It’s crazy to think that It’s been 7 years since I got diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, some of the moments I remember like they were yesterday, some of them, I think my brain has tucked back into a hidden place never to surface again. Oh yeah, my name is Kyle, I am a 35-year-old 7th grade teacher from a small town in WA state. I guess it’s been a little bit since I last posted a blog with Adam, don’t look at that as a bad thing at all, things have actually been going really well for me and my Crohn’s disease (Originally diagnosed with UC; so, I am grandfathered into the site J)
Since my last posting, a lot has changed in my life, I am now a father of 2 amazing boys, my wife and I are coming up on our 8th year of being married, I have been full time teaching for 6 years now, and I have taken control of my Crohn’s Disease and am healthier than I have been in a long time. I may need to catch some of you up to speed…
When I was first diagnosed, things got bad, like really bad, I went into a spiral with a flare coupled with a bacterial infection called C.Diff that would put me in the hospital for nearly a month. That whole next year was a trial and error to get things under control with medication. I would have allergic reactions to both Remicade and Humira and within a year be back down the road of flaring and infection relapse, something had to change. Enter the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), my wife and I made the decision to take on the SCD as a means to manage my Crohn’s Disease 5 years ago. Since then, I am on the healthiest stretch with my Crohn’s disease. My wife and I were out of options, the next step was to start taking things out of me, and we just went ALL IN on the SCD, and it proved the medical field and some nay-sayers in my life wrong!
This decision did not come easy, like I said, we were out of options, long term prednisone use and surgical procedures were not something we were wanting to do. So, we used some great internet resources, the “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” book, along with a lot of great people that I connected with on here, and we went for it! We struggled, it was tough, there were days I wanted to just give in, but what was my alternative? Cutting stuff out of me, or CRAZY pills for life?!?!?! I will pass. Through diligence, prayer, and discipline I have been able to regain control of my health, looking back it was one of the hardest, but best decisions we could have made.
Last February, my wife and I made the decision to have a colonoscopy done. I was put with a new GI and he wanted to get the “full look” at what we were dealing with my Crohn’s, and I gave it to him. (Haha!) His response was, “it looks like the diet has done it for you Kyle, you are currently in remission with the disease in your gut!” BOOM! How you like them apples?!?! His concern for the past year has been the diet management, the good news for us is he is not opposed to means of dietary interventions for Crohn’s, now he is skeptical, and I get that, but he is giving my wife and I the reins for things, which is a nice confidence booster in the patient and doctor relationship.
Now I am not cured, and I am not saying that the magic bullet gets rid of IBD. I still have active Crohn’s disease, I have an active fistula that is currently being managed by a seton placement (think of it like a constant drain in your body). This part cannot by fixed by diet, I tried a run at a medication called Stelara last year, in hopes it would heal the fistula, and it failed. So, I am not anti-medicine, but for the current stage of my life, I am pro ‘as close to normal life as possible’. I have 2 growing boys that I want to be active and a part of their life, the diet gives me my best chance at that! I cannot continue to play the medicine roulette game, where you continue to trial and error things and really miss out on giant pieces of life, I just can’t risk losing any time right now. It’s way too important!
Crohn’s or UC can be a pretty overwhelming thing, but there are ways that you can take control of your health. For me, the SCD has given me a chance at a new normal in life, one in which I can be active and present in the life of my wife & kids. I am not giving that up until I absolutely have to, and the continued “good check-ups” with the doctor show that you can have a say in your treatment, and when you are committed and disciplined, remission is possible!
I hope this blog brings encouragement and hope to those in the struggle and also to those who have found success in their treatments. Blessings to you all!