the future is bright.... a good story for a change

Do you think you will ever feel healthy, or will this disease keep you sick for good?
I have faith the day will come - 40.0%
I doubt it....i mean seriously doubt it. - 4.0%
I can live a happy life even if I am sick. - 44.0%
I already am healthy, it sure took a long time though!! - 12.0%
ah, who cares about me anyway. - 0.0%

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Glad Bag
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 699
   Posted 3/9/2009 12:51 PM (GMT -6)   
turn turn turn smilewinkgrin smilewinkgrin smilewinkgrin tongue tongue yeah yeah scool scool blush blush cool cool

Hi everyone!

Well, I have had Crohn's disease for about 16 years now. I think I was fifteen when I first went to the doctor and I was scared out of my mind... I had noticed a hemorrhoid type protrusion in my anal area, and had kept it to myself for a few months, reading up on medical encyclopedias in my room at night...trying to self diagnose the problem. I was surrounded by friends and family, but no one had any idea what was going on with me; it was a very lonely period in my life.

Fortunately, I got up the guts to tell my mom about the problem one day. My family was lucky enough to have good health insurance through Kaiser Permanente. The doctor I first saw at Kaiser's urgent care, suspected Crohn's disease right away, and within a short period of time, I was on some meds, and things started to get better quickly.

Well, the next fifteen years were a long winding road of illness, and recovery, illness and recovery, medications, doctors visits, tests of all kinds, falling off the "treatment" wagon, and letting myself get sick again....back to the doctor, more illness, more illness, illness, surgery, illness, surgery....and remission and good health!

I went to see Dr. Targan, my regular GI doctor at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles last week. The end of the appt, was surreal. Let me give you some background first before I say why. I have been seeing Dr. Targan for about 8 or 10 years. At age 21 or so, the GI doctor in Valencia, near my house, told me he had exhausted all his options, and he needed me to see the best of the best in the field. With a little bit of arguing with the medical group (no longer Kaiser), he got me a one time out of network referral with Dr. Targan. After my first appointment, I changed medical groups, picking the group that Dr. Targan was a part of. This meant that I now had to drive quite a while to get to the doctor, even just when I had a cold. But, it gave me access to the Inflammatory Bowel Disease center at Cedars. After years of trying different medicinal approaches, including one of the earliest trials for Remicade, and a few other trials (I have tried just about all the standard crohn's medications out there, and a few creative approaches as well), I decided to have surgery, in order to divert the flow of waste into an ileostomy, giving my colon and rectal area time to heal without having food down there...The surgery seemed to work, but the fistulas I had for years did not heal. Eventually, I had more and more complications due to the fistulas. In November of 2008, I had my entire colon, rectum, and anus removed, making my ileostomy permanent. This was a very major operation. Now, four months later, Dr Targan has instructed me to call him if I have any problems or symptoms, however, I did not need to schedule a follow up at this time. We were both happy the day had finally arrived. He confessed to me he had wondered if such a time would ever come. I couldn't thank him enough. All the staff of the clinic were smiling...I walked out of there on a cloud.

Anyway, I just wanted to spread some happy news, since I know a lot of the time that is all we need. I also wanted to thank you all for offering support, and listening to me since I found this site a few years ago. Now that I am better, I do sometimes wish I had the courage to have the surgery sooner. It was a tough choice though, since I was afraid of making such a permanent change that I would never be able to reverse. On the other hand, there was a part of me who knew, deep down inside, surgery would likely be the only solution. All the feedback and sharing I enjoyed on this site, helped making that decision easier, and for that I owe all of you my life.

Thank you!!!!!

Nat aka gladbag
"I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together!" - The Beatles

doesn't that just sound cool when you sing it?

