I’ve been struggling a great deal with depression and lack of motivation recently, and I suppose that now I know why.
I had a colonoscopy done on Friday, and my GI doc discovered that my terminal ileum, which is at the end of the small intestine, is all inflamed with Crohn’s disease, and covered in ulcers.
I have not had a flare-up of this disease, since I was 22 years old or so, and had a bowel resection surgery. The section of intestine with the Crohn’s disease was cut out, and I was finally able to get off of my many medications.
I’ve been very fortunate to go this long without a flare, as Crohn’s is pretty nasty and likes to reappear after it’s been removed. It also tends to exhibit itself in random patches throughout the gut, rather than just in one place, like it was in my case.
My doctor wants me to start on a newish medication called Humira, which suppresses the Tumor Necrosis Factor(?), hence relieving inflammation and addressing the autoimmune response.
Unfortunately, I will have to learn to give myself shots of it, in the fleshy part of my abdomen. Not too appealing of a process to me. At least I have a lot of extra flesh around my middle section.
All I want to do, at the moment, is sleep. Just getting to the grocery store is overwhelming for me.
I’m supposed to be visiting the Bay Area, in part to see an old GI doc of mine, who is on the conservative side when he works with patients who have active Crohn’s.
To be honest, with the way that things are going, it’s hard for me to imagine how I’m going to get myself there, even though I’m taking a direct flight. Once I arrive, I will then rent a car at SFO, and drive to my folks home, in Palo Alto. Tires me out just thinking about it.
Humira is not a drug to take lightly. It can cause low white blood cell counts, which open the patient using it up to infections. People on this drug have died because their bodies have been overwhelmed by the infections they develop.
It also increases your risk of contracting lymphoma, which is a very nasty, and diffuse form of cancer.
Obviously, all prescription drugs have side effects, and the potential risks, vs. benefits need to be clear before the drug itself is prescribed.
It’s strange to me, that it is so challenging to cure autoimmune disease. I don’t know if there is a lack of financial resources for research, if it’s just extremely complex in its expression of itself, or what.
When I don’t feel like painting, or going shopping, I know without a doubt that something is up.
I’m just sad about what is up. Crohn’s is not easily halted once it gets going. I’m hoping that this Humira stuff will be more effective then some of the drugs I took as a child and young adult.
I guess I’ll just have to see.(Sigh…)