My name is Jenny, and I live in Canada. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when I was 19 years old in December 2009.
My Anus Horribilis
This blog is about my experience with Crohn’s disease. It mostly discusses the outcomes and side effects of medications I have taken, the Crohn’s-related procedures and tests I have undergone, and my appointments with my gastroenterologist and other doctors.
I am lucky to have a great gastroenterologist, and I’ve been very fortunate that the medications I have taken have had more benefits than side effects. Unfortunately, many people who write about their experience with Crohn’s disease online are not as lucky. I started this blog so that other people with Crohn’s disease could see that a good experience is possible.
The name of this site is inspired by a Latin phrase, annus horribilis, which means “horrible year”, but instead of a horrible year, it’s a horrible… body part often affected by Crohn’s disease.
My annus horribilis
2009 was an annus horribilis for me. In the spring, I was finishing up my first year in university. I started losing weight, and soon, I was throwing up everything I ate. My doctor thought it was depression, and I was prescribed Prozac. It helped mentally, but I had a gut feeling that there was still something else really wrong with me.
On December 23, 2009, I started having severe pains in the middle of the night. Thinking it was appendicitis, my parents took me to the hospital. The next couple weeks are a bit of a blur for me. In the hospital, we learned that I had a perforated bowel, which required immediate surgery, so I had a bowel resection (I believe they removed about nine inches of my bowel). The doctors told me they suspected I had Crohn’s disease, but I would need to have a colonoscopy to be sure.
My colonoscopy the next February confirmed that I did indeed have Crohn’s disease. I didn’t take any medication for it, because I thought I was fine. Many symptoms had gone away, but I was still very thin and going to the bathroom much too often — but I just assumed that was how people with Crohn’s lived.
Then, in the summer of 2011, I went to a new gastroenterologist, and I was prescribed Prednisone. It was wonderful; I felt like doing everything again! I tapered off the Prednisone by the end of the year, and life was good. Since then, I’ve taken a few different medications and vitamins, and I’ve undergone several different procedures, which are listed below.
Overall, my Crohn’s is under control, and I’m living a normal life, but with the occasional tiny worry in the back of my mind that I might have to spend an hour in the bathroom sometime.
- Vitamin D: ~2009 — present
- 1,200 IU daily until June 20, 2013
- 2,600 IU daily from June 20, 2013 to present
- Calcium: February 7, 2013 — June 20, 2013 (~4 months); December 12, 2017 — present
- 1,200 mg daily in 2013
- 500 mg daily from 2017 to present
- Inflectra (infliximab, biosimilar to Remicade): May 28, 2021 — present, every 2 months
- Antibiotics (amoxicillin): March 16, 2021 — March 23, 2021 (~1 week)
- Antibiotics (metronidazole): March 12, 2021 — March 16, 2021 (< 1 week)
- Imuran (azathioprine): June 18, 2012 — November 24, 2016 (~4.4 years)
- 50 mg daily for first four weeks
- 100 mg daily until September 2016
- 50 mg daily from September 2016 — November 24, 2016
- Entocort (budesonide): September 30, 2012 — February 18, 2013 (~4.5 months)
- 9 mg daily until January 9, 2013
- 6 mg daily until January 25, 2013
- 3 mg daily until February 11, 2013
- 3 mg every other day until February 18, 2013
- Prednisone: June 10, 2011 — ~August 12, 2011 (~2 months)
- 40 mg daily for two weeks; 5 mg less each week
- Prozac (fluoxetine): July 2009? — January 2010? (~6 months)
- X-ray, CT scan, bowel resection: December 2009
- Colonoscopy #1: February 24, 2010
- Colonoscopy #2: April 2, 2012
- Small bowel MRI: May 8, 2012
- Bone density scan: February 16, 2013
- Esophageal pH Test: January 29, 2015
- Bone density scan: April 11, 2016
- Colonoscopy #3: July 8, 2017
- Bone density scan: November 29, 2018
- Bone density scan: August 23, 2019
- Colonoscopy #4: March 2, 2021
- CT scan: March 12, 2021