Monday, February 28, 2011

Where Have I Been?

Well, let me tell you. I failed at SCD. Epicly hard. It never seemed to do enough for me to make it worth the sacrifices. Does this mean the diet is bad or won't work for someone else? Absolutely not. It just means it wasn't my thing and that is ok.

In August of 2010 I had a beautiful, perfect baby boy. In November I had a flare. Hooray. Back on Prednisone again for five more weeks which cleared things up for me pretty well. Fast forward four weeks and I was back in the GI's office with yet another flare. I started back on 40 mg of Prednisone on February 9th along with nightly Cortenemas. I think the Cortenema made things worse so I stopped them after about a week, yet the Prednisone still didn't seem to be doing anything. We waited another week, and the flare was still beating me up pretty badly. I finally got a flex sigmoidoscopy on February 22nd because my GI wanted to confirm we were still dealing with "just unresponsive UC." The scope showed 20 cm of active inflammation in my rectum and sigmoid colon. Same as all of my previous scopes (five colonoscopies now total over the course of this adventure). Good news: "just" UC, hasn't spread. Bad news: still a lot of active inflammation after two solid weeks on steroids. We decide to throw nightly Rowasa enemas at it, too and see where we are in a week.

A week will pass tomorrow and I am doing so much better. Thank goodness! The bleeding has stopped and the only symptom I have now is some pain in my low left side, mostly in the mornings. I can live with that for now. Something interesting happened though in the process of this flare that initially refused to respond to Prednisone. I decided to consider surgery for my UC. This is new for me. I always thought surgery was something I would never ever do. After four years of fighting this fight, I feel a lot differently. I want it to be over. I want my life back. After all these flares and watching the life drain out of me day by day, the idea of potentially pooping in a bag for the rest of my life seems not so bad somehow.

Wednesday I am meeting for a consult with a colorectal surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. I have 5,001 questions for this man and I hope he will be able to answer most of them. I am trying to determine if I am a good candidate for the j-pouch surgery in which they remove your colon, fashion an internal pouch from your small intestine, and then hook that back up to your rectum once the pouch has a chance to heal up. In between surgeries you have an ileostomy (the bag) which then gets reversed when they hook all of your plumbing back up. It's a seriously major surgery, but once you've had it you don't have Ulcerative Colitis anymore. How awesome would that be?

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