I self-diagnosed as well, so I remember the overwhelming feeling that you're having right now waiting for a doc to confirm it... but don't freak out.
First of all, you don't have a concrete diagnosis yet. There are a couple of other posts floating around about
the efficacy of different tests for determining crohns diagnosis... the only test that confirmed mine was the full-on colonoscopy. If you've been through everything else and NOT that - it might be time.
Secondly, I was 23 when I was diagnosed with severe crohns. I got it under control - and most people wouldn't know I had it now if I didn't tell them! I have a boyfriend, I'm getting married, I go out with our friends, I work retail part-time, I drink wine occasionally, I eat dinner at restaurants without having to "special" order something, I want to have kids, I over-eat at holiday dinners... I live a pretty darn normal life. Sure, I might stake out the bathrooms in every public place I go - but I don't usually have to use them. I just need to know that they are there. And I might have to forget about
that wickedly sinful looking piece of cheesecake on the dessert platter - but it's not the end of the world. The biggest adjustment and conclusion that I, personally, had to come to - was the commitment to keep my life as simple as possible and as stress free as possible. I found early on that my full-time stressful job made my crohns quite literally 4x worse than it had to be. Once I took that first step to downsizing my life - the rest was easy. I found a part time job, applied for SSI, found a slightly smaller living space for cheap... and what do ya know? My medication costs (remicade) went from $4000 a month, to $4000 every 4 months (before insurance, of course), and I feel like a million bucks compared to how I felt when I was diagnosed. Like you said, every one is different. That's just my story.
I know you're in pain right now, but you'll get through it. The board is an awesome resource. Never hesitate to ask ANYTHING or say ANYTHING - because chances are - we've all said the same at one point or another ourselves! Best of luck to you!
26f, dx'd CD July '05 after 6 fistula/abscess surgeries
Remicade only, every 16 weeks.
Digestive enzymes, and probiotics.
Doing pretty darn good, all things considered.
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure."