Chronic Reality: A Cold Will Cause Crohn’s to Kick In

Chronic Reality: A Cold Will Cause Crohn’s to Kick In
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Some weeks when I sit down to write this column, I get a little worried. Will I really have something to say this week? But each week, Crohn’s reminds me it’s here and here to stay.

Of course, this week was no different. I didn’t know what I would find to write about, but then naturally Crohn’s interfered in my life and I now have something to share.

It started last week. My husband and I were looking forward to a quick trip to Florida to watch some spring training baseball (we root for different teams, but we both love baseball so we go together anyway) and to enjoy warmer temperatures for a couple of days. My husband felt like he was getting sick, a cold that was slightly getting away from him, and while we were in Florida he definitely was under the weather. We made a quick trip to Urgent Care for some antibiotics and a bronchitis diagnosis. I felt bad for him; he wasn’t able to enjoy the trip as much as he would have liked. I was the one who was relatively healthy. It was an odd, reversed situation.

I felt my throat begin to hurt on the way back from our trip. For a few days, it was just that annoying discomfort; sometimes it radiated up to my ears. I thought I had gotten away easily. My husband was still struggling, going back to the doctor for stronger medicine and missing two days of work. (He never misses work.)

But after a few days, I was getting worse. The cold itself didn’t turn into anything severe, but by late in the week, Crohn’s had kicked up. That’s always my pattern; Crohn’s kicks up as soon as I get any simple illness so every cold, every bug, throws me into a flare. It could be because I’m on biologics, which decrease the body’s ability to fend off illness. But it also is just Crohn’s doing its thing.

I was already on prednisone from a flare-up I’d had two weeks ago (can anyone even keep up anymore with my ups and downs on prednisone, because I certainly can’t?) so I hoped it would cover me. But things got worse and worse. The pain from my stomach patches forced me to dose with Percocet. The weakness and aches throughout my body were so bad that on two different days, I was confined mostly to bed with no desire to move any part of me, including my eyes. While I wouldn’t nap necessarily, I was unable to open them for any period of time. My appetite decreased and I stuck with my good ol’ stand-bys — soup and crackers. I kept wondering if I should increase the prednisone, or call my doctor. I wondered if this time I was destined for the hospital.

But I turned a corner a day or so ago and I don’t feel nearly as bad anymore. I’m not 100% myself, but I’m a lot happier then I was over the weekend. And that’s how it will go on for the rest of my life, I suppose. This is the endless cycle of chronic illness.

Note: IBD News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of IBD News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to inflammatory bowel disease.

Margarida graduated with a BS in Health Sciences from the University of Lisbon and a MSc in Biotechnology from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST-UL). She worked as a molecular biologist research associate at a Cambridge UK-based biotech company that discovers and develops therapeutic, fully human monoclonal antibodies.
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Margarida graduated with a BS in Health Sciences from the University of Lisbon and a MSc in Biotechnology from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST-UL). She worked as a molecular biologist research associate at a Cambridge UK-based biotech company that discovers and develops therapeutic, fully human monoclonal antibodies.
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