Hello, my name is Grace. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when I was 9 years old. I’m now 18 years old and have decided to start this blog regarding how my life with my Crohn’s, Gastroparesis, and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome have effected my life and how they continue to effect my life.
So where is the best place to start? I guess at the beginning, but seeing as I was only 8 when I first started showing symptoms, you can see how 10 years later my memory of it all may not be the best. So bear with me.
The first time anyone blinked an eye that I might not be healthy or that something was wrong was after a camping trip with my brother and dad out in Elkins, West Virginia. We had gone out there frequently to camp and hike and repopulate the streams with baby trout and check the pH levels of the water and so forth. It was a normal trip for what I remember, of course all I can remember is trying to catch salamanders as my dad would lift up rocks and branches for me to see them.
When I got home, I immediately went to the bath. That whole summer I had been having issues using the bathroom (although unlike a lot of people with Crohn’s I had constipation instead of diarrhea), but had mostly kept it to myself because despite pain and blood in my stool, I was more afraid of tests and doctors. As I hopped into the tub though, my mother noticed something odd on my bum there was an abnormal spot which for the life of me I can’t remember what she said it looked like or anything about it except that we assumed it was just dirt from the trip or just bad lighting making it look like something was there when there was nothing there.
Now of course that I know I have fistulising Crohn’s, I assume it might have been an abscess that came and went for many years before it finally ruptured on me in the 6th grade (Story for another day). My mom though was concerned and brought it up with the doctor who thought it was a staff infection and gave me ointment and antibiotics and sent me home, later I was sent back and told I had hemorrhoids (not sure what it had to do with the previous thought of staff but then again I was 8 and so my memory is not the best) and told to use Preparation H which was extremely painful, more so than it should be (due to the severe inflammation in my rectum).
My doctor continued to guess and try different things but they didn’t seem to make a difference, once the school year started things began to get worse. Stomach pains and fevers that left me laying in fetal positions, and eventually sent me to the ER which would begin my many month journey in finding out I had Crohn’s Disease.