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.
Glad the outcome was not too bad. And best wishes to her.
.-= JoVE´s last blog ..A PhD doesn’t prepare you for a career =-.
Naomi Niles says
I’m very glad to hear that Angela is ok and it wasn’t something more serious. How scary!
My dad just got diagnosed with ulcerative colitis a few months ago too. Apparently it’s heredity (woo) although I have suspicions that it has a lot to do with diet even though they say it doesn’t. He’s really been having a hard time with it. Although it’s not life threatening, it can definitely affect your quality of life.
Hugs for Angela. I hope she starts feeling better soon. 🙂
.-= Naomi Niles´s last blog ..Design Still Matters =-.
Rebecca Leigh says
It’s good to hear you and Angela have a diagnosis and know your next steps.
When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease (at the ripe old age of 21) I was relieved because at least it put a name to all those vague, worrying symptoms I’d been experiencing.
It’s great that Angela was OK with you writing this post, and that you wrote it, because gastrointestinal disease is one of those topics that’s not openly discussed and that can leave sufferers feeling isolated.
Best to both of you.
Hiro Boga says
I’m so glad that Angela’s okay. It’s also great that she has a doctor you both like, a clear diagnosis, and some treatment options to explore.
A few years ago, I was hospitalized with a diagnosis of diverticulitis, which I was told was incurable. I changed my diet–eliminated gluten, among other things–and have been fine ever since.
Sending healing wishes for Angela, and thoughts of comfort and ease for both of you.
.-= Hiro Boga´s last blog ..There’s No Place Like Home. . .Creating the story of your business in 2010 =-.
I’m glad to hear Angela’s doing ok and that you know what it is. And I’m so glad you were able to find a doctor that was helpful.
I’ve been holding good thoughts for her. And for you. I’ll keep ’em coming.
.-= Fabeku´s last blog ..Relearning How To Listen =-.
Steven Handel says
Angela is certainly in my prayers and I wish her a quick path towards well-being.
.-= Steven Handel´s last blog ..Create A Progressive Timeline To Better Envision Your Goals =-.
Wendy Cholbi says
I’m so sorry to hear about Angela’s pain and uncertainty, and at the same time glad that she’s found a good doctor and has a clear diagnosis. And I’m especially glad that she is brave enough to have you write about this stuff in public.
My sister has had ulcerative colitis since she was 5, and although she has experienced painful flare-ups (as a child, it’s even scarier), she has spent most of the past 23 years in remission. A few times she’s been able to decrease her medication to almost nothing.
So having a good relationship with a good GI doctor is key, because this person can help tailor the dosage as needed, on an ongoing basis. Also, as Hiro suggests, dietary changes can really make a big difference (a doctor who doesn’t scoff at this idea would be great).
You probably know that Colleen the @communicatrix has been very public about her Crohn’s disease, which I find quite inspiring. So much more information is available now than when my sister was diagnosed.
I’m sending wishes of rest and health to you both. Hugs and cuddles!
.-= Wendy Cholbi´s last blog ..Insight: Using the cruise control button that was right in front of me =-.
Aaron Dragushan says
Thanks for the post. Scary stuff for sure, and please convey to Angela that lots of folks out here are thinking of her and wishing her the fullest recovery possible.
Janet Bailey says
Glad you found the right doctor and that the illness, though chronic, turned out to be a less-scary one. Good thoughts for Angela — wishing her comfort and relief.
.-= Janet Bailey´s last blog ..How to juggle multiple projects with more happiness, less stress =-.
Ali Hale says
So glad to hear that Angela has a diagnosis – and that she’s doing okay.
(And about losing weight? As a woman, I get Angela’s feelings on that one. I’m not sure I can unpack and explain this, though…)
.-= Ali Hale´s last blog ..Staying Focused on Tasks That Matter =-.
I’m glad its not something more serious. I cant imagine being on the other side watching someone going though symptoms that could possibly be a chronic condition.
I hope she feels much better soon!
.-= Carla´s last blog ..Body Image Confessions =-.
Thank you all for the love, warmth, and support you’re sending us. It’s much-needed and appreciated.
Thanks to all of you for your support and well wishes. It means so much to me (and Charlie). The medication I am on now seems to be starting to help as I am a little less tired and run down and many of the symptoms have gotten better. We should know the results of the biopsies that were taken sometime later this week. We’re just keeping positive thoughts that those will be negative. Again, thanks so much for the support and for those of you that shared your story, as well. It helps to hear how others have dealt with this disease.
Shawna R. B. Atteberry says
Hey Charlie. I’ve been a lurker for quite awhile, but I think this is the first comment I’ve left. My Hubby has ulcerative colitis as well. He’s had it for years, and it can be managed. It can be a pain in the neck to have and to manage, but it can be done.
Well wishes to your wife.
.-= Shawna R. B. Atteberry´s last blog ..Company Girl Coffee: The I’m Still Alive Edition! =-.