I went to the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore yesterday and met with a professor of medicine and the director of the inflammatory bowel disease program who is a Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis expert. I’m so glad that I did. He was like a human lighthouse in the fog of medical confusion I’ve found myself in for the last few months: I have Crohn’s disease.
I do not have ulcerative colitis.
The good news is that my medical problem can be fixed with surgery. A surgeon who specializes in gastrointestinal surgery will open me up, take out the bad part of my digestive tract, sew the remaining good parts of the digestive tract back together, and I’ll be done with it. Crohn’s disease will be in my read view mirror. No more expensive medication that doesn’t work or that my insurance company will not pay for until we (okay, my wife) engage in multiple rounds of telephone kung fu.
My Crohn’s will be gone.
This type of treatment appeals to me on many different levels. When you have a problem, to me it makes more sense to eliminate the problem than to treat the symptoms of the problem. That’s what taking medication does, it treats the symptoms of the problem. Plus, taking medication for the rest of my life for a serious medical problem means that I have to hope my insurance company doesn’t try to stop me from receiving the medication I need some time in the future.
I was told yesterday to stop taking the Delzicol because it’s a useless medication for Crohn’s disease. Expensive, but useless. It’s designed to treat ulcerative colitis, something the director of the inflammatory bowel disease program at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore is 100 percent sure I do not have.
I’ve been feeling better since taking Delzicol, but that’s because I’ve been taking steroids while taking the Delzicol. Not just any steroids, I’ve been taking Prednisone. It’s a steroid that targets the entire body, not just the area in need of the healing benefits of steroids.
From now on and until the surgery, I’ll be taking Budesonide, a steroid that targets the area where the Crohn’s disease is. The Prednisone has been making my blood sugar levels high and it’s been making me gain weight. Hopefully, the new steroid will not do either of these two things.
I may or may not need another colonoscopy before the surgery. It’s up to the surgeon. I guess I’ll know for sure after meeting with her. A colonoscopy isn’t bad. It’s the prep work you have to do before a colonoscopy that’s terrible.
I imagine getting your intestines operated on requires the same prep work a colonoscopy requires. Now that I think about it, intestinal surgery probably requires even more severe prep work requirements than a colonoscopy. I really don’t want to drink any more of that nasty tasting liquid.
I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel.