Hi everyone! I thought I’d start this blog by posting my story from when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in December of 2016 to when I had my Ilecolic resection in June of 2017. It’s a long story, so I’ll be posting it in multiple parts for easier reading!
If I’m totally honest, I blame my co-workers. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that the “menu” for a web development company Christmas party would consist of: booze, fried chicken, sushi, and pizza. With the various kinds of food available, no one would be unhappy right? I certainly wasn’t. I ate to my heart’s content and even had a couple of drinks to numb the feeling of nervousness I had at any of these company get-togethers. All in all, it was a pretty decent night and I went home feeling accomplished that I had socialized and tried to fit in more at my new job.
The next day was Saturday and my husband and I held a cookie decorating party at our tiny apartment. Our tiny dining room table was crowded with our many friends spilling sprinkles everywhere and chattering happily about the various family Christmas traditions they celebrated each year. Living in a multicultural city like Vancouver, many of our friends have cultures that differ from mine and it was always funny to see how many of our traditions were similar. I ended this happy day by eating way too many sugar cookies and laughing at the terrible horror film we had selected for the evening’s entertainment. I had felt slightly off the entire day, but I just chalked it up to eating and drinking too much the night before. My stomach had always been sensitive, so any time I indulged in fast food I always paid the price.
Sunday was a different matter altogether. My energy was completely drained, even moving from the couch to the bathroom (which I had to do many times that day) seemed like an epic task. I had some pain in my right abdomen and couldn’t seem to get comfortable no matter what position I was in. I spent the entire day on the couch having my husband bring me heated Magic Bags as the heat seemed to be the only thing that would give me any semblance of relief (Tylenol and Pepto Bismol had proved to be ineffective).
That Sunday night was a particularly hellish experience. I was in such immense pain that I slept maybe only for an hour, even heat brought no relief anymore. In the morning, seeing that my condition was worsening, my husband insisted he take me to the walk-in clinic near our apartment building. I agreed and contacted by supervisor. I apologized to her and insisted I would come in in the afternoon after I was seen by the walk-in clinic doctor since it was probably “just a little stomach issue”.
Once I saw the walk-in clinic doctor, she instructed me to lay on the table and she pressed on my right abdomen. I blew out a hissed breath of pain as I fought the urge to smack her hand away. She gave me a sympathetic look and told me that I should go to the closest ER to get things checked out. She was concerned that this could be my appendix and didn’t want to take any chances. This answer was not what I expected and my day was quickly turning into quite the ordeal. We did not live near any hospital and December 2016 was one of the snowiest in Vancouver. My husband drove our little Toyota Eco down Cambie street (luckily we had snow tires) at a snail’s pace with bumper to bumper traffic due to a miriad of accidents and poor road conditions. Every bump and stop brought a wave of pain to my abdomen, I grit my teeth and prayed we would get to Vanouver General soon and that the wait time wouldn’t be too horrible. I let my supervisor know that I’d have to take the day off to get checked out. I didn’t know it yet, but it was going to be a long 24 hours.