IBD Strikes Again
I had hoped to share more of this past weekend’s Cub Scout Campout but it’s the Crohn’s disease that I need address today. In an effort to help others with IBD or IBS, please note I will be openly discussing the Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Disease symptoms.
Two Friday nights ago I ended up in the ER or the ED as they’re calling it now. The Thursday before I woke up with a soreness in my back on the upper left quadrant. On Fri., the pain had increased and moved to the front, in addition to the back. pneumonia has been going around and although I didn’t have any cold symptoms, I had a friend who also didn’t have the cold symptoms but did have pneumonia. So I thought it’d be best to go in to my family doc so I didn’t end up in Prompt Care or the ER over the weekend. Wishful thinking at least.
I was able to get in with his nurse practitioner who did send me for a chest xray to rule out pneumonia. She said it could be a lot of things and that we would start there. she did warn that if I were to develop a rash it could be Shingles (Yay! Great!). She also recommended going to the ER if I became feverish or if the pain increased. By midnight I was experiencing lots of pain no matter what I did…sitting, laying down, laying on my side, standing, stretching, etc… Then my abdomen began to spasm as though there was a child inside kicking non-stop.
So as many do, I jumped on the ol’mighty internet where I read myself scared. It could be my pancreas…the same place my sister-in-law’s mom has cancer. Then I mentioned to my hubby that according to one of the diagrams, the pain is located near my spleen. He answered by saying “Ya, I’ve heard a ruptured spleen can’t be good.” The combo of the pain and fear prompted me to get dressed, put my shoes on and hit the road. Thirty minutes later I was exiting the interstate and taking a right to the ER parking lot. The doctor initially thought it was a kidney stone. They gave me pain meds which relieved some of the pain and then waited for the CT scan and blood draw results. The CT scan showed a clear kidney but heavy amounts of stool in my transverse colon. My blood study also showed that my hemoglobin had fallen from the last draw putting me at 10.6. :o(
I already have an upcoming appointment with my Gastro so from there I followed up with my nurse practitioner about three days later. Due to the drop in my hemoglobin she did another blood draw. It dropped even more. She suggested seeing a Hemotologist. This is a road I’ve gone down a couple of times. In our area there’s only one doc who specializes in my type of anemia.
**Background on anemia treatments attempted….About three years ago he prescribed iron infusions. It was during the winter and the day of my first infusion the truck gelled up. I was able to get to the farm and pick up my in-laws car but I was still about 20 min. late to the appointment. Since I still had another 40 min. drive, I had called ahead to give them a heads up and make sure I could still get the infusion. Long story short…they said to go ahead and come. By the time I arrived I was pretty stressed. They started the iron drip and I went into anaphylactic shock. It was the scariest experience ever. It began with nausea, back pain, then I couldn’t breath and finally I went temporarily blind. After some serious Benadryl the nurses got everything under control. The doctor felt that the combination of not being pre-medicated with the Benadryl and the stressful morning resulted in the anaphylactic shock. We attempted it a second time with the same result.
Back to the real story…I ended up agreeing to see the Hematologist after talking with the Gastro at my appointment Oct. 18th. The next day I received a phone call from my Gastro at about 6pm. I haven’t seen him since Jan. Based on my last three scopes and a CT Scan that’s a few years old, he strongly felt that I needed to begin administering daily shots of Humira. I explained that I will not begin taking the medication which has numerous side-affects, based on a guess of how my colon looks at this time. I asked if he would like to do a full colonoscopy or a CT scan. I had the CT scan done this morning.
The technician indicated that if they found something serious I’d be notified before the end of the day. Otherwise I should hear from my doctor’s office before the end of the week.
So now we wait. And search for additional research. And, contemplate finding a somewhat local support group.
I’ll keep you posted…and tomorrow my post will be light-hearted and will focus on the skits from the Cub Scout campout.
Thank you for staying tuned!