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.