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New Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/8/2010 11:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone, this looks like a great forum. I guess I am here because I think I might have Crohns... I am a 47 year old male, and I have had raging bouts of diarrhea off and on (mostly on) since about the age of 30. I have pretty much dealt with it over the years, learning to be careful not to eat much on trips, or at certain times of the day etc. - you know, I just learned to live with diarrhea and got used to it being that way. Unfortunately, I have learned the hard way that the human body can only take so much.
A few years back, I got constipated after a particularly brutal  episode of diarrhea, and had a funny pain after straining to pass a stool. By the next day I was in unbelieveable, excruciating pain, and I had developed a huge lump in my right buttocks, right next to my anus. Yep, my first abscess... I went to the GP and was diagnosed and put on Augmentin, and I was referred to a surgeon. But by the time of my appointment a week or so later, the abscess had receded to the point that he said no surgery would be necessary - whew! He suggested a colonoscopy after I told him about my cranky bowels, which I had done since there is a history of colon cancer in my family. The results of the colonoscopy were, to use his words, "clean as a whistle" and I was released to once again terrorize toilets and septic tanks everywhere. Which, of course, I promptly resumed doing!
A couple of years passed with no recurrence of the abscess, and I continued my ways of eating pepperoni pizza and drinking beer and generally living life in the fastest lane I could find. Not smart, I know, but in my defense... I guess I thought I was immortal... and the bouts of diarrhea raged on....
So, as I said, a couple of years passed with no problems. Then, a little over a year ago, I noticed a funny lump on the other side, in my left buttocks, while showering. It wasn't painful, but being the paranoid obsessive compulsive that I am, I pushed on it and poked at it and sure enough I was rewarded with the prize of a leaking sensation somewhere up inside me and bloody pus that came oozing out of my...
"Hello, yes I would like to see the surgeon please..."
And again, by the time I got into see him about ten days later, this new mystery lump had just about vanished. Well, *I* could still feel it, but he gave the area couple of pokes and said "no problem found." Even though I still thought something wasn't right, I'm not one to argue with a surgeon that doesn't want to operate on me, so I shot out of there at a high rate of speed (always full speed ahead here) and headed onto my next adventure, a trip to Florida with my wife to see the space shuttle launch. Of course, the shakeup in my daily routine triggered a nasty bout of diarrhea in the hotel room in Florida, and the mystery lump returned. But this time, it kept growing... and growing... I flew home from Florida with a lump nearly the size of a tennis ball in my poor butt. Yeah, Orlando International airport with hundreds of happy Disney kids waiting to board and me sitting on a grapefruit in the middle of it all. Not a pretty picture. At least the shuttle launch was cool.
"Hello, yes I would like to see the surgeon please..."
This time, there was no get-out-of-jail free card to be had, no hall pass for yours truly. I was in dire pain. He took one look at the lump in my left buttocks and said "You have a huge perianal abscess, get on the table, right now" and so I did, I climbed onto the table - and I will mercifully spare you the exact details of what happened next. Think razors, blood, packing, bandages... and searing pain so far into the red zone I can't believe I didn't have a heart attack and die right there on his goddarned table. Sorry, I know that's not a happy story. If you are waiting for it to get happier, you might want to stop reading right about here, ha ha.
At my followup appointment after the abscess surgery, the doc gave me a couple pokes and said, "Great, all healed, no sign of a fistula." A what? Hmmm, wonder what that word means... Ok doc, thanks a lot, thanks for helping me, hope I never see you again. Pizza and a beer please...
Speaking of beer, I need a break from all this writing. I will finish my story a little later - shouldn't be too much more, its almost caught up to real time anyway. Its nice to meet everybody, and thanks for letting me vent a little.
     Fingerscrossed in CT

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 72
   Posted 5/8/2010 12:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi fingerscrossed,

Given your history, it is really improtant to seek second opinion. I have learnt that crohns can flare and then go into a remissive state. But as time goes on the flares become more acute and last a lot longer - this is when a lot of damage is done. Now I am no doctor, but I am human and a lot of people who are finally diagnosed with crohns find out that they have infact had it for a number of years. I would stick away from the pizza and beers ( I know thats not what you want to here right now), but you need to find out what is going on. The pain, diarrhoea, and abscess's indicate that further investigation is certainly warranted - even if your last scope was OK. The problem here, is if you let this go, and it is crohns or UC (both inflammatory bowel diseases), they will in time become worse. Get a second opinion ASAP!. Request from your doctor a series of tests - stool speciems, colonsocopy and even a small bowel series which involves a barium swallow. Possibly a CT. Its very easy to walk out of a doctors office to be reassured that the abscess is gone and there is no problem - but when it returns again, clearly there is a problem. Remember - its your body and you need to take charge in exhausting all options for a health clearance or to find out that there is something going on. It is frightening - I like to call it fear of the unknown. But knowlege is power, and if there is something going on then you can start to take some control now and take some directions in helping you body. Clearly it needs your help.

