I have always had a weird stomach- ask any of my friends from HS or college. “My stomach hurts” was a constant saying of mine. It wasn’t crippling, I didn’t have problems all the time and it really did not affect my life. (Immodium became my best friend though when I needed to go out and felt myself).
Fast forward to 2008, I was living away from my family and friends down in Washington, DC. I worked in Georgetown so my 11 miles commute usually took a good hour, hour and a half. Right after Christmas I started noticing I was always tired, always going to the bathroom (couldn’t make it home sometimes without stopping), extremely anxious, burping a lot and losing weight. Because I worked in a hotel, the first thought of my doctor was maybe I had a bug that a traveler may have had from another country….makes complete sense plus we always had flight attendants staying there so germs were everywhere. They did some not so pleasant tests (lets just say they needed samples..) and still could not find out the problem.
I had enough, the anxiety was killing me, I was losing weight so fast and missing my family so I quit my job and moved back to the Jersey Shore. (One of the hardest decisions because I made some amazing friends down there and was dating my future husband). Finally they decided to do an endoscopy on me thinking maybe I had Celiacs Disease. Mind you, I am Italian and LOVE my bagels, macaroni (not pasta people), and pizza so I was so upset with this news. Turns out- negative. I was relieved but wait..what did that mean? Colonoscopy the doctor said. Great…24 years old and getting my first colonoscopy (I have had 2 since)….this is so exciting HA.
The actual day of and procedure is a piece of cake and I love waking up from a good nap of twilight! The day before is AWFUL. You cannot eat- only drink clear liquids and some jello and drink the most disgusting gallon of chalky liquid….it is not pleasant. Even when my parents and husband yell “CHUG, CHUG!” it does not help. Turns out when I woke up the doctor said: You have Crohn’s Disease. My mom was so upset and couldn’t believe it- she truly thought it was just anxiety and IBS from me being away. I had no idea what to expect or honestly, what this disease was.
Does it have a cure? No. Will I always be on medicine for the rest of my life? Yes.
Not what I wanted to hear.