So it's 4 months since I posted this and I'd like to update everyone who showed concern back in July. I am in much better health now than I was over the summer. After I was admitted into Illinois' Medical Cannabis program I haven't had a flare up since. I've decided not to take the biologics that my doctor had recommended because my health has improved so much.
Unfortunately medical cannabis isn't covered by health insurance but they do accept cryptocurrency. I will convert your crypto donations into medicine, and finally into artwork :-)
Thanks everyone for your incredible support through this ordeal!!
So I've mentioned before that my Crohn's Disease has returned but I haven't really said what that means. Some of you may have some experience with the disease but it effects different people differently. My problem is that inflammation at the end of my small intestine has caused the passageway to get narrow.
This happened to me before 10 years ago and it eventually lead to a two week stay in the hospital where the piece linking my small intestine and large had to be removed along with my appendix. It was truly the most excruciating time of my life.
Unfortunately my doctor has confirmed that the same narrowing has returned in the past few months. I probably made it worse by taking lots of NSAIDs to combat tennis injuries (this was a factor 10 years ago too). I'm not getting any younger but I do like to stay active. I may have also jinxed myself on social media.
A few nights ago I stupidly ate an orange without chewing it up properly and I was awoken at 2 in the morning with the familiar stabbing pains that signal a blockage. They come in waves every 1-2 minutes or so and feel exactly like someone driving a knife into your stomach over and over for a good minute. This is your stomach trying unsuccessfully to force the food into your small intestine.
Thank goodness I had recently gotten my Illinois Medical Cannabis card and had a supply of cannabis oil on hand (and a vapor concentrate pen). The drops allowed me to keep sane, close my eyes and put the pain aside.
The only way to "deal with" a blockage is a visit to the ER for treatment. I've done this many times in the past and they usually give you IV narcotics to slow your bowels and do some xrays to determine if it might clear on its own. If it will then you are sent home and told to eat a "low-residue" diet so food can pass the narrowing.
Surgery is the only other option and this is what happened to me 10 years ago. You can only lose so much of your small intestine though before you can no longer process food properly. I am already dependant on non-food versions of vitamins B12 and D.
My doctor has recommend a biologic medicine with targets the inflammation area and calms down my inflammatory process. Hopefully the medicine allows it to heal so I can eat normally again and keep as much of my guts as what's left to me. These medicines are not without risks of their own however, so aren't any 100% safe paths forward that I can see. I'm looking at one called "Entivyo" which is supposed to be safer than the others, but it's also a lot more expensive so I'm not sure what my insurance company is going to say...
Thanks for reading this far. Your kind donations towards my new medical expenses via my tip jar are and have been greatly appreciated by my family.
The medical cannabis specifically has really been a godsend this time around, as there wasn't really any palative treatment avaiable for the the pain I had at home. Narcotics had too many negative side effects and NSAIDS trigger my inflammation. It's a shame it isn't covered by my health insurance though. They take cash-only like it's some sort of dirty business and there's only one (rather expensive) dispensary in my hometown. At least it's legal though.
Anyone who wants to contribute cash (no checks sorry) towards my MMJ fund can mail funds directly to my PO Box at...
PO Box 6077
Bloomington IL, 61701
Rendering also helps keep me sane so I intend to keep making art whenever and however I can. Your Memberships and support have allowed me the freedom to deal with this disease at home with my family feeling the joy of creativity. For this I am eternally grateful to all of you.