Health Update

by marilynk

Here’s a quick update on where things are with my health. I know not everyone wants to know about medical details, but I’ve had a few questions so please click through to read the full post if you’re interested (also, look at me learning how to use the “More” tag!). For those that aren’t interested in the details, know that I’m doing really well and just have to be careful about catching any infections, so please let me know if you’re sick or getting sick and please don’t be offended if I cancel plans if you are!

As I mentioned in previous posts, I had a big test scheduled for last week that would hopefully give me a definitive diagnosis. The procedures I had done were an endoscopy and colonoscopy (which you can look up on your own if you’re interested) that resulted in very clear pictures of my digestive tract and a number of biopsy samples. The procedures themselves were pretty easy (let’s just say napping on Demerol is a wonderful thing!), but the prep was terrible and left me starving, thirsty, and really, really bitchy. I’m glad I had the PKN11 talks to distract me!

I ended up with both good and bad results. The ulcer that was found in July has completely healed, but I definitely have two sites of Crohn’s disease. There are only two sites and they are both small. One is fairly new, but the other is older and there is a narrowing of my intestines at that site. I have started treatment and so far it’s going really well. I’m currently on a steroid and Immuran which I have to take daily and I am getting weekly blood work done to track the levels of the drugs in my system and my white blood cell count. I will meet with my specialist again in a week or two, once the biopsy results are back and there may be more to report then.

Crohn’s is an autoimmune disease and both of the drugs I’m on are immune suppressants, so over the next few months (especially as we get into cold and flu season) I’m going to need to be careful about getting sick. I will be washing my hands more often and making sure I get the flu vaccine if I’m allowed to and I ask all of my friends to please let me know if you or your near and dear ones are sick or are getting sick. And if you are sick, please don’t be offended if I choose to cancel plans with you. I’m probably more paranoid about it than I need to be, but I’d rather deal with one illness at a time!

I’m doing well right now and I’m in a really good place. I still haven’t noticed any food triggers other than packaged and processed foods, so I don’t have any harsh dietary restrictions and I’m now able to have a sociable drink or two again. I’m feeling healthy, I’m not reacting badly to the drugs at all, and my specialist is willing to treat this as aggressively as I want him to. Lastly, thank you to everyone who sent me well-wishes last week and to all of you that have been helping me through this with open ears and hearts. You have no idea how nice it feels to have people in your corner.

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