Crohns Disease Update – March 2008
I’m not quite sure (and too lazy to look) when the last time I posted a Crohns Disease related update, but now is as good as any other time.
Its been over a year since the surgery I had to correct three fistulas caused by perianal abscesses (which in turn were caused by the Crohns). I had three setons put in (basically threads to help keep the fistula open to allow for drainage as they healed) at the surgery and have since had two removed. I still have two fistulas present while one has closed up completely. I’ve been going to my colon and rectal surgeon almost every month wherein she examines my fistulas and treats them will silver nitrate to promote healing.
I’m still taking daily doses of both Asacol and 6-MP (aka mercaptopurine) to manage the symptoms. I haven’t had any major symptoms nor flare ups since last year when I was first diagnosed. Occasionally I will have some minor temporary stomach cramps and/or some joint pain (mainly in my fingers or my knees). But these have been relatively minor and infrequent.
Since my fistulas haven’t been healing as quickly as my surgeon would like me to begin treatment with the drug Remicade. I’ve been hesitant to be put on Remicade since it is administered intravenously and once you begin treatment, you must remain on the drug for the rest of your life, otherwise it will become ineffective. From what I’ve read, Remicade has been a wonderful treatment for those with Crohns Disease and perianal disease. I have an appointment with my GI doctor next week, and I’ll discuss this option with him and see what he suggests.
But overall, my health has been greatly improved over this time last year. I’ve gained back most of the weight I initially lost when I had my first flare up, and I haven’t had a flare up since that initial attack. I give great thanks to my wife Cheri, my family, my friends, my doctors, my co-workers, my church small group and God for all the healing that I’ve received this past year. Hopefully the healing will continue and soon I will be completely symptom free.