January 17, 2012 § 17 Comments
For the past 17+ years, I’ve been dealing with Crohn’s Disease, an intestinal disease that causes inflammation along the digestive tract. I was just a kid when I was diagnosed and it’s never been easy to deal with, but I’ve really had no choice. It’s been a part of my life for more than half of it. I’ve had flare-ups over the years, been on innumerable medications, have even been hospitalized a few times, but so far I had been fortunate enough to avoid surgery. I started to experience another flare-up in October and it worsened over the course of the next two months. I had a narrowing known as a stricture in my sigmoid colon that was the cause of all of my troubles, resulting in weakness and weight loss, inability to eat anything without feeling queasy, occasional fevers, abdominal pain, nausea and more. My GI doctor felt that the time had come where surgery was the only answer. This stricture had to be removed.
So, I was told that on New Year’s Day, I would be admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, with my surgery scheduled for Tuesday the 3rd. I then had the idea that I would document my hospital stay, using film from The Impossible Project of course. My Impossible teammate Anne was good enough to give me some of the new PX 100 UV+ film and PX 70 Color Shade film. I brought along my Polaroid Silver Sonar SX-70 and some flashbars and kept them close to my bedside for the duration of my hospitalization. What follows are the photos I took during that time.
This surgery has really knocked me flat. The plan was to remove about 2 inches of colon and they ended up having to take out 8 inches. My surgeon was exceptional, as were the nurses and patient care associates at Mt. Sinai. I’ve also been fortunate to have visiting nurses helping me to recover since I’ve been home.
For the longest time, I didn’t talk openly about my struggles with Crohn’s because it can be embarrassing. In the years since my diagnosis, however, I’ve met so many people who suffer from Crohn’s Disease and its sister disease, Ulcerative Colitis that I have become more comfortable with it. If you know someone who is dealing with either disease or has questions, point them my way and I’ll give any advice I can.
Take care of yourselves.