated aloe and a diet of soft foods. This, combined with occasional imodium kept me fairly normal most of the time so I quit the pentasa.

I can't remember the timeline exactly but I think it's been almost three years since I quit the pentasa and haven't seen a GI since. My imodium intake gradually increased as tried to achieve a perfectly normal life. The imodium didn't constipate me, but gave me regular BM's.

That was until now. Eventually the imodium began to be followed by extreme abdominal pain and constipation. I had to space my dosages out to every few days at a time and then only once a week. This past week, I took it and the pain that followed was so great it almost knocked me out. I've just been eating nutrition bars and have even lost my appetite for them. I've been getting night sweats that literally drench my bed. So now I'm on enroute back home to see a GI for the first time in almost three years. I'm sure I'll probably get a good scolding for not treating the disease medically. I felt a little better today so believe I am up for the trip. If I have to, though, I'll stop at a hospital on the way and get re-hydrated. I just don't want to pay those exorbitant ER bills.

Thanks for everyone's participation in the forum. With all the recent pain, it was sobering to reminisce on how this all began.

Best of health to everyone.

Last edited by Sojourn; 06-10-2007 at 09:59 PM.
06-17-2007, 02:59 PM   #2
ele mental leprechaun
soupdragon69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Hi Sojourn,

Am glad you are going to have a review of things. This disease is very much swings and roundabouts and can mean changes in our lives we are not entirely happy about on a work front too.

Sounds like the fact you have been reasonably fit has stood you in good stead from the start also.

Hope your trip is uneventfull and you are stabilised soon.

Welcome to the forum

06-23-2007, 01:43 PM   #3
mikeyarmo's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Welcome to the forum Sojourn!

I am glad that you were able to share that with all of us. I think it is really good that you are going back to a GI now, and you should do your best to follow their suggestions as well as you can. Keep us updated on what happens.

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