Thursday, January 28, 2010

Viewer discretion is advised



Yes folks this is what my husbands intestines possibly look like. Crohn's disease something I wish my husband didn't have to deal with everyday.

Overview

Crohn's disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which involves ongoing (chronic) inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn's-related inflammation usually affects the intestines, but may occur anywhere from the mouth to the end of the rectum (anus).

Causes of Crohn's Disease

While the exact cause of Crohn's disease is unknown, researchers believe that inherited genes, environmental factors, and the immune system all play a role.

Once closely linked to diet and anxiety, there is no clear evidence that either of these is a direct cause of Crohn's disease. However, stress and an unhealthy diet are associated with poor nutrition and may worsen symptoms.

Symptoms depend on what part of the gastrointestinal tract is affected. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and can come and go with periods of flare-ups.

The main symptoms of Crohn's disease are:

  • Crampy abdominal (belly area) pain
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent, watery diarrhea

Other symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal fullness and gas
  • Clotting problems (deep vein thrombosis)
  • Constipation
  • Eye inflammation
  • Fistulas (usually around the rectal area, may cause draining of pus, mucus, or stools)
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Joint pain
  • Kidney stones
  • Liver inflammation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain with passing stool (tenesmus)
  • Rectal bleeding and bloody stools
  • Skin rash
  • Swollen gums
  • Unintentional weight loss
I'm not sure if my husband would appreciate the fact that I'm sharing all this information with you. But the fact is I have to remind myself time and time again that this is something my husband does have to live with everyday. There is not a cure for this disease. I also don't think there is enough awareness out there on this disease.

I love my husband so much and to see him suffer kills me. And the reason I've decided to talk about this today is because I have watched him the last couple of weeks so sick and miserable. Yet he gets up every morning and goes to work. His work ethics are amazing. It doesn't matter how sick he is he suffers threw it. He is an amazing father and husband.

I know this can't be an easy thing for him to have to deal with. Just tonight he had to give himself his bi-weekly injection. A medication called Humira. A medication without insurance would cost approx. $1600.00 a month. Humira is used to reduce the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe Crohn’s disease in adults who have not responded well to conventional treatments.

It pains me to know that he can't remember how it feels to not have pain in or around his stomach area. I pray that someday in the near future that there will be a cure for this disease. That my husband will someday be pain free.