Young Adults

Crohns flare up + college = emotional and stressful

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Joined: January 31, 2014

Posted: Feb 1, 2014 7:52 AM
I  am an almost 21 year old undergraduate student, diagnosed in 2003 with Crohns Disease. originally placed on 250mg Pentasa capsules (9 per day) in 2003 but my pediatric GI changed my dose to 6 of the 250mg Pentasa capsules/daily in 2010. I was hospitalized for 11 days between June and July 2013 after losing 52 lbs in a month, getting sick with the stomach virus, abdominal pain, fatigue, etc. when a catscan revealed an abscess in my ileum. I was treated with antibiotics and prednisone because the abscess was too small to drain by needle and catscan. After starting to feel better I started experiencing symptoms around Christmas/New Years. I was placed just hospitalized in Philadelphia after I went to the E.R. and a catscan revealed another abscess in my ileum and a most likely functional cyst in my right ovary. The GI doctor has suggested switching to Humira or Remicade, but I felt it was best to exhaust all other options first because I’m unsure what's covered by insurance. So she adjusted my Pentasa from 1500 mg/day to 4000mg/daily and has me on 2 antibiotics
I have been attending classes but haven’t been able to return to work yet. I have been very depressed and emotional but have been able to see a therapist one-on-one for free at school. My boyfriend, roommates, and family have been supportive but I am scared, stressed, and unsure of what to do next. They’re talking possible surgery as soon as the semester is over to scrape the intestine or remove the infected portion and reattach the good parts…but this is a last resort option.
I have a recheck catscan in a few weeks but if anyone could offer advice or suggestions to help me manage my symptoms (nausea, fatigue (I am anemic but I take iron supplements), abdominal pain, constipation/frequent usage of bathroom) and feedback on treatments. Also if anyone knows of great ways to manage stress or good diet ideas, they’d be greatly appreciated. 
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Joined: April 13, 2014

Posted: Apr 14, 2014 12:04 AM
 Reply posted for templeugirl32.


I've been through it all since I was diagnosed when I was 6 and I'm 22. I've had plenty of surgeries and I've been on both Remicade and Humira. Remicade was a god send for me I had my longest remission on it and am looking to go back on it. I'd be happy to talk to you about anything you want even if it's just to talk about your depression or advice. Just let me know and I'll give you my email!

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Joined: January 17, 2013

Posted: Feb 9, 2014 3:00 PM
I was facing surgery Sophmore year of college. Luckily things took a better turn before it became necessary but I still remember the nauseating mix of fear, anxiety and stress from the disease on top of the usual stress a college student endures from classes, relationships, jobs, etc. 

Yoga... that is my advice. It's not all downward facing dog, headstands and pretzel twists. Mostly it's just breathing. Yoga helped me mentally and physically proving to be a turning point in how I viewed myself, my disease and my ability to endure. I have a blog/ website I've been working on that addresses the philosophy of yoga and talks a bit about my experience with Crohn's and how yoga has helped me find my feet after 5 years of being in and out of hospitals, working my way through available medication options, and just that entire period of learning self-management and disease-management. It's a work in progress that is very reliant upon how i'm feeling/ doing; here's the URL:

Yoga doesn't fix all. It will not heal or cure your disease. But, i've found it helps give me resilience when life gets beyond my control. 

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