MY NAME IS Kelly
I was officially diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in the fall of 1995 at the age of 22. My symptoms came on very quickly, so much so, we were convinced I had a parasite from camping or a flu.
As we were living in a remote northern community in Canada, there were no full time doctors, only nurses at the nursing station. I went in and they did some stool tests as well as repeated blood work and I was told to go home, reduce my stress and take Pepto-Bismol for my symptoms. Prior to being finally diagnosed, I had bleeding, severe cramping, thrush and was constantly running for a bathroom. On September 1, 1995 I weighed 112lbs. When I was finally diagnosed in November of 1995, I was down to 82 pounds. I couldn’t even take a sip of water without running to the bathroom, doubled over in extreme pain. I was very, very ill.
Finally, I was sent to see a gastroenterologist in a larger city. He immediately ordered a colonscopy as well as an endoscopy. His diagnosis was Ulcerative Colitis and put me on a round of prednisone and Asacol. Magically, my symptoms disappeared and I started to feel better (thanks prednisone!!!) but in reality it was just masking my symptoms and my disease raged on.
Russell Ladies Night
That’s me third from the right, not looking at the camera and wearing sparkly shoes, with the Russell Ladies Night Committee Members! I spoke to a crowd of 600 people about living with Crohn’s disease and an ostomy. We raised $30,000 for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.