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"Having an emergency colostomy"

About: Antrim Area Hospital / Theatres Royal Victoria Hospital / General Surgery

(as the patient),

I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease when I was 18, just after starting my time at university studying Psychology.

For a long time my symptoms were very unsettled and I was put on and off steroids regulary yet was never able to obtain remission. Gradually the symptoms got worse and it became so debilitating that I would not leave the house in case I needed to rush to the toilet.

Two years after diagnosis my symptoms were so bad that I was admitted to hospital and I spent 16 days here on IV steriods. Things seemed to be getting better but as soon as my steriod dose was reduced the symptoms returned within hours and even more aggressive as before. Christmas could not be celebrated and I felt extremley ill and was admitted through A&E shortly into the New Year.

At this point my symptoms were at their worst and I was going to the bathroom & passing blood up to 30 times a day. I tried every treatment available including Inflamax, the liquid diet & constant steriods. Nothing was working and my condition was worsening therefore I had no option but to have an emergency colostomy.

After my surgery I also developed pneumonia and my right lung collapsed due to my body being so weak from how ill I had been before surgery. I was then transferred to a hospital where there was a thoracic specialist and he preformed another two ememergency surgeries to drain fluid and reinflate my lung. I finally got out of hospital after 8 long weeks and 3 emergency operations. However I do not feel that I would be here now if it was not for the fantastic and attentive care I received during my time in both hospitals. Glad to be feeling so much better and on the road to recovery!

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