Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

Ulcerative Colitis/Crohn's 31 yrs & 29 Surgeries Later

Posted In: Medical Stories 4 Replies
  • Posted By: R.L.Gardner
  • February 16, 2007
  • 07:12 PM

I am a 51 year old male who was diagnosed with Severe Ulcerative Colitis 30 years ago right after returning from a 1 year tour of duty overseas. I first experienced rather severe bleeding from my rectum which would nearly fill the toilet with solid redness. I was really terrified thinking that I might have somehow contacted it from some form of bacteria I ingested over there. For the next 14 years or so my Doctor's ran me through every conceivable test and drug that they had available to them. Most of those test were very painful or at least very unpleasant and embarrassing. I think just about everyone in my state has at one time or another seen my back end!!:( In 1992 things started to get a lot worse for me. I had more frenqent flare-ups and some severe anal infections. My stools increased dramatically and I was bleeding a lot more because of it. Soon thereafter in December of 1993 I was placed in the Hospital for about a month. My wife was about to give birth to our third child so I asked to be released to assist her. It was about then that we noticed that an infected IV site had drained into my elbow causing a severe infection over all of my lower left arm. It took 4 surgeries to repair this and about 3 years to get most of the feeling back. This also triggered major problems with my colitis--so in the summer of 1994 I had my entire large intestine removed. Please believe me when I say the removal didn't go so well!!:( There were many complications. Seven surgeries and 3 months of hospital stay in 1994. For the next 12 years I, and my dear family, would endure some 29 surgeries as of this writing. The real kicker here is that after enduring a truly tough 26 years of factory work I was let go because I was unable to perform my regular duties due to a tear of a major tendon in my left arm. My Doctor explained to me that because of the drug (Cipro) that I was prescribed to me for over 7 and 1/2 years that my inner tissue was yellowed and damaged along with the shredding of my tendon to almost unrepairable shape. He stated that my left arm would probably never be of much use to me work wise, that it would be perminately disabled. Even though the Doctor should have knowned, he said that He didn't ,and that He was real sorry. After finding this out I of course looked this drug up on the Internet where I found out , in the drugs bio ,that No One should EVER take Cipro for more than 2 weeks in a row---I took it for 71/2 years. Now I not only have Ulcerative Colitis/Crohn's and their dammaging effect's as well as "2" bad arms, but I also have the inner tissue of a very,very old man!! It's been 3 years since we discovered this ,and upon having another major surgery ( shoulder ) the surgeon discovered that my tissue is still very yellowed and damaged. I suffer from multiple pain throughout my body, I still have multiple bowel movements ( 10 to 12 ), and I take way too many precribed drugs. I have a very strong Faith in God ,a Very Wonderful wife and a very supportive family, still I find this very hard to deal with. Money is very tight since I've been unable to find any meanningful work with my health history. I have been told by all of my Doctor's that I should apply for disability. I still find that a tough pill to swallow. I know that for my family's sake that I must apply. Sorry about the long letter! I would appreciate any and All comments of Enlightenment, also your prayers. Thank you for taking the time----R.L.Gardner in Michigan

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