The Who, What, When, and Why of My Crohn’s Disease

My name is Amber Schlaht, I am 34 years old and live in Irving, Texas.  I work in the mortgage industry. I was married to my amazing husband, Ben, on Dec 3, 2011. We have no children, just our little furry kitty, Belle. I am also an admin at IBD Journeys. I love meeting new people who have my disease and can relate to my symptoms- and me!

I have had stomach issues my whole life. When I was 19, I had my gall bladder removed due to it being diseased and having stones. My doctors at this time thought that over time without my gall bladder that my stomach issues would go away, but they never did, and I just got better at ignoring the pain.

Very soon after I was married (May of 2012), I went to the ER with bleeding and intense stomach pains. While there, they ran an abdominal CT scan and it showed Crohn's. I then immediately scheduled an appointment with a GI, had a colonoscopy and all those fun sorts of tests, and Crohn's was confirmed in the ileum, as well as a stricture. I have since switched to a new GI and had another colonoscopy this past Friday which fortunately confirmed very little inflammation, but a lot of scar tissue. I also have an abdominal CT scan scheduled for this month, then a follow up appointment with my GI to decide on a surgery schedule.

I have tried all sorts of different things to help my Crohn's "symptoms". I am currently on Humira, Prednisone, Entocort, 6-MP, Potassium, and many supplements. According to my recent colonoscopy, something is working in my mix of medications because I had very little inflammation.

 The main thing that I have learned since being diagnosed with Crohn’s is that people don’t “get it”. Unless you are living with IBD, you just can’t possibly understand it. People will always try to recommend things to help or “cure” you. This is really just frustrating to anyone with IBD. There is no cure for Crohn’s. If there were, so many people would not be suffering with this awful disease.

While I am extremely optimistic with my new GI, I am also very nervous about a major surgery. It’s hard for me to make people understand that this IS major surgery. Most people who have had the surgery before just act like it isn’t a big deal and like you shouldn’t stress over it. That is not the case. This is my life and I want to live it to the fullest, but I also know that with any surgery, there could be complications.