I was diagnosed with Crohn's when I was 17 years old on March 2, 2005. I'm now 23 and I've been in relative remission since May 2005 and have been fistula and abscess free since early 2007.
Prior to being diagnosed I weighed 174lbs (5ft 8in) and played high school football. I dropped to 135 lbs in less than a month and was bed ridden with a fever for 5 days before the doctor finally decided that imuran, prednisone, and cipro alone wouldn't be enough. With my first dosages of remicade immediate relief came and as I mentioned within 2 years I was complication free. I am still traumatized by the pain I underwent when first diagnosed. I had a marble sized abscess that had to be excised and drained with a catheter thingy (looked like a small straw), which was by far the most painful thing I've ever experienced. The abscess site was SO tender and this rigid straw thing would dig into it bone deep. I had to walk around school doped up on lortab with a straw sticking out of my rear and a packing that absorbed..drainage. I was only 17. After the catheter was removed an EUS discovered several fistula tracts and in order to prevent further abscesses, a fistualectomy was done in addition to a seeton placement. I had the seeton for about 10 months, which meant keeping a packing up my crack to collect drainage from the fistula hole kept open by the seeton. The fistualectomy scared me so bad. I got into the shower post surgery, took my packings off and blood spilled everywhere. It looked like a pig had been slaughtered in my tub there was so much blood. I felt around near my anus and found a hole that I could insert 3 fingers about 2 inches deep into (fistualectomy). It was just scary. I feared I was horribly scarred now. How the hell would a hole like that heal up?(guess what though, it did heal!) And you can imagine how it felt to defecate with all of this going on...felt like acid coming out. I've been fortunate and not had anything removed from my internally though.
That is a small glimpse at my story. I've also battled severe life threatening fungal and bacterial sinus infections that required surgery on many occasions. I've been hospitalized with pneumonia, laser treated hand warts weekly for 2 years (SO PAINFUL), fought off molluscum and even MRSA.
Where there is a will there is a way. Despite all of this, I will be graduating in Fall 2010 with a degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering. I worked all through college, paid my way, dealt with crohn's and all of it's complications, and gained my weight back and more. I now weigh 192lbs...can you believe that!!!?? I have crohn's and I weigh 192 lbs with approx. 10% body fat. I can bench press over 300 lbs, and I've NEVER ONCE taken anabolic steroids. If I can do it, SO CAN YOU!
Please never lose hope. NEVER. This disease attacks your mind as much as your body. Keep your heads up...