Flaring is no fun

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vitaka
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 887
   Posted 8/21/2009 4:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Sorry for the longish post, but I need to rant a bit:

I am about to begin my second year as a PhD student and am 98% confident I am flaring again after nearly three years in remission (more or less), as I have seen a return and increasing presence in a number of symptoms over the last month. It's amazing how quickly the mind tries to forget the pain and hardship you went through during a flare, because right now I feel like this is the first time ever.

Things are a little different this time around too. Although I am experiencing what I refer to as my triumvirate of symptoms (pain, nausea, D), this time I'm also having joint issues, mainly in my hands, but also in my knees. This time around I've also had to deal with some constipation, where the only thing I could pass for days was mucus.

At this moment, I'm not sure how concerned I should be, but I am definitely not feeling well. I had an appointment with my PCP at school yesterday and he is going to refer me to a GI doc in the area, but who knows how long that will take (my PCP is calling the GI office today to try and expedite the process -- yay crappy university healthcare). Since yesterday afternoon, I have not been feeling well at all -- a feeling of pressure more than pain across my lower abdomen, D, and quite a bit of nausea. I was able to sleep for about five hours last night but woke up because the nausea and urgency was getting pretty bad. Now I'm sitting with a trash can next to me just in case -- in the past I have rarely (if ever) actually thrown up from the nausea associated with my Crohn's, but at the moment I think it might really happen this time. Not knowing yet when a doctor will actually see me is making this even scarier, especially with the semester starting in less than two weeks.

I'm hoping that this latest incident can be blamed on some popcorn I ate yesterday. I was able to eat it while in remission, but I'm guessing it's not such a good idea now. I also began taking Pentasa again on Wednesday after being off it for about 20 months, and part of me is concerned the meds might be causing this (even though I had no issues during the 18 months I did take it).

What sucks the most is that I don't have a support network aware of my Crohn's in the city where I am attending school. I do have several friends here, but even those I'm closest to don't know about the Crohn's yet nor are they back in town yet. And even though I have multiple ways to talk with other people who do know, the lack of physicality sucks at times. Of course, if things continue down their current path, I'm probably going to have to tell quite a few people so as to explain why I'm not getting work done!

Okay, I think I'm done for now. Man, do I hate this disease. But a big thanks to all of you for providing such a supportive community. You have helped me in the past and I'm sure you will be a great support as I go through this flare.
29-year-old PhD student, diagnosed with Crohn's in Feb. '06. During the summer of 2006, I completed the Adacolumn Apheresis clinical trial, which helped me enjoy 2+ years of remission and more than one year med-free. During spring and summer of 2009 the symptoms slowly but surely began to return, and now I'm flaring again. Waiting to see doctor to get back on meds.


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/21/2009 6:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Well I don't think its the meds causing your problems now, but I think you are flaring now because you were med free. As for the nausea, usually when I start having alot of nausea it means that I have some narrowing going on. And your constipation seems to point to that also.

I once enjoyed an almost 20 year remission med free. Would I ever do it again, heck NO!!! My remission ended with an emergency resection due to complete obstruction. And I think the popcorn is really upsetting the apple cart too.

If you aren't able to get into the GI soon, I would suggest going back to the PCP in the meantime and see if you can get some Pred and meds for the nausea. Hope you get feeling better soon.

Good luck!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Crohn's Disease for over 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
It's scary when you start making the same noises As your coffee maker.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

nawlinscate
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 8/21/2009 12:06 PM (GMT -7)   
If you take your meds and watch your diet very carefully (no more popcorn!), you may make it through this flare unscathed. If your stricture is composed mainly of inflammation, rather than scar tissue, it can come and go. Try a really really gentle diet: Ensure, and maybe some mild soups, mashed potatoes, or even babyfood (some of which actually tastes pretty good), to give your innards time to rest and recover. Take some nice, warm baths (with a good book or magazine in hand) to relax you and soothe your painful abdomen. Be as nice to yourself as you possibly can be. Sometimes all of this is enough to put a flare into reverse. Good luck!

Keeper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 8/21/2009 1:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I was going to suggest a slightly more drastic measure - do a colonoscopy prep. Take your laxative of choice (milk of magnesia works well) and just drink fluids like you were going to do a prep. Avoid sugary drinks and drink lots of water. After a day of that, THEN try the gentle diet that nawlinscate describes. You might want to add some Prodiem (non-fermentable fiber) to help clean out your system (lots of water with any kind of fiber also).

The reason for the prep is to clear out any SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) which can cause your symptoms, particularly the C.

mill37
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/21/2009 9:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Try to think positive, now you know popcorn isn't good for you. Yes what you are going through is difficult, but try to think about what worked in the past and try it again. I understand you may hate to have to go back taking old medication but if this will help you for the time being, then do what it takes. As far as the pain, talk to your GI doctor about seeing a pain management physician, someone who can keep a close eye on you. As far as the nasusea, most nausea medication will make you sleepy so ask your family physician for something for nausea which will also help you sleep. Your biggest goal right now is to get through school, so do whatever it takes to make it for now. Be patient and take it day by day. BE POSITIVE AND KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE FUTURE.

* Sorry I have had to edit your post, as your signature cannot be longer than 10 lines.  Please go into the control panel and edit your profile to make is no more than 10 lines*Thanks!

Post Edited By Moderator (Nanners) : 8/22/2009 7:25:40 AM (GMT-6)


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/22/2009 6:26 AM (GMT -7)   
I have to respectfully disagree with Mill37, you can get nausea meds such as Zofran that do not cause drowsiness. JMHO
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Crohn's Disease for over 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
It's scary when you start making the same noises As your coffee maker.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*
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