~Ok – so most of my posts have been ham radio related – but from time to time – I’d like to use this platform to talk about other things that are of great importance to me! ~
For anyone that’s ever known someone that suffers from Crohn’s disease, you know that’s its one hell of a disease to deal with. It’s basically an auto-immune disorder of the digestive system – that can affect everything from the tip of your tongue – to… yup – you guess it – the ‘other end’ lol. Well it certainly hits the digestive system hard, but what it also does is cause a whole plethora of other problems – because your body is constantly attacking its own immune system. I’ve encountered several folks in my life that suffer from this ‘bitch’ of a disease.
Why am I talking about this here? Because my ‘other half’….. my rock…… my wonderful wife – Shannon – suffers from one of the worst cases of Crohn’s disease I’ve ever seen or heard about. I’ve lost count of the number of operations she’s gone through – she’s gone through more than any person should ever have to. That’s why I want to raise awareness about this auto-immune disorder. Its hard to believe that 4 months into our relationship, she fell gravely ill – and here we are 6 years later still fighting it! She’s basically gone through a complete digestive reconstruction, but it didn’t end there. Even after all the procedures, her Crohn’s ‘symptoms’ still persist (includes severe abdominal pain, nausea, you name it – the worst of the worst). Now she’s on a medication that if it weren’t for insurance – we’d never be able to afford it – each injection is in the ‘thousands’. New medications are constantly coming out – none of which she has really responded to, i.e. Humira, Entyvio, Cimzia, some other ones that I can’t even remember…. and now the new one she’s trying is Stelara. These are all biological medications that in some chemical way – attempt to block the mechanism that’s telling her system to attack itself. But you can imagine the complications that come with injecting a biological drug into your system. It’s almost like chemotherapy – your basically injecting something very foreign into your body in the hopes that its benefits outweigh the side effects. Not to mention the other cocktail of drugs that the doctors keep telling her to take.
Crohn’s disease isn’t exactly visible – except for maybe the life it may steal from your aura. Some folks even live perfectly healthy lives with the disease. But it affects everyone differently. What can you do for someone with Crohn’s? Most importantly – just be understanding – and provide support during the tough times!
Can you believe that Crohn’s stands as one of the MOST expensive disorders to treat in the American healthcare system? (Pretty sure my wife has gone over the ‘million mark’ so far!) Scientists are working hard as we speak to try and figure out what exactly causes Crohn’s disease – it’s been thought to have existed for a lot longer than it has been recognized though – it’s just due to recent advancements in the medical field – they’ve started identifying the markers for the disease better – there’s only ONE laboratory in the United States that even does the Crohn’s specific marker testing!
I’m sitting here writing this at the hospital as we speak. My wife is such a regular on the ‘5th floor’ here – the nurses know my wife very well! Not sure if that’s a good thing though! lol….. She’s been such a trooper through all of this – and incredibly brave.
For more information on Crohn’s, or other types of inflammatory bowel disease, please visit: “Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.”