04-22-2006, 10:29 AM   #1

So a little birdie told me I am supposed to tell a story in here...I already really think this place is great!

First of all, I am Jennifer, I am 22 years old and I live in Northwest Ohio, near Toledo. I am currently a student at a local community college in a two year Physical Therapy Assisting Program, which is taking a lot longer than two years thanks to Crohns! I work part time at an all boys Jesuit High School, which I absolutely adore, it is the best job ever. I have a great family, who is really supportive, and friends who are the same. I have one older sister, Dusty (28) who has a 6 year old son who is the love of my life. There is no history of Crohn's in my family, I have one Aunt with MS and Colitis, but that's the closest thing. They actually think what may have triggered it is a round of intense anti-biotic therapy (three or four different kinds over the course of about three months) to combat a wicked infection when I had my wisdom teeth removed as a Sophomore in HS.

Only read on if you have the time...this is much longer than I expected. I apologize!

I have always been a pretty sickly person, in and out of the hospital for various things my entire life. It started to get progressively worse through high school as college time approached and stress levels were rising. I slept alot, was losing weight, couldn't keep much in my system as far as food was concerned, but I just assumed it was because I was stressed. The Christmas break of my senior year was when it got really bad: sleeping 18 hours of the day, vomiting, blood in stool...you guys kow the drill. So I was shipped off to the hospital for a week for all the tests. They suspected Crohn's, told me to get a colonoscopy when I was released, put me on prednisone and sent me home. I then started to feel better (because of the pred.) and was honestly scared to death of what was really wrong with me, so I procrastinated the test for the rest of my senior year, and the summer following.

That Christmas (2002) it all went downhill again, spent another week in the hospital, where I was officially diagnosed. At this time, I was in school at the University of Toledo on a full ride scholarship, which I eventually lost because I just couldn't keep up. Went through the normal string of medications, Prednisone (which made me absolutely flipping insane, completely psychotic to the point of having to be on valium 24hrs a day), Pentasa (made me lose my hair) various forms of 6-mp...nothing made me feel 100%, (or even 75%) so as a last resort I began Remicade infusions in August of 2004. These put me in remission, and I was able to get back in school. For the last year I have felt really great, with the exception of some high stress situations having to do with my father being very ill. A few months ago, I started having pains in my right side after every meal, early satiety, and a lot of vomiting after eating. Went in for the tests again (small bowel serious, upper GI, coloscopy), and they found a stricture in my terminal ileum due to the build up of scar tissue from when the diesase was active. I was hospitalized for pain management and dehydration. During that time I consulted with the surgeon about the course of action, he did a colonoscopy two days later and that afternoon I was in surgery. They removed 2 inches of my terminal ileum, the ileocecal valve and two inches of the first part of my large intestine. I was determined to get out of there, so I was up walking by 10 the next morning, eating by noon, and home in my own bed by the following day. It was all done laproscopically, so my healing time was cut in half, I was back to doing fairly regular activites by about two weeks.

The best news I have heard in a very long time: the only portion with active disease anywhere in my GI tract was the part that is now in the trash! So, I am going to continue on Remicade every 10 weeks and see how things go...

So that's my story. I suppose I am one of the lucky ones, especially to have been in remission for over a year. I absolutely could not have gotten through this without the unwavering support of my friends and family, and places like this.

Thanks for listening
04-22-2006, 10:43 AM   #2
Hi Jennifer, thanks for sharing! No need to appologize for the length; we all enjoy finding out about each other!

You sure have gone through a lot and the determination you had to get out of the hospital so quicky has to be admired!

