Crohn's Disease

March 3, 2010 was the worst day of my life. I had never really heard of Crohn’s Disease until that day. My then 7-year-old daughter had been having stomach and bowel problems for close to a year. We thought it may have been she was allergic to dairy, then maybe she was allergic to flour and needed to go gluten-free. We spent that year trying to figure out what was wrong and made her eat all kinds of food that we know didn’t taste good. It got to the point where she was having a lot of stomach pain and was going to the bathroom 5-7 times a day. We made an appointment at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence to have her checked out by a GI specialist. The doctor ordered a colonoscopy and endoscopy to get a clearer picture of what was going on inside her. March 3rd was that date.

My daughter is the type of girl who really never complains about anything, even if she is really hurting. I’ve never met anyone sweeter than her (besides my other daughter). She knew she was going to have to undergo a procedure but she didn’t let on that she was nervous, until it was time to go in. We had noticed that her weight had been dropping over the past year as she was now 48 lbs and a pretty tall girl for her age. She went in and they started the procedure while my wife and I waited in the waiting room. At that point, I wasn’t thinking something was terribly wrong. I didn’t know what was wrong but I didn’t think that. I don’t know why. Maybe because my daughter never really let on how much she was hurting so how could anything be really wrong?

When the doctor came out and gave us the news that this little girl has a disease that usually affects people much older, I still couldn’t comprehend exactly what was going on. We were taken to her recovery room and that’s when it hit me. When I saw her lying in the bed, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my life. Just thinking about it while writing this is bringing back bad memories. It got worse when she woke up and started crying and vomiting. I felt like putting my head through a wall so maybe I would hurt and somehow it would take her pain away. We would spend the next 4 days in the hospital with her, unplanned, so she could begin receiving the proper medications and steroids to help boost her system.

I think I’m going to stop this story right here. Consider this part 1 of our Crohn’s journey. That image of my daughter waking up in the recovery room is something I NEVER want to see again. March 3, 2010 was the worst day of my life.

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