Hi Chris: the function of an abscess is to wall off a source of infection from the rest of the body. It is the body's effort to protect the system from the impact of a localized infection. The body builds a hard shell around the area where the infection begins in an attempt to keep the bacteria from seeping into the bloodstream or the surrounding tissues.
So yes, it is possible for you to have an abscess and maybe not know it. If you have a really strong immune system, that walled abscess can stay localized for some time. The problem is that it will rarely heal completely and there is always the risk of the infection overwhelming the body's defences and spilling bacteria into the body causing septicemia -- then you will KNOW that you are sick. Much better to do the investigations now, especially if you are planning a trip. Abscesses can be treated, but are rarely cured by antibiotics alone. Often they have to be drained or surgically removed.
That being said, there is a really good chance that your symptoms are not caused by an abscess. Let's face it pain and diarrhea are both just symptoms of this dd. Still better safe than sorry.
30+ years living with Crohn's.
Post Edited (belleenstein) : 3/14/2008 11:55:32 AM (GMT-6)