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 3/9/2009 1:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Good stories are nice to hear every once in a while. In fact we need more of those. Congrats on the great prognosis.
Crohn's Disease - 29 years
Diagnosed at age 10 in 1979
1st ileosecal resection 1989
2nd colon resection 1993
Chronic "D" and arthritis
Chronic rectal stricture with colonoscopy every 3 months to dialate
Insomnia since 1980 - I love my ambien!
SCUBA diver, Master's degree student, college graduate, Pet therapist

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 3/9/2009 1:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Woo Hoo!!! So glad to hear you are doing so well Nat!!! Just because you are feeling better, don't leave us. I think alot of other Crohnies really need to hear your story and know there is hope.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 3/9/2009 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Good news is always nice to hear! I'm glad you are feeling so well!
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease; Meds: Entocort & Asacol; female in late 20s.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3129
   Posted 3/9/2009 1:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Glad...great to hear you feeling so good! I don't really fit your chart. I know bad days still come for me, but I also focus on the good things more these days. Have to keep the chin up

Future's not so bright I gotta wear shades, but I am wearing a wide brim hat!!

Stick around and keep sharing the good stories.
Dx'd '90 (emergency rupture), symptoms ignored long before that, '03 fistulas and bad flagyl reactions, B12 weekly, Pentasa [until I surrender to the bigger meds]
I'm riding on the escalator of life....

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1284
   Posted 3/9/2009 1:55 PM (GMT -6)   
That's great to hear, Glad Bag! What a change from how you were feeling before... :)
I think I am being picked on by life, sometimes. But's that okay. Life and I are good buddies... I know life doesn't mean no harm. It just is the way it is. I can accept that.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 3/9/2009 2:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Gladbag good to hear and nice to see you!
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1245
   Posted 3/9/2009 3:56 PM (GMT -6)   
That's wonderful news!!!:-):-) Thank you so much for sharing your story! Blessings, Julie
Diagnosed with Crohn's March 2006, Fibromyalgia November 2008
Asacol 3 times a day, Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks, Prednisone 10 mg, Miralax,  Prevacid 30mg, Vit B12, Vitamin D, Slow-FE (Iron), Hydrocortisone enemas
Imuran stopped 9/8/08 (possible Pancreatitis)
Paxil 40mg daily (for Panic disorder)
Xanax .5mg three times a day, 1mg at bedtime (for anxiety attacks)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 3/9/2009 4:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm glad you are doing so well. I love good stories!!!

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 3/9/2009 4:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Warning: This viewpoint may offend some people.
Gladbag, it's great to hear that you're doing well, but that's not really a future I look forward to - having most of my intestines removed.  Sorry if it offends someone.  Breakthroughs in research and new upcoming drugs like Prochymal make me feel like the future's bright.

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 3/9/2009 5:50 PM (GMT -6)   
What a wonderful and inspiring story. Thanks so much for sharing your good news, Nat.

Here's to a long remission for you!
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 2346
   Posted 3/9/2009 6:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Good for you! Now, don't be a stranger here...pop in every now and then to say hi!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3200
   Posted 3/9/2009 6:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Nat, we have all asked about you & wondered how you are. I'm sorry things became so drastic, but I'm so
happy that you're feeling so good....It's heartwarming.
Welcome back!!

Too many years with CD
Two bowel resections, several obstructions.
Fibromyalgia and recently diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis and lupus.
B12 Shots bi-weekly

Laughter is the brush that sweeps the cobwebs from our hearts...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 3/9/2009 7:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for sharing your life's journey and may you stay well and glad to know that your decision has brought you a better life..not sure what the future holds for me ,you or anyone but lets hope that the future will be a kinder and a easier road to walk then some of the past days.. lol gail
Hallarious woman over 50 ,CD ,IBS 27 years--resection,fistula's,obstructions,hemmies,and still gail

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 3/10/2009 9:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I think your story will help others realize that you can live a full and happy life w/ a bag and that it might even beat the daily runs to the bathroom!!!
27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1354
   Posted 3/10/2009 5:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Im so pleased everything is going well for you Gladbag - hope your remission is everlasting . Stay in touch.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 6044
   Posted 3/11/2009 4:52 AM (GMT -6)   
woo hoo! good for you GB.. hang in there a PMA can do wonders.

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