Update

October 10, 2013

I figured I should update since it’s been quite a while since my last post and a lot has happened. I’ll try to keep it short though.

For one thing, Crohn’s is the only disease I have as far as anyone knows. There were some ideas that I could have Behçet’s due to the ulcers I had on my skin and eyes, but I guess they were due to severe Crohn’s plus the stress of infection.

In September 2012, I had really hit a breaking point where pain was concerned. It was getting very difficult to walk, stand, sit, or basically do anything but lie down on my side. I basically begged my GI to help me. She sent me to the Johns Hopkins emergency room. The GI team decided to debride my wounds and basically make the two small wounds into one very large wound. After that, they attempted to place a wound vac, but it couldn’t get a good seal, and it just wasn’t working out.

Since the debridement allowed my wound to drain freely, it actually took away some of the pain and the weird symptoms I had been having. I was able to walk a little more freely, but the wound was huge and the inside was still really painful. They started me with pulse lavage treatments to clean out the wound. I feel like they didn’t do much, because there was literally so much drainage that it was a constant flow. They also treated the wound with silver nitrate to get rid of hypergranulation tissue; it hurt like hell, but they gave me some lidocaine beforehand which made it easier.

Most of the time spent between then and now was just doing that and healing very, very slowly. However, the purulent drainage just kept flowing. Eventually, they decided to put me on penicillin, and the drainage just went down to almost nothing. It seemed ridiculous to have waited so long to try antibiotics again; I was told I didn’t need them after I had IV antibiotics in the hospital, because they assumed my wound would be clean after debridement. There were no obvious tracts for drainage, so I guess I can’t blame them. Plus, I had been on antibiotics before with no improvement. This time though, there was a huge improvement.

After starting the penicillin, I just went to the clinic every week for silver nitrate treatments, and the wound started healing better than ever, but still very slowly. I was on penicillin for at least four months. Now, I am off medications and not doing the treatments any longer (or at least that often). However, I STILL have a rectal wound and it STILL has small amounts of drainage. I pack it with gauze every day, and I still have pain. To think, this all started on December 11, 2011, and I STILL have a wound. It’s pretty depressing, and  all I can do is hope that it goes away soon.

The worst thing is that I will no longer be eligible for my health insurance in a few days. I don’t really know what to do besides wait it out and hope I don’t have major problems until I can get something cheaper in a few months.

Also, one thing I didn’t mention was my encounter with a plastic surgeon. After my wound was debrided, they thought they’d give me muscle flap surgery to fast forward the healing process. The plastic surgeon I dealt with was really the worst doctor I ever dealt with. I mean, I’m sure he performed great surgery, but otherwise he was really the worst. Basically, I was jerked around for months without even being scheduled for surgery. I kept calling and his assistant would just tell me she couldn’t schedule my surgery until the paperwork was done; well, the paperwork literally took weeks to get off of his desk (even though my GI surgeon had wanted the muscle flap done while I was still hospitalized). I even had appointments and emails with him where he kept saying he was placing me at number one priority, but after he’d tell me that he would go back to ignoring me for more weeks. I eventually had to just break off contact with him, and my GI surgeon told me I probably didn’t need the flap anymore anyway because it had been so long. I’m glad it didn’t happen, because I’m almost 100% certain it would have failed since the drainage came back full force, but it was still the worst experience I had with a doctor and office. I was really made to feel like I didn’t matter at all, when all of my other doctors were always prompt with callbacks and never left me hanging.

Anyway, that’s basically where I am now. Just waiting and waiting forever for this wound to heal so I can move on with my life.

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New problems?

August 3, 2012

I’ve been dealing with a whole new buttload of issues lately due to my wonderful immune system. I am almost dealing with this worse than my past bowel problems, because this is a very different kind of pain. I’m no longer a prisoner of the bathroom, but I feel like I am a prisoner of the house, of the bed, of a pain that keeps me from being able to sit/stand/walk like a normal me should be able to. Not to mention the other feelings of weakness, malaise, and general uselessness.

First of all, my proctectomy STILL hasn’t healed. Not one bit. It might even be worse now. I don’t know. All I know is that I feel like all of these new doctors that I’ve been pawned off on don’t care as much and are jerking me around making me wait a ridiculous amount of time to get this sorted out. I had my first consult with a plastic surgeon on April 26th. He wanted me to have a quick checkup with a colorectal surgeon that he works with and told me that he wanted to hurry the process up for me, but I couldn’t get an appointment with that surgeon until June 11th. I called the plastic surgeon multiple times for help getting a sooner appointment and heard nothing, so I was forced to deal with it. The colorectal surgeon seemed nice, and he ordered an extensive pelvic MRI (which probably should have been ordered a lot sooner) and told me that my surgery would get scheduled and I should see the plastic surgeon again. I called after a while to get my surgery date and they said, “No, we can’t schedule you until you see the plastic surgeon again.” Okay… So I get my MRI and see him again July 12th. He says he’ll try to get me into the operating room before the end of July even though he’s busy, but he still hasn’t completed the PAPERWORK to even try to start scheduling me.

He also gave me a hard time for asking for percocet for a two painful, open, draining ass wounds when I’ve basically been poisoning myself with high dosages of ibuprofen that don’t take away my pain, even though I keep enduring the same or more pain for months and months without being fixed. AND he only gave me 30 tablets with one refill on the prescription, but the pharmacy does not honor refills on percocet, and I have been struggling a month later to get him to write me a prescription so I can get something he already authorized when the original prescription only should have lasted me a week. I’ve had to ration taking pills and feeling okay. That’s just not right.

On top of all this pre-existing bullcrap, I’ve got even more to deal with now. A very painful crop of ulcers have appeared on my labia, LIKE I NEEDED MORE PAIN DOWN THERE!!!, and it hurts even more to walk/sit/stand and burns like hell to pee. I visited my gynecologist who scared me into thinking I had a herpes infection that would never die, but the cultures and bloodwork for both herpes simplex viruses came back negative. That means it is very possible that I have a rare disease called Behcet’s disease which could end up being pretty serious. It is another autoimmune disease that attacks the blood vessels, but not much is known about it, and there is no clear cut test to find out if I have it.

I’ve been reading up on Behcet’s, and I seem to have a good amount of symptoms. I have the genital ulcers, some leg lesions, joint pain, and I had some strange eye lesions that my ophthalmologist dismissed as a random “hypersensitivity to microorganisms” but not necessarily an infection. The only typical thing I’m not really dealing with right now is mouth ulcers, but I had a pretty bad bout of them last summer. Most of these things, I had just automatically attributed to Crohn’s and overlooked, but now I don’t know. Unfortunately, I can’t get an appointment with the vasculitis center until I am able to get all related medical records sent there plus a referral letter; even then, they have to review my case and decide if they are going to see me. Even THEN, I am told that I can’t really be treated with prednisone right now due to my infected, non-healing wound. Vicious circle of BLAH.

The only other news is that I had my first blowout ever, over 2 years after ileostomy surgery. Not bad. I am pretty sure it’s because I didn’t change my appliance for like…17 days (exaggerated, but not by much) and then ate McDonald’s. I felt a sudden pain in my skin (like adhesive ripping off) while in the car, sat around for 15-20 minutes, and went to the bathroom when I got home. I didn’t even realized it had blown out the side of my wafer, until I physically looked at it. I was like, “Why are things wet?” But yeah, I’ve been neglecting changing things often enough, because of all the crap I’m going through.

I guess that’s enough bitching for now. Please, please, please make this over with soon.