Sunday, 17 April 2011

The Crohn Wars

An old friend is leaving for Spain in a few weeks time so last night I was out for a few drinks to see her off. This was the first 'proper' night out i've had in over a year! I had a lovely time, however, having a drink again reminded me of two things. 1. Alcohol makes me pose for rubbish photos (see glaringly obvious evidence above) and 2. My Crohn's does not like the strong stuff. 
Although I didn't have much to drink (and me being Scottish draw your own conclusions here), I have woken up feeling well under par. 
There is evidence that alcohol can have...lets 'irritating' effect on people with Crohn's disease as it effects the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Since I already have major issues with that part of my insides, alcohol can often exacerbate the symptoms of my disease. These pleasant symptoms include nausea, vomiting, chronic diarrhea, lack of appetite, feeling of fullness in the gut, abdominal pain, weight loss, fever and, in severe cases, gastrointestinal bleeding. Six out of nine of these I had last night, into this morning. I wont go into gory details on which six. All of which equates to what I'm calling a Super-Hangover :( 
Symptoms of Crohn's can sometimes (and in my case) be made worse by drinking milk as well as alcohol. Both of which are disappointing facts as I am partial to a very occasional drink. I also like a glass of milk in the morning. And with my cereal. Oh and obviously with my tea, and I do love a milkshake, and another wee chilled glass before bed, and in hot chocolate.. but I don't have a problem.. I can quit at any time.. I can take it or leave it.. why are you looking at me like that? I dont have to justify myself to you! Why is Jeremy Kyle here?.. oh who am I trying to kid? My name is Kathleen and I am a Milk-aholic.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Ice Cream Crohn's

Sitting in the sun enjoying an ice cream has got me to feeling a bit guilty and pondering my prospective return to work. Although the normal recovery time after the type of operation I had is generally 4 months, i'm hoping to get back to normality after only 3.
Feeling a little bit terrified of starting work again, feel like I wont have a clue what i'm doing, everything will have changed while i've been gone and new bonds will have been made amongst my colleagues therefore leaving me sitting at my desk with only a cup of coffee and an empty inbox for company. All of which I know deep down is nonsense but it doesn't stop my female brain pushing all the worst-case scenarios to the forefront of my mind. 
Another fear I have is mainly that I won't be able to simply slide back into my job and i'll have some kind of stress-induced flare up and have to be off work yet again. Very unlikely again, but the Crohn's is always going to be there and even after surgery another resection may still be necessary at any time within the first 5years after my op. But for now, while I am feeling healthy i'm going to try and make the most of it and avoid unnecessary stress.
Although that may be easier said than done, as it's in the time it's taken me to write this post it's started raining and i'm sunburnt. Rage.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Scar Tissue! Bless You

Trip to the doctor yesterday to check whether or not i'm ready to return to work after my op. Apparently i'm not as of yet. He has signed me off for another month at the moment. So this will be me into my 3rd month of recovery. This past few weeks has been better though, lots of lovely visitors and this blogging lark has kept my mind from turning to mush due to over-exposure to daytime telly. I've also had the urge to start painting and sketching a bit again.
The doctor told me yesterday I have been left with what's known as 'keloid scarring'. This is a type of scar which is caused by a result of an overgrowth of 'granulation tissue' or collagen, at the site of a healing injury. It'll leave me with a weird looking scar which will be either pinky/flesh coloured or maybe red or dark brown in colour. All very interesting except for the fact this odd wee thing is accompanied by severe itchiness and pain - pretty much akin to getting stabbed by a tiny little needle every time I move. Not the end of the world but pretty irritating. Its only tiny and compared to some of the pics i've seen of serious scarring, a needle midriff.