In July, I’ll turn 58. I have had a good life filled with a great deal of change and adventures. The best adventure of all was the birth of my son who will be graduating from high school this week. I’ve been healthy most of my life.
I love reading, music, dancing, walking, hiking, spending time with my very interesting son.
Symptoms I’m dealing with:
My remaining symptoms include the opposite of diarrhea: Constipation. Does anyone out there have this problem to? It’s such a drag even though I eat a lot of fruit (even prunes!) and vegetables and good protein, like meat, chicken, turkey, fish.
What else can do?
My first flare probably occurred when I was 46, but I never reached the point of getting a diagnosis. It all started in the spring or summer sometime in the late ’80s, when I was in my mid-30s,
I had a bad bout of never-ending diarrhea,
but I was in such great health physically (I was doing short-course triathlons back then!) and mentally (I used to teach ESL at the college level) and emotionally (it was the heyday of my youth) that symptoms disappeared even before I got through the doctor’s protocol through which he was testing me for possible causes, like parasites, etc. But then in the spring of ’01, during an upheaval (the split up of the marital home), I went through a period of experiencing a lot of pain and diarrhea and urgency and weight loss and you name it!.
At that time, I was a member of an HMO and the doctor missed the symptoms until finally my gynecologist referred me to a GI. Even the sigmoidoscopy showed ominous signs. So I was scheduled for my first colonoscopy. Prepping for it was so painful. I was on the floor doubled over in so much pain. But I got it all out.
After the colonoscopy, I was immediately admitted into the hospital for almost a week and loaded with tons of solu medrol. Then when I got to go home I was put on a high dose of prednisone, 80mg to start. After weeks and weeks of being sick, I finally felt well enough to go back to work and I went into remission for over 6 years. I refused to take the auto-immune suppressant drug, Imuran.
Then in early ’07, I had a second severe flare up, but I ran from the obvious symptoms. I was afraid of taking large doses of prednisone and missing work and losing my job and I just wasn’t aware that a person can take lose doses of prednisone and be able to keep her/his life and function like a person–not a prednisone zombie.
But, I blew it:
I was in such denial that I had to go to the ER.
By that time, I was experiencing hot flashes and sweats along with a high temperature and then cold flashes when my teeth would chatter and my body would just shake and shiver. It was my brother-in-law who is a neurologist who told me that I must go to the ER immediately after I told him about these symptoms. I felt so weak, I could hardly walk. Even after all that, I managed to stay in remission once again–drug-free–until March 2011, when I had a minor flare. Remission lasted until this last March, when I had a terrible flare up starting with a massive bout of diarrhea and vomiting. To this day, I believe I got food poisoning that triggered a flare. It took a long time to trust food again, especially food prepared in restaurants, so I lost a lot of weight–even though I’m thin to begin with. Although I seem to be in remission, I haven’t been the same “me” since.
Prednisone works. I tried asacol but had a bad reaction to it in ’01. Thank Goodness! I refuse to take immune-suppressant drugs.
written by Cher