I'm brand new here, but have read a few of your posts and I see that you suffer with this horrid autoimmune disorder as well. I hope you can help me out..I need tons of information!
Just to give you some history, I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis 12 years ago. I was adviced to have my colon removed, and to wear a colostomy bag for the rest of my life (I was 18 then, so I would have rathered died). I begged to try ANYTHING and EVERYTHING possible to treat my illness. So, I was on large doses of steroids, 6-MP, Interferon, Asacol, Pentasa, etc., etc...of course, not all at the same time, but we tried just about everything out there to put me into remission. The funny thing is (and this is completely off the subject..), I was actually a "trial/study patient" for the Asacol and the Pentasa..they were not even on the market back then. Well, so summarize...I was blessed to go into remission two years later, and I have remained in remission for 10 years. Now granted, I've still not been "normal" with my bowel habits...I fluctuate between severe constipation and/or diarrhea. SO many people think I'm so odd in that I can go a week to nearly two weeks without having a bowel movement, but that is how it has always been for me. Now on to my dilemma......I've relapsed (or, I'm having a "flare"..however you want to put it). I had a colonscopy done two weeks ago and discovered not just a couple or even a few polyps, but literally hundreds. Apparently, this is due to all the scar tissue, inflammation, etc. from my first bout with this disease. My doctor was unable to get up very high, due to narrowing of my intestinal tract, and a partial obstruction. I was scheduled to have a small bowel X-ray last week, but the prep. landed me in the ER for an entire night (after drinking just the first round of "cleansing" stuff, it sat in my stomach for an hour and a half before I finally began to vomit uncontrollably...nothing is going down, it's all coming up....one of the reasons that I weight less than 100lbs at 5'5"). Now I'm not real sure why I'm telling you all of this (haha), other than it's nice to "talk" to someone that can relate and understand what it is I'm talking about. My issues that I wanted to address and get some feedback on are the chronic pain issues I have. First of all, I have severe inflammation of not only my intestines and colon, but my joints as well. Some days I can't even get up to walk due to the pain in my knees (and I'm only 31 yrs. old). I also have chronic lower back pain, pain under my rib cage (right side), and of course..the typical, continuous pain within my abdomen. I'm literally in agony. My gastroenterologist has me on lortab for the pain, but at a very minimal dosage. He is very hesitant to raise my dosage due to the fact that opiate pain control has a tendancy to cause constipation...and he is afraid that this will just create more problems. What he doesn't understand is the extent that I suffer in severe pain each and every day. I am a super active person..I have 5 children and I'm constantly on the go with them, doing things for them, etc. I can't live like this. Would you recommend seeking the advice of a pain management doctor? If so, does he/she have to get approval through my gastroenterologist before setting me up on a pain management schedule? If I had it my way, I wouldn't take anything for pain and I would just deal with it...but if I had it my way, I wouldn't suffer with this disease in the first place, and I would not have chronic pain.
I apologize for turning this into a novel, I just got excited when I read that you might just be able to help me with the million and one questions that I have regarding pain management in Crohn's/colitis patients. I'm sure I will have many more questions to ask, that is..if you don't mind. I'm so very tired right now...but as you have probably experienced, the pain I've been in lately is keeping me up and not allowing me to get any rest. Any input, advice, etc. would be so very appreciated!!!! I look forward to hearing from you..and getting to know you better at that!