Fall 2017 through that winter was definitely one of my lowest points. I had tried everything I could think of and none of my doctors could produce any answers either regarding why I'm not getting any better, what was going to help me, or when I was going to start to feel better. I was at a loss and tired of trying so hard just to feel normal. Mental breakdowns were multiple times a week if not daily. I wanted a way to make it all stop, to disappear and make the pain go away. I wanted my life back, to be able to be a participant in life, not just watching from the sidelines like I had been doing for over 5 years. I lost hope several times giving in to the belief that this was how it would be for the rest of my life and only the support from my family was keeping me going. This disease is incredibly isolating and hard not only physically, but emotionally. I'm not even sure which was worse, battling the thoughts in my head or my own body trying to get it to work properly.
It was time for another colonoscopy (lost track of what number I'm on), because things were just not improving at all and it had been about a year since my last one. People diagnosed with crohns and colitis often need colonoscopies yearly to keep track of their disease, so next time you dread getting one, remember that you'll get one and then be good for years while many of us need to go through it once a year. Plus it's especially not fun when you already have digestive issues and it causes a lot more pain than in a healthy person.
My current gastroenterologist was useless. All he wanted to do was try one medication after the next and that apparently was the only way to get better according to him. Unhappy with the care I was being provided with, I asked for recommendations for other doctors. I ended up in Philadelphia at Temple University Hospital.
Today's post is focusing more on what was really happening within me. I'm not sharing this part-or even any part of my story-so people can feel sorry for me and what I had to go through. Although it has been a very tough few years, I have learned and grown more than I ever thought imaginable and I can see the positive outcomes. I am writing this story to show how poorly the American healthcare system took care of me when I needed it most and I want others that feel like they've been abandoned by the system to know they are not alone and that there is hope and answers out there for everyone. So I ask that you please take this as more of a PSA, that you never know what people are going through and to be kind to everyone-no, you don't have to love or even like everyone, but you can be kind.
It was now 2.5 years into dealing with these difficult health issues, and still no one had any answers for me. I was getting desperate an was willing to try just about anything to make the pain stop, yet this wasn't the lowest point I would hit.
Next I saw a well-known doctor in New York City-I figured it was time to hit up the best of the best, even though he didn't take my insurance so everything was going to be out of pocket. Dr. #5 was an MD but also used natural remedies so I thought I was going to get great balanced care, something I was more comfortable with, than just having prescription medications thrown at me. Although a bit of an oddball (the super smart ones always are a bit different, right?), I was curious to see his approach and excited to be in such experienced hands. He was certainly confident that he had the knowledge to get me healthy again.