For me a flare is when my stomach hurts really bad, my intestines are making loud noises, I have nausea and generally feel like I have a stomach bug. Sometimes I have increased bm's with mucous. This can last from 1-7 days, and then if I watch what I eat and take my meds regularly, I'm usually OK.
But for me the biggest factor for knowing I'm in a flare, is stomach pain and not diarrhea.
Dx CD 2003 but probably had it 10 years prior
Dx Primary Sclerossing Cholangitis 2006
GB out '95, Appendix out '96, Kidney stent '02/stone removal '02, Resection '04, fistulectomy '06 2x, tubal '05
Currently on 100mg 6mp-50 mg, and Remicade every 8 weeks, Ambien, predsnisone, humira
it seems rare when a question asked on here gets the responses expected while at the same time showing a variety of responses.
I also think I see the thread here of many having "crohns" days often but they can be dealt with and flare times are the days most would say they really can't deal with. (By dealing with I mean work around or get through without affecting your daily routines or work)
My post here is not meant to supress further discusssion or responses....but hopefully to add another dimension to the discussion....and that is to ask/say: If it is not a flare...and it is, as someone said a "crohns" day.....is that what our lives have become? What is our NORMAL? as compared to non-crohns people.
I have waffled back and forth the last several years of thinking I am in flare...and I have it under control and have a NEW normal....
Maybe the best way to go forward is to describe our normals....our crohns days and our flares (if you are interested...I am trying to get a handle on the degrees of normal and flares so as to know if I should expect more out of my treatments)
For me a good day would be zero to only a few cramps, less than 5 trips to the john, semi-solid waste, good appetite, able to sleep thru the night, a crohns day is cramps when I feel the need to go, cramps when I go, 10 to 15 trips to the bathroom, semi solid to full on D, loss of appetite. A flare is when my crohns days string together for more than 5 straight days and increase the bathroom trips to 20 plus every few days blood shows up. Recently I have the added joy of severe abdominal extension due to gas...it comes and goes.
I am getting the idea that many of us have really lowered our standard level of "normal" to something that we have just learned to accept.
I as well agree with hspenser. My normal isnt what it should be. My mom worrys about what I think is normal because I wont go to the doctor. I will just pass it off and say I will be fine. I say the pain is tolerable and the 15 BM's a day is what is normal to me. I know that it isn't ok to think this way sometimes because at some points I am way sicker than I think.
For me normal is up to 15 BM's a day, headaches, low energy, joint pain, irritability, cramping, nausea, acid reflux. It has been 7 yrs since I was diagnosed and I still have yet to feel relief from my symptoms. 3 weeks ago I was 149 lbs and am now down to 138 lbs. I would definitely classify this as a flare, but my normal isn't any better.
Post Edited (inflamed) : 2/8/2009 5:17:32 PM (GMT-7)
Thank you to everyone who has responded....this has been very educational for me and hopefylly for others as well. It shows me that not only do many of react to this disease differently but we also have many different levels of tolerence and acceptability.
By no means should anyone stop responding...I just wanted to interject my thanks for the responses so far.