It was a week before Christmas in 2011 when I suddenly started suffering from gastric bleeding. I went to the emergency room, terrified that I was dying.
After spending a night in a hospital corridor (free healthcare is great but sometimes the system is overwhelmed), I was admitted to a private room and the tests began. After X-rays, a CT scan, about one hundred blood tests, and a colonoscopy I was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. By that time the bleeding had stopped and after confirming that my iron levels were ok I was sent home. On Christmas Eve, so I was home in time for Christmas.
So, I have Crohn’s Disease. Although it’s primarily a gastrointestinal disease, it is actually a systemic disease and can have many side effects. Sometimes it can be very severe, other times very mild. There is no cure, but it can be controlled.
For me, it has been fairly mild. I’ve only had 3 or 4 flares since the diagnosis but it has also affected my joints, causing leg and back pain. I have to regularly take painkillers, as well as a probiotic which is supposed to help control the flares.
Even though it’s something I have to live with for the rest of my life, I’m happy that it wasn’t something much worse, and I’m happy that so far the symptoms have been mild for me. I have good doctors and all things considered I’m relatively healthy.
To keep myself healthy I’ve taken up biking again, but that’s a topic for another post.