Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Eventful few weeks

Since my last post, my life has taken a dramatic shift. On October 1, I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. This is an incurable auto-immune condition that affects my digestive tract. I've been poked and prodded and tested and examined. Some tests weren't so bad, but others were miserable. Since June, I've lost 45 pounds just because I really can't eat very well.

Last week, things really came to a head. After a couple of weeks of being really low on energy and feeling pretty cruddy, I finally succumbed to the pain and nausea and made a visit to the emergency room. They got me fixed up and I came home, only to return two days later for a four day hospital stay. I was severely anemic and dehydrated, so I had a blood transfusion and some fluids. I had lots of antibiotics, steroids, anti-nausea meds, and who knows what else. I finally began to be able to eat and hold down food again and they released me on Friday. Saturday night I experienced the worst pain I've ever felt and horrible nausea. Back to the ER I went on Sunday morning for more pain meds, anti-nausea meds, and of course, steroids.

I've been home since Sunday afternoon, trying to rest and get myself back together. I find that my thinking is foggy and I'm physically and mentally weak. I have returned to work today, and I'm mostly just a warm body in here. I can't really "teach" but at least I'm here. The steroids are working and the pain is decreasing. I had my first official treatment in the hospital, two shots of a new immunosuppresant biological drug called Cimzia. I get two more shots next week, then two in two more weeks, then down to once a month.

I'm getting my appetite back and feeling a little more spry. I'm depressed because I feel like I can't take care of my family the way I should and there are so many things I want to do but can't because I'm sick. Tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of my first date with John. We want to go downtown and experience the "Candlelight Tour" and have dinner, but who knows if I will be able to do that or not. I'm just trying to hang in there and figure out what life looks like for a chronically ill person who can't afford to be sick.