There are heaps of people on the forum who will give you further advise, I am sure. Listen to them. It has literally taken some of these people years to get diagnosed. Take a short cut and get a second opinion with a doctor who is prepared to put you thru a range of testing procedures.
Althought this may be time consuming, its best to find out now than later if more drastic measures have to be taken that could have been avoided.

Good luck to you, wishing you the best.

37y/o female from Australia
Dx: crohns april 2010
Meds: Currently : prednisone, calcium, vit d, nexium, probiotics, fish oil

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 8384
   Posted 5/8/2010 12:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome, Fingerscrossed, I am new here, too. I was at the Shuttle launch in April, and it was awesome!

It took me 4 years to get the right diagnosis. That included an upper and lower bowel series, a sigmoidscope, a colonoscopy and an endoscope. And a lot of dr visits and complaining.

My dad had diarrhea for 2 years. 2 scopes and no inflammation in the colon - his DR said it was probably a GI virus that just sent his whole system into weird cycles. Since I have CD, I think he must also, but he's not interested in pursuing any further diagnostics. And he says he's feeling better.

So having a clean colon is not the whole story with CD. I'm not sure what the absesses are about, either. But I sure hope you get some answers soon!

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 5/8/2010 1:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Please go to a ColoRectal Surgeon if you have another abscess...there are too many things that can happen to a Crohnie when a General Surgeon starts cutting in that are:(

Did your GP diagnose you with Crohn's? Or, just the abscess?

The tests mentioned above will be able to confirm what is going on...don't wait too long since the damage being done cannot be reversed:(

Good Luck and welcome to the Forum!
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my
Proctocolectomy in 2008

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 5/9/2010 8:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Fingerscrossed,

And welcome to the forum. I would suggest you get in with a GI soon. Something is going on in there and you should not be ignoring it. You might want to ask about a pill camera test. This test shows areas where the scopes don't reach. Good luck and keep us posted.

Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*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 Apr 2010
Total Posts : 119
   Posted 5/9/2010 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, I am pretty new here but can definatly tell you that you really need to see a GI doctor who specializes in Crohn's and other bowel diseases. I have had a similar situation as you. I started having diareah about 3 years ago and to make a long story short had a colonoscopy that showed everything looked very good. I didn't know at that time the scope usually can't reach where I actually did and do have inflamation (where the small bowel and large bowel meet). I just startd living around my condition of always having to use the bathroom. Last year I felt a lump on my right side of my butt and when I pushed it it felt sore, I went to a surgeon who just sent me home and told me to soak in warm water for 15 minutes a few times a day. I think by doing that it brought the abscess to a head and one night I was in so much pain I was almost vomiting. I called his office at about 5 in the morning and told the person who answers the phones what was happening. The surgeon called me back at about 7-8:00 a.m. and told me to come in. He said he was going to give me some numming medication in the area and he made a slit and it started to drain all over the place. He didn't pack it or anything and just told me to soak for 15 minutes a few times a day and keep pushing on the area to keep it draining. To make a long story short I now found out I have a fistula where the abscess was. I recently had another colonoscopy and this GI doctor was able to get the scope farther then the last one and I found out I have severe inflamation in my iliuem. They also sent me for a CT scan and saw the same thing along with the fistula and inflamation in my left butt cheak.

Because I wasn't being diognosed properly now I have rectal crohn's too (something that could have probably been prevented if I was taken care of with medication from the very beginning). Definatly make sure the surgeon is a colorectal surgeon and the GI doctor has experience with IB diseases. If you do have crohn's you might want to act fast because I recently found out if the medications dont work I can lose my rectum and I will have to wear a bag (sorry I don't know the name of it) where the poo poo will go. My surgeon told me that would be the last resort but I have been very under treated all these years. Also, until you find out what is going on I would be careful with the pizza and beer...also try not to eat fried foods. If your having a lot of bowel movements it's also best to stay away from foods with lots of fiber like fresh fruits, vegitables etc... I'm still learning myself.
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