Wow, it’s been a while.

Sorry, this blog is somewhat neglected. We do tend to focus on our furkids over at thechubbyferret.net a bit much, I guess.

But, here’s a post for here! Click the link for a lovely wall of text.

 

As I may have mentioned a time or two on this blog in the distant past, I’ve got Crohn’s Disease. And, since I think everyone who reads this also knows me personally, you likely knew that already anyways.

What some of you may not know, is I’ve been having a really rough patch with it the past 6 months. Constant flare-ups, which for me result in intense, unmanageable pain (and missing days of work from being unable to drive while putting up with said pain), and a lot of time spent unable to eat anything solid. For a couple months, an increased exercise regiment seemed to be helping, and had the bonus of helping me drop over 20lbs. For those couple months, I felt like I had finally gotten a handle on my Crohn’s. Exercise, good sleep, and avoiding certain foods (goodbye forever, popcorn. I’ll miss you), combined with my Cimzia medication, seemed to have finally beaten my condition into remission.

And then the flares came back. With a vengeance. So badly I couldn’t even keep up with the exercise. I finally broke down and went to my gastroenterologist. He put me on budesonide for a month. It helped. A little. Went back, and this time he put me on prednisone. That helped more, as always, but came with the unenviable side effects (for me) of weight gain, emotional instability, and trouble sleeping. However…even on prednisone, my symptoms persisted. Which was highly unusual, prednisone had never before failed to eradicate them quickly.

Went back in, and was scheduled for a CT scan. One large payment later, scan is done. Had to wait over a week before I went back to doctor and heard the results. This was the end of March. The night before my appointment, I had dinner with friends, and Michele was out of town visiting her family. I ate too much of the delicious meatloaf. The next morning at the doctor, I was feeling it. A lot of pain, and nausea…and that was then compounded when the doctor informed me I had severe scarring in my intestines due to previous Crohn’s flares, but fortunately had no current inflammation thanks to the prednisone. My problems were coming from the scar tissue partially obstructing my intestines. And the only solution for that was surgery.

I stumbled home from that visit and collapsed into bed. Was there for 2 days before the pain and irritation subsided and I was able to go back to work (and that’s far from the first time this has happened; I’m good at noticing my flares in time to stop eating, but its not an exact science). Waited over a week before I finally got the call scheduling my consult with the surgeon. I’d chosen a surgeon in Charlotte versus one closer, because of the two options he gave me, the one in Charlotte had the potential to do the procedure laparoscopically. The closer one did not. It wasn’t a guarantee, but the chance of a minimally invasive procedure and correspondingly smaller recover time, was definitely appealing.

The consult was today, April 15th.

I’ve spent the interim weeks in a state of denial, for the most part. I could tell someone “I have to have surgery” and then move the conversation elsewhere, and be ok. However, if forced to actually confront the intellectual reality of having surgery, I handled things a bit poorly. And by poorly I mean full blown, fight-or-flight inducing primal terror. If I thought about it overly long, I’d be reduced to a mental wreck. So mostly, I didn’t think about it. Intellectually I knew it was silly to feel like that, but the primitive brain told my intellect where it could shove itself, and that was that.

Prior to my consult today, I spent 25min fighting off a full blown panic attack. I wanted to talk to the surgeon, to finally learn what I was in for and at least remove some of the unknowns (the unknowns are probably responsible for 2/3rds of my panic, despite some helpful posts from folks on reddit). But I was still terrified, and going in and talking with the surgeon was going to force me to confront the reality of someone putting me to sleep and then cutting me open and removing parts of me. And just typing that gave me goosebumps and made my hands shaky. So yeah. Panic attack. Regulating my breathing, closing my eyes, and just trying to force myself to chill.

And, frankly, it was all for nothing.

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