At the age of 2 I developed asthma and with my dad smoking in the house it was hard on my health. I was in urgent care more than at home for a period of 4 years. School was hard for me because I felt like I never fit in. At the age of 8 I started to have stomach illnesses. The doctors just thought I had the stomach flu’s I continued to struggle through school for years. In 1996 I was in the hospital due to stomach issues and still doctors did not know what was making me sick. They told me I had IBS. . In 2010 I got sick again and was put in the hospital. They still consider I was a medical mystery. They wanted to just start doing random testing an surgery. I declined and walked out. I struggled with sickness and lost tons of weight, but hey this was something I have dealt with since I was 8. I was referred to a GI doctor that did testing. He tested everything. I had DNA testing done, pill cam, colonoscopy, blood work, and more, but still nothing. In early 2012 I started to get sick again and not get better. The doctor did more testing including Alcat testing and sent me to a cancer doctor. Still no answers. In July of 2012 we went to Napa valley for our anniversary, in which case I got sick. After we came back we wanted to take a family vacation before the kids went back to school, but then it happened. Some people come close to death, some people just feel like it. Until this time I had never seen the end. July 18th I had gone in for more testing called the bravo study and also were they put a chip in your esophagus that measured stomach acid. The next day I got lesions on my legs that I had had at several points in my life. They are painful and take 10 days to heal. I had to have a biopsy on them to try to find out what they were. By July 28th I was so sick, but on July 29th I collapsed in pain. I could not walk, I was having terrible symptoms. I went into the doctor that night. They got me into the ER and have me morphine in my veins and after 2 rounds I heard the patient across the hall yelling in pain. His voice started to fade. I started to see everything was blurry. For in that moment I thought my time on this earth was up. My kid’s faces flashed into my mind and I was not ready to let go. The doctors finally got me stable. I ended up staying a day, until the decision was made that I needed to be back in my own doctors care. I made a 6 hour car ride back to AZ. The next day I did a bowel prep and went into the hospital with my own doctor which since 2010 had trying to rack this puzzle. He did another colonoscopy and found infection in my bowels and an infected appendix. Not an appendicitis, but it had been chronically attacked. They brought me out of anesthesia and my husband looked worried on the side of my bed. They told me that I had a bad infection and I had to have surgery. Less than 30 minutes later I was in surgery. I woke 4 hours later. My doctor had taken tissue samples which would be in a few days. I was in pain and could not recall all of the events that had happened. I was shocked I was still alive. I had several doctors caring for me. Getting through that was scary.
5 days later I had to be in a meeting for my job, was hard for me to make it but I really need this job. I went back to work with limitations after 9 days after surgery. On August 17th I went in for my test results from the surgery an colonoscopy. The doctor told me he now knew what this was. It was confirmed through tissue samples and a differential diagnosis that I had been living with Crohns disease for 23 years, and it had gone un- treated. He ran test for infection and started me on medication to try to keep me in remission. I finally had my answer….. Now the struggle will be to manage this incurable disease.