Wow…that title sounds like I’m bragging but believe me its sooooo not the case. I look back on those disease-ridden days and am grateful to see how far I’ve come. I’m glad I can say I’ve been medicine free for at least two years. I’ve been able to keep my disease under control with just the use of supplements and eating whole organic foods. Hip Hip HORRAY!!!
Lets give everyone just a little bit of my disease history for those of you who give a crap…and if you have intestinal issues I know you do!! I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of nine. I slightly remember when I started to feel crummy. I was having stomachaches and having a lot of diarrhea. My mom told me that I started to have a lot of troubles in school as well. My teacher at the time said I was being lazy…ummm no its called being in extreme pain due to my own body attacking my intestines!! Wow…guess I’m still bitter about that. Anyways, my parents took me to Gastroenterologist Doctor and they performed an Upper GI (x-ray test where you drink this white chalky substance and they watch it go down your digestive track). I remember sitting on the table, after the test was done, licking a lollipop (lets just feed my disease more sugar) and seeing my Mom cry in another room. I guess they were breaking the news to her that I had Crohn’s Disease. Well the fun was just beginning with the slew of treatments to come my way. I went on high doses of prednisone, asacol, Imuran, and so much more.
I do want to chat just a little about prednisone for anyone that has been on the horrible drug. Seriously, how can that drug be legal and cannabis isn’t??!?!?! Don’t get me wrong, prednisone did “help” my disease but the side effects are almost as bad as the disease itself. I remember being on HIGH doses of that drug and being extremely hungry, craving carbs, moody, depressed, acne, excessive weight gain, puffy/moon face, loss of eye sight, and suicidal. I remember sitting in my sixth grade class and all of a sudden not being able to see. Everything went black!!! I freaked out!! My eyesight did come back after five minutes but talk about scary! Needless to say, I despise that drug and feel pain for anyone that has to ingest that poison. Here I am, graduating from high school and clearly on prednisone. Gosh, I hate that drug!!
Ok…back to the topic. For years, I went on the crohn’s rollercoaster ride where my disease would go into remission and then plummet back into distress. The vicious cycle of drugs, tests, and colonoscopies would quickly follow each flare. My GI doctor finally decided to try bowel rest and that is where he introduced me to the NG tube. The NG tube went in my nose, past my throat, and into my stomach. It was used to feed me the nutrients my body needed and also give my intestines a break from having to work and digest food. To be honest, I do remember this treatment working for a time. I like the idea of giving the intestines a break but I’m not sure if I would currently go this route if I needed to. I remember having that thing shoved down my nose. AWEFUL!! I remember gaging and choking. It was a very unpleasant experience. When I first started this treatment, the tube stayed in my nose 24/7 for a month. After that, the nurse would have to switch nostril sides. A nurse would come to the house and reinsert the tube. At night, the nutrients would slowly be pumped through the tube into my stomach. During the day, I would be free to move around but that meant attending school with a tube down my nose. I know its not a big freaking deal especially with all the other aliments people have going on but I attended a very small private school. Believe me, I stood out like a sore thumb or like a girl with a tube down her nose. I’ll admit, I do not remember being made fun of (at least to my face). I do remember not going to the lunchroom because I was on bowel rest…that means NOOOO FOOD!!! Talk about torture!! Well finally came the day when a nurse was so kind to teach me how to put an NG tube down all by myself!!! Yes. I was pretty impressed with myself…wait still am. I remember I was pretty excited to learn that little task because it meant at least looking like a normal person again. Believe me, that piece of knowledge comes in handy when it came time for future colonoscopies. I never had to drink the crap they make you drink before the procedure. I always put down an NG tube down so I didn’t have to drink that horrible elixir. Here I am, just what every girl wants on her twelfth birthday..an NG tube! I’m glad my Mom allowed me to cheat and at least have some of my birthday cake.
I’m glad that that part of my life is over but am thankful for everything I learned through it. I’m glad to have gained so much information and experience. I’m hoping I could at least help other out there that have gone through these methods. If I could go back, I defiantly think I would have liked to try some alternative methods. I know that a lot has developed over the years and the internet was pretty much nonexistent when I was younger (heehee AOL dial up) so I know my Mom didn’t have the resources that are now accessible. But I would have been intrigued to try alternative bowel rests such as juicing. Well one cannot go back to the past unless your this cool kid. Here’s to the future.