my story.

My story begins when I was 15 years old. Everything was going swimmingly! I had just gotten myself an amazing boyfriend, I was losing weight, I thought I was doing well on my exams, I was almost turning 16. It all seemed to be going right for me! Until I started having extremely sore stomach cramps.  At first I put it down to period pains, but when I started getting loads of other symptoms, I started to get a little worried.  My short lived happiness about losing weight, soon became a worry, I was losing too much.  I was fluctuating between being constipated and having diarrhea, my nails were breaking, my hair was falling out, I was throwing up, I didn’t want to eat anything, and more worrying, I wasn’t eating anything. I was bleeding from my bum whenever I went to the loo, it was painful to wee, and I felt completely and utterly awful 99% of the time.  Soon, i was visiting the GP almost every week, and like many people with IBD, I was diagnosed with IBS. irritable bowel syndrome.  They tried me on various tablets, from the mild peppermint tablets, to the more extreme like amatriptaline, which is an anti-depressant. Nothing worked and I was beginning to lose my mind.  My parents were beginning to get frustrated, they could see their little girl in constant pain, yet they couldn’t do anything, and being told it was IBS by the doctors, yet the medicine was doing nothing was even more frustrating.  
It wasn’t until the day after my 19 birthday that we decided to do something more drastic.  I’d spent the night of my 19th birthday in bed with Matthew 😉 YES you would imagine it would have been a wonderful night, yet it was spent writhing about in absolute agony, stifling screams of pain, and keeping Matthew awake so he could rub my back and provide me with a small amount of comfort.  I was drugged up on every painkiller I could find that the doctors had prescribed me; cocodamol, diclophenac, paracetamol, ibuprofen…EVERYTHING.  But I was in absolute agony.  At around 6 in the morning, my mum came down from her bedroom and heard the commotion, she came in and sat down and said something along the lines of “RIGHT we are going to get this sorted, I’ll phone the doctors at 8 o clock and we’ll make them do something about this, it’s not right that you’re in so much pain.”  I nodded my head in agreement and curled up in the fetal position until 8 o clock. 
It had gotten so bad, that when 8 o clock came around, I had to ask Matthew to help me get dressed.  He helped me put my work clothes on, as I had work at 12 o clock, and headed down to the doctors surgery.   By this point I’d lost almost 3 stone, I was just over 7 stone, and frighteningly thin.  I’d gone from being a 34C cup size, to being a 30A,  my periods had stopped, my hair was falling out, my nails were broken, I was bruised from being so thin, and I didn’t feel like a woman at all. This was our chance to get something done! 
My mum and I headed into the doctors, she had to hold on to me as we walked because I was in so much pain.  We sat down, and before we could say anything…we both burst out crying.  This was 3 years worth of pain and anguish coming out in floods of painful tears, I NEEDED help and luckily this kind doctor could see that.  Without hesitation she booked me an emergency appointment with a Gastroenterologist for two weeks away, finally there was light at the end of the tunnel. 
The 16th of August came around extremely slowly, I was desperate to see this man! Matthew drove me to the hospital and we sat down in outpatients clinic 5, after what seemed like a lifetime, we were called in.  He asked me to start from the beginning, and without a single word, I burst out crying yet again.  I can see now that I had become depressed, living my life in fear of eating because I knew it would bring so much agony.  He could see straight away that something was wrong.  He got me to lie on the bed and examined my stomach, he said he could feel an abscess, and that I had burn marks covering my stomach, from sleeping with a water bottle for so many nights trying to ease the pain.  He said within minutes that he was 99% sure that it was crohns disease, and put me on an 8 week course of prednisone, a steroid drug that should have helped to reduce the inflammation in my gut.  I left that clinic feeling hopeful, that although I had been told I may have a disease that will be with me for life, something was finally being done, but this was just the beginning of my story…


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