I mentioned that I was at the hospital with Angela earlier today on Twitter and many people have sent well-wishes, concerns, and questions. Thank you for the support. I wanted to take a few minutes to let you know what’s going on.
While we were at Vegas, Angela started having cramps, pains, and unusual behavior from her gastrointestinal system. I’ll not go into a lot of the details about “unusual behavior,” but let’s leave it at things weren’t working right.
After a couple more weeks of her exhibiting these symptoms, we concluded that it wasn’t some bad food or bug she caught while we were in Vegas. Angela did what she always does and began researching what might be going on. That’s when things got scary, as the possible/likely culprits were colon cancer, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis – something we’d never heard of.
Anytime you or a loved one has conditions that are consistent with cancer, your heart sinks. Despite the fact that it could just as easily be one of the others, the looming threat of cancer – and, in this case, having to remove her colon – was enough to throw us off-center. And even if it wasn’t cancer, the other two are chronic diseases, so she’d go from being healthy(ish) one day to having a chronic disease the next. No one imagines that she’d have a chronic disease before she was 30, and it’s a messed-up world when you’re hoping you have a chronic disease because cancer is the alternative.
Since we had recently switched insurance plans, it was time for us to look for a new doctor. The first doctor we went to wasn’t very helpful or informed, so we quickly found a doctor who was. After Angela explained what was going on, that doctor scheduled her to talk to a G/I specialist.
The G/I specialist concurred about the possible conditions, but he thought it would be ulcerative colitis. (For background, ulcerative colitis is a disease in which the innermost lining of the large intestine and/or colon is inflammed – check out this site for more information if you geek out on medical stuff.) The only way he could tell, though, was to do a colonoscopy. That’s what we were doing at a hospital today.
The diagnosis is about what we expected. Her ulcerative colitis is minor and treatable with medication, so she should feel better within the next few weeks. That said, the medicine only addresses the symptoms and she’ll have to take it for the rest of her life. At least she gets to keep her colon and is cancer-free.
In case you’re curious, I asked her whether she was okay with me writing about this. I had the wits about me to know that she might not want the functions of her large intestine and colon to be shared with the world. She was all for it, especially if it would help someone else.
I find it odd that this information is okay but I was all kinds of wrong for proudly announcing on Twitter that she had to go shopping because she lost so much weight last winter. I didn’t even mention sizes or any details and I still got the stank eye! Luckily, my inability to understand her on that one has no bearing on my ability to be love her like crazy.
Again, thanks for the well-wishes, thoughts, and prayers.