(Rodaina is a Crohnology member from Jordan.)
I first had symptoms in 2000. In the 8 next years I suffered from stomach & colon pain, sometimes constipation and sometimes diarrhea, off and on. I thought it was normal since some members in my family have colon problems.
Then… 2009 was the worst year in my life. I had more pain in my colon, stomach & joints. I had horrible diarrhea and I started to lose weight. I barely could eat. Red swelling appeared on my left ankle, and I had fever, fatigue, vomiting, etc.
I saw many doctors and they had many opinions. They said I may have celiac disease, thyroid problems, even gout! But all the tests showed they were wrong.
In the meantime, my condition became worse than ever. Eating was painful enough that I decided not to eat anymore. The red swelling spread to all of my left leg and became purple/blue, then black. I couldn’t breathe from the pain in my colon and foot. Another red tumor appeared on my right foot. I felt crazy because I still didn’t know what my disease was.
I entered the hospital in June 2009. After all kinds of tests, the surgeon said that I have “necrotizing fasciitis”. After three surgeries and tons of medicines, my right foot was healed and the left one saved from amputation by a skin graft. It was a miracle to be able to walk again.
After my discharge in August 2009, our neighbor — who is an anesthetist at a local hospital — advised me to see an internist at the same hospital. “Maybe he will know what you are suffering from,” he said.
I went to see that doctor and after hearing my history, he requested immediately a colonoscopy, endoscopy, x-rays & CT scan. It worked. Finally I knew the reason for my illness during the past 9 years: the doctor sent a biopsy to be tested, and the results showed that I have Crohn’s Disease.
My healing process started by taking the right medicines, making the needed tests every month to avoid any unwanted side effects and having regular appointments with my internist to follow up my condition.
Having Crohn’s means that you need to learn how to live with it. If you don’t, then you’re going to suffer and fight every day without having a chance to beat it.
You can only beat Crohn’s by living with it, so I learned to live with Crohn’s. Following up with my internist, committing to my diet, and following my drawing passion… these three elements what help me to face the difficulty of having Crohn’s.
Crohn’s doesn’t affect my daily work anymore. I’m a full time worker — a hard worker, just like a normal person. I can say that I’m a healthy person now.
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