Crohn's Disease

Crohn's 360: Jackie's Story Ep. 1: The Impact of Crohn's 

Jackie began experiencing Crohn’s symptoms at age 17. Listen to her story, including coming to terms with the disease and how she overcame her most recent bowel obstruction.

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Crohn's360:  Jackie's Story Episode 1

The Physical and Emotional Impact of Living with Crohn's 

Jackie: People say dogs can sense when something is up or someone is ill, and my dog – she knows. She knows before I know something is going to happen with me. And she always is just so comforting. I came home from my surgery and I laid in the bed, she sat at the bottom of my bed for days and days and didn’t move. She just was there. It is just so nice to have someone that without saying anything, she just knows you aren’t feeling well. She doesn’t really know what’s going on but she knows, “something is not right and I am going to sit here with you.” She never leaves me, so that is really cool.

Last year, I had a really bad episode and I went into the hospital. They ended up taking out two feet of my colon because that much was infected from Crohn’s Disease. The surgeon said, “I have never seen a case like this before in my life. I don’t know how you’re walking right now. I don’t know how you’re living right now. It is unbelievable – I cannot believe this.” I thought this was normal, the way I was feeling, but he said, “don’t ever let it get to that point anymore.” With Crohn’s you think, “Oh, I’m at this point where I’m ok. It can’t get any better and this is what I’m going to have to live with for the rest of my life.”

In the beginning when I first got diagnosed I could not bear the pain. It was horrible. I would cry and cry and my mom wouldn’t know what to do. I would curl up in the fetal position and just want to die.

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Jackie met with many different doctors before being correctly diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at 17.

I was 17, a junior in high school and I lost about 30 pounds within 6 months and in high school that was really traumatic because high schoolers are mean – they were thinking I had an eating disorder, or you know… And I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I just knew something wasn’t right and I had to go to the doctor. I actually ended up going to the hospital and I had a really bad infection in my bowel. They said that I was slowly poisoning myself. My organs would have just shut off because of what was going on. I was 17 years old – this shouldn’t have been happening. I was going to go away to college, but how could I go to college if I can’t even eat on my own, I don’t know what is going on? That was a really tough time because you don’t really know what the future would be like, especially when you have a disease like that. 

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