Post Edited (belleenstein) : 6/8/2008 7:00:46 PM (GMT-6)
The way you describe your feelings (both relieved and sad) is very normal, and also describes how I felt when diagnosed. I actually started with symptoms in 2000, however, I didn’t totally accept the Crohn’s diagnosis until earlier this year (Feb. 2008). For a few years, I tried to convince my gastroenterologist that my small intestine inflammation could be from taking too many NSAIDS. At that time, the IBD blood test wasn’t as sensitive or accurate, and the results said I was negative for Crohn’s. Many tests later (including Colonoscopies and biopsies), and years later, after abstaining from all NSAIDS, I was finally convinced that I have Crohn’s. The results from a blood test called IBD Serology 7 (Prometheus Labs) also showed I have Crohn's. I am no longer in denial. At first I was sad, and a bit depressed, but I am now in “acceptance” mode.
One of the things that has helped me is this Healingwell forum---it can be a great support system so you don’t feel so alone. Something else that has helped me is the organization CCFA (Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America). They have extremely helpful information about the two diseases; what research is currently being done; information about the various medication treatments; support groups etc.
You probably already know this, but Crohn’s can occur anywhere from the mouth to the anus, and can have areas in between that are not diseased (called “skip lesions”). Am not sure of the frequency, though, of it occurring in both the large and small intestine. The most common area for Crohn’s to appear is in the terminal ileum, where the small intestine joins the large intestine.
Good luck, and I hope you find lots of support along the way.