I'm sure not finishing school in the amount of time you hoped it would take is discouraging, but being healthy is most important, as I'm sure you'll agree. Besides, when you're healthy, you have all the time in the world to get things done!
04-22-2006, 03:53 PM   #3
luscious j
my name is jon. i'm 23. born in NY. grew up in MO. and i'm in art school in SF, CA. i'm a nationally certified CPhT. but am persuing my dream to become an animator for pixar or any other co. like them. i've had crohns since 10. i didn't tell anyone til i was 19 and only then because i had to have surgery and it couldn't be avoided. i have acute crohns that responds to nothing. i have taken every drug possible and my large intestine still looks like swiss cheese and probably smells a lot worse. as a result of my secrecy i have never met anyone with the same condition and this is the first time i've been on any kind of forum. it gets pretty lonely when no one understands what you're going through. i think i'm on the verge of another flare up and there's nothing i can do. i am about to start eastern medicine and acupuncture because western medicine is useless. even so i feel like i've got a pretty good handle on things. the only thing that bugs is that i just moved here 3 weeks ago and i have no support from anyone. the closest family is at least 2 hrs away. and that's why i'm here cause i could use a few friends. my aim is turambar51.
04-22-2006, 03:57 PM   #4

Hi Jennifer!

Thanks for sharing your story! I am continually amazed by you young people here who are going on to school and on with your lives. Makes me so proud! I'm glad you are not letting Crohn's rule your life. Keep on fighting and you'll make it far. I know you're frustrated that school is taking so long, but don't give up. You're getting there!
04-22-2006, 03:59 PM   #5
luscious j
hey i think i was supposed to start my own thread? sorry i still don't know exactly how this stuff works. :/
04-22-2006, 04:00 PM   #6
If you need some help, hollar and I'll be glad to stumble thru it with you..lol.
04-22-2006, 05:52 PM   #7
mikeyarmo's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Thanks for sharing your stories Jennifer and Jon.

I cannot believe how fast you left the hospital Jennifer! You must have been more determined then... well just really determined ! I hope that things continue to go well for you now.

We all know what it is like for no one to know what it is like to go through what we have to Jon, so please do not feel like you really are alone. Hopefully you can find some support and understanding here, and of course a few friends. No matter where you are in the world the people of this community are there with you, and we really do know what it is like.
04-22-2006, 06:39 PM   #8
thank you!

and yes, I was determined. Hospitals suck!
04-25-2006, 09:37 AM   #9
luscious j
lol-- i was in for 10 days after my surgery-- to make a long story short, i was sick of being treated like trash and ignored there, so i checked myself out. told my doc i was leaving and walked out.-- well more like hobbled out.
04-25-2006, 10:37 AM   #10
Karen's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ohio

My Support Groups:

Jennifer ... I am sure that you will make a lot of new friends here { count me in } I may not have Crohn's but my husband does and as long as there are sites like this to help us out ... I am here !! So, once again WELCOME & have a good time here ... JUMP RIGHT IN & HAVE FUN !!
04-25-2006, 02:55 PM   #11
Mama Crohnie
cookey's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
luscious j said:
hey i think i was supposed to start my own thread? sorry i still don't know exactly how this stuff works. :/
That's ok Luscious, I think more then a few of us have the same problem. Me being one of them. I'm still learning my way around, but you will get the hang of it in know time at all. Welcome, and enjoy your time here.
04-25-2006, 03:01 PM   #12
Mama Crohnie
cookey's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Hi Jennifer..you're quite welcome, we are all here to listen and lend support..thank you for sharing your story with us all.
Jon very nice to meet you as well..I'm very pleased that you signed up, I have found since being here a short time, that everyone here is like a family since we all share the same Disease. You most definitly will not be alone in sharing your thoughts or any related issues you have about Crohns.
Welcome to the both of you.
04-25-2006, 06:47 PM   #13
Hi Jennifer

Im new here to, I am 23 and from NZ and got cd at 16 but diagnosed at 21. Its awsome that you are now feeing good. I hope that when my time comes there is only a small amount to come out (i belive from my CAT scan that i had when at my worst i was told there is about 10-15cm affected so hopefully the scaring wouldnt be over all of that.

Best of luck jennifer and IM me if you like

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