First Flare and Hospital Stay of 2013

Recently my health has been pretty good. I had some bumps in the road at the end of November and December, but what we thought was going to be hard times never actually happened. I was able to enter 2013 and feel pretty good. This changed recently and now we’ve finally figured out what was going on with my Crohn’s.

For a few weeks now I haven’t been feeling great, but I haven’t been feeling poor enough to take true action on it. The constant battle was with nausea which is a symptom that I don’t have very often. It was slowing me down on a daily basis and I thought it was the fact I was weaning off of Prednisone which was causing it.  About two weeks ago I finally got fed up with the feeling and tried to finally wean off the last 5mg of Prednisone which I was on. It wasn’t hard but actually turned out to show us what was going on with my health.

ER photo

As soon as I got off the Prednisone completely, my stomach wasn’t just nauseous it was filled with pain as well. Quickly I called my doctor and we tried to figure out what was going on, but without truly horrible symptoms to go into the hospital it was hard to pinpoint what it could be. Finally this past Friday I had SEVERE cramping and pain on my left side. The cramping happened on an old scar from my first resection. The cramping was so close to the scar, that it felt like it was literally ripping apart. The pain was a 9 out of 10. I fell to the floor and was horrible pain for about 30 minutes. I tried putting off running straight to the hospital. Later in the day it happened again and this time I didn’t hesitate to get to the hospital for treatment.

When I got to the hospital, they took care of the pain with Dilaudid and ordered a catscan. I drank the delicious contrast which we all love and prepared for the scan. We actually received the results very quickly, but they didn’t show what was going on like we thought it would. Since the pictures didn’t give an exact look at what was going on, we treated it like a normal hospital visit for a quick flare. One day on liquids and slowly getting me back to solid foods. Once I got back onto solids with minimal pain my doctor gave me the okay to go home. I actually took an extra day and stayed in the hospital till Monday to get a little more treatment, but like anyone I wanted to get home.

Once I got home Monday afternoon, I knew something wasn’t right. I tried to eat some easily digestible food, but it still hurt and the pain began to grow again. For the first time in my life I was actually forced to go right back to the hospital after leaving. The pain was to intense and there was no way I was going to be able to manage it at home. At 2am in the snow I had a friend drive me to the ER and was readmitted to the hospital. In the morning my doctor decided to order a GI Series and this is what showed us the answers we were looking for.

Protein Shake Room

During the GI Series my surgeon, Dr. Littlejohn actually surprised me and found me in the radiology center. As the pictures were being taken he was telling me exactly what was going on with my intestines. Showing me a 2.5inch area that had cracking in the intestinal wall. This cracking that was in this area, was also getting slightly infected which just added to the pain that I was already in.

So for the next couple of days I’m on a special liquid diet, hopefully giving the cracks time to heal.  I’ve included a picture of the special protein shake which I’m allowed to drink called Vital.  It’s part of what is called an elemental diet given to patients with specific dietary needs.  After a few days, I’ll try to test out a normal liquid diet, then a mild solid diet and so on. My doctors told me they can’t let me go home until I’m able to handle normal food without pain. This makes it look like I’m going to be in the hospital for at least 4 days on top of the first 3 already spent. Which means that this total stay could be from 7-10 days, one of the longest visits of my life actually that isn’t for a surgery. These cracks need time to heal and now that we know what is going on we’ve been able to come up with a plan for now.

I’ll try to keep updates coming here and let everyone know how things are progressing.  Surgery was mentioned to me once, but isn’t really an option at this point.  We have a lot of resources at our disposal first.  We’re going to try to add 6mp again, my GI wants me to get another opinion, I’m going to try to be more strict on the Paleo Diet and more.  If things don’t change in the next 3 months, then we might consider taking this small 3 inch section out before it spreads or causes a blockage.

Right now I’m just hoping that everything works out, the cracks heal, the medications work and the decisions we make going ahead from here all workout. One good thing is that I’m already planning a weekend of feasts once my stomach is ALL better, so I’ll get some of my favorite meals all weekend long once my stomach is ready for BBQ, seafood and more.

Never Stay Quiet!

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