Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Undiagnosed Club » Reality check after night in the ER

09-15-2012, 11:49 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reality check after night in the ER

Hey guys!

First post here, I'm a 23yr old male from Philadelphia. Just graduated college and am currently working with on a start-up concert production company in the electronic dance music industry. Anyways here is my story, maybe some of you have some insight or similar experiences you could share. Sorry its super long, but if you need a new novel to read have at it lol

As far as I know, until this all started I showed no signs of any GI problems. On April 14th I went up to NYC to see a show with some friends. April 15th, I wake up with a significant burning pain on my lower left flank, nausea, and very pale, watery, mucousy stool. I had a number of vodka redbull drinks the night before & had taken some Extra Strength Tylenol for a concussion I was dealing with from the previous month, so thought it might just be my liver or bowels were slightly irritated or something. However, the pain, nausea, and pale mucousy stool continued over the following days, then weeks. Eventually the pain shifted to my right side and other parts of the lower abdomen wasn't constantly bad, but would come in waves in different parts. Over the next several months, the stool became progressively more solid & less pale, and the waves of pain less frequent, however still present. The nausea seemed to be getting worse. I tried to identify specific foods that triggered it, but could not. However, I did notice that the pain and nasuea were the worst after every bowel movement. Though less pale than before, I was having bowel movements more frequently and the stool seemed flattened at times, and was occasionally extremely lose.

During those months I was dealing with the aftermaths of that concussion as well as a very painful peri-anal fistula which kind of took priority over everything else, so never got it checked out. I had a Fistulotomy surgery to fix the fistula (which went well), and after it all healed up in a few weeks I finally decided to see my doc about my stomach. He referred me to a GI, who I saw a couple weeks ago. The GI said it sounded like I caught a "bug" at the show which was lingering since it came on so suddenly. He gave me a perscription for Omeprozole, had me give a stool sample, and made me an appointment for a Colonoscopy & Endoscopy.

2 days ago I had both procedures at the same time, and the initial results apparently showed apthos ulcers in the terminal ileum which they took biopsies of. The office was so busy the doctor didn't even have time to come out for a follow up so I haven't even heard from a GI yet about it...the nurse just told me to call back in a week after the biopsy.

Yesterday, I woke up and had a bowel movement, which was followed by pretty severe cramping, abdominal pains & nausea. I thought this was just from the colonoscopy prep or meds. Went to the bathroom 2 or 3 times that morning and still felt like I had to go again. Went on with my day and the pain seemed to get very severe and then gradually fade off. By night time I started to feel really crappy, I got the chills and around 9pm found I had a low-grade fever. Called the GI office who told me to go to the nearest ER immediately.
With my luck it happened to be one of the busiest nights the hospital has ever had (didn't get a bed until around 1am, and didn't see a doc until 2:30am) the time I got a bed my fever had spiked to almost 102. They gave me IV fluids, treated me with anti-biotics, took a chest x-ray, and sent me home around 6am after the fever broke.

The doc told me fevers were pretty common after colonoscopies with biopsies since the area has so much bacteria. However, he also mentioned to him it sounded like a pretty distinct case of Crohns due to the location of the ulcers. Crohns had been in the back of my mind for a while, but I had been focusing on every possible explanation besides that. It hadn't really set in as an actual real possibility until I heard him say it & I was going through all of that. After a little research, it all seems to fit the bill pretty perfectly... I even picked out other symptoms of Crohns I was having that I didn't think were related to my GI issues such as frequent oral ulcers, thinning hair, & constant well as the fistula I had.

Anyway, right now just hoping for the best, preparing for the worst. Figure if the GI says its definitely Crohns I'll be in this forum a lot for support. Anybody else have a very sudden onset of symptoms like this?
09-16-2012, 12:07 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Alberta

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Welcome to the forum. Yikes! What a difficult time you have had. Hopefully you'll get some detailed info from your doctor soon so you can get some relief from your symptoms.

My onset was quite different--perhaps someone will come along soon with an experience more like yours.
Diagnosed with IBD Sept. 2010
Enteral Nutrition induced remission in August 2011
Maintaining remission on Full Elimination Diet
09-16-2012, 08:45 AM   #3
StarGirrrrl's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010

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I don't have a dx yet, but my onset seemed sudden.
Once I looked back a good few years I saw little things here and there which never added up to much at the time- until with hindsight I saw a long line of GI issues.

I would be calling your Drs office again tomorrow, letting them know about the ER visit and something along the lines of "I realise perhaps the biopsies are not back yet but as things are now more serious I expect to be contacted asap when they are". Or perhaps ask them to book you an appointment for when they expect the biopsies back.

I'm afraid ulcers in the TI are a classic sign of Crohn's. If the GI you have now decides to fob you off (sadly it happens!) then see someone else asap.
2006. Tummy issues (more IBD than IBS).
2009 joint pain/worsening tummy issues.
CRP 20-36 2006-now. C3/C4 inflammation markers huge,
2014 IDA & low B12.

June 2014 admitted to Hospital 3 nights as emergency transfused 2 units of blood. Dangerous case of anaemia.
Caught by pure chance!
Cause currently unknown but suspected CD.

Waiting on blood & stool results from January.

Hoping to stop anaemia treatment soon & lower B12 daily dose!
09-18-2012, 11:56 AM   #4
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Cat-a-Tonic's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

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Hi, welcome to the forum and the club. I am "unofficially" diagnosed with IBD (officially undiagnosed) and my onset was very sudden too. Literally one minute I felt fine and the next I felt horrible. I remember I was at work, it was a Friday afternoon and I was just about to go to lunch, and I was thinking about what I was going to eat (so I had an appetite). Then out of nowhere, I was shaky and dizzy and nauseous and felt just terrible! I went home sick, thinking it was a bug and that I'd rest up over the weekend and be back to 100% and back to work by Monday. Not so, I stayed ill for weeks and gradually got somewhat better, but never totally better. So, long story short, yes - if my story is anything to go by, you most certainly can have a very sudden onset!

Have you gotten your biopsy results back yet? I hope they give you some definitive answers so that you can get some proper treatment and get some relief. Hang in there and keep us posted!
09-20-2012, 07:40 PM   #5
RichardSchulz's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Carson, Los Angeles, California
Agree with StarGirrrrl, if you get slow or unacceptable responses from your doc DO NOT be afraid to find a new one.

I also have to agree with the slow onset!!!??? I would have to say the same about the onset of my illness, But, after being ill for quite a few years I started thinking back to when I was younger and the unusual bouts of the trots I would get. For me about 80% of maintaining better health is managing stress, I wish I would have realized this before my 7th surgery but I really believe stress has brought about the onset of my flair ups on all too many occasions.

Good Luck, Prayers are with you
Diagnosed:1973 Crohn's
Surgeries: 7 Bowel Resections; Large Bowel total resection; 5 feet of small remaining
Medications:* Prednisone (hate it) * Pentasa
TPN Dependent

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09-20-2012, 09:19 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
My sudden onset happened in London when I was 20 in 1983..felt fine,went to a concert and started having back pain. I awoke the next morning with the sheets soaked and pain way deep in my pelvis..I knew something was really wrong. Was in the hospital for four weeks there and had emergency surgery there and when I flew back to the states..I wasn't diagnosed with crohns until wasn't even mentioned..):

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