As I said in my previous post, I’ve had a recent set back with regards to my health. A set back that feels like I brought Doc Brown’s Delorian back to 2003.
For the last while, I have felt pretty sub par. I was getting pretty bad bouts of nausea, my appetite was waining and I was experiencing cramps like I hadn’t felt in years. I’d started a new job with a world leading company so I was pushing through it, I didn’t want to risk this new opportunity I’d been given. I thought it was just another phase of this stuff that would pass given enough time.
Boy was I wrong. Everything kept getting worse. I was sweating like Stuart Hall at a scouts meeting all the time and my whole body was in agony. Walking for the bus in the morning was like climbing a mountain and I constantly felt like I had done a few hundred squats. One day a few months ago, I almost collapsed in work and my manager sent me home. I spent most of that day in a and e, and the next two days in a hospital bed.
Let’s take a step back though. All those years ago, when I went through the nightmare of my second surgery, I was told that the worst of it was over, that the ulcerative colitis was all gone, that I could concentrate on getting strong and healthy and move on with my life. When my mental health degraded, I almost gave up but I got through that and made me into a much stronger person. I’d finally thought I could move on with my life.
Flash forward to that day in February, I lay in my hospital bed as the consultant I was under did his rounds. He told me straight, the abdominal pain, the lack of bowel movement, all the other things I mentioned could mean one of two things. Either I had adhesions caused by scar tissue or I had developed Crohn’s disease.
My heart sank. Crohn’s disease. I did not want to go through this again. I cried, I huffed and I denied. It was only a possibility but it was a possibility I had already experienced and I thought I never would again. Eventually I got my head around it but my body still wasn’t playing ball. I got referred to a new consultant as my old one had retired and I went along to my initial appointment. He reaffirmed what I had already been told and scheduled a small bowel series to start the search for the truth. I waited a month and with no appointment and with a bit of investigation discovered that the waiting list for a small bowel series on the NHS, a basic procedure that is crucial to the identification of bowel diseases, a procedure that had a waiting list of a few weeks in 2003, was now at 9 months. I was absolutely furious and completely distraught. There was no way I could live this way for that long.
Then I remembered something, I HAD TAKEN PRIVATE HEALTH COVER IN WORK! YYYYEEEEESSSS! Two weeks before I went out sick I took out BUPA cover but I hadn’t gotten any paper work and I wasn’t sure if they would cover me. I phoned them more I’m hope than expectation but was told, to my absolute delight, that I had a great package. I’ve never felt relief like that before, it was a weight off my shoulders.
It was at that point I started the journey I’m on now. In the space of two months, I’ve gone through 3 bouts of testing, including an MR entroscopy (a more detailed version of a small bowel series using an MRI scanner) and on Friday I had an OGD followed by an ileoscopy. I waited around anxiously afterwards while my consultant (who I shall call Mr. Ling) finished a surgical procedure he had when finished with me. When he walked in my heart jumped into my mouth. He told me they discovered quite severe inflammation in my oesophagus and my duodenum as well as a hiatus hernia. The two options are either a bacterial infection or, and more likely, Crohn’s disease.
It was at that point I felt the strangest emotion. Relief. I thought I would be devastated but I’m not. The first time round, I was a 17 year old kid, embarrassed at the fact I was shitting constantly and convinced I was dying. Now I’m 28, I’ve climbed over more hurdles and obstacles that I thought I’d ever encounter in a life time and I am a completely different person. I’m not that weak willed, frightened kid who went to hell and back.
I know it isn’t definitely Crohn’s but I think pessimism is my best weapon. If I get good news I’ll be delighted but if it’s bad then at least it was what I expected. I don’t want to experience the heart break and disappointment of 10 years ago because it would be the end of me. I’m going to get through this and I’ll live with it the way thousand of the rest of you do but it’s probably going to be a long, hard road to travel before I get there. Better days ahead.
I’ll be dropping a post in the next day or so with a more detailed run through on my current state of health and about duodenal Crohn’s. And I’ll throw a few stats about colitis sufferers who develop it later in life or are misdiagnosed. For the morbidly curious. Sick fucks.