Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hey, I'm getting surgery!

So, if you follow my Twitter or Facebook, it's no secret that I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in May of this year (if you don't follow either of those and/or you're new, surprise! It was a pretty good birthday present.).

Turns out, Crohn's Disease is pretty awful. I'm going to write some gross stuff about it, but for your benefit, I'll highlight them so you can skip over the gross parts if you want to. But if you don't want to read anything of grossness, you probably shouldn't read any of this. Just skip to the very end.

So, I went to the doctor in April because it hurt and bled when I pooped. Diagnosed as anal fissures (link-- NSFW photo in the link), but the doctor noticed some inflammation at the top of my colon or rectum, so she scheduled a colonoscopy as well.

So in May I got my colonoscopy, and they found a bunch of gross stuff, like inflammation and ulcers and ick, so they scheduled a small bowel follow-through in June, where I had to drink barium and then they x-ray'd my guts and watched it go through. The doctor look at my x-ray and said, "Yep, textbook case of Crohn's." (Fun fact: You poop white after drinking barium. Or as I like to call it, ghost poop!)

July rolls around, and I was planning the SSA's annual conference, where 300 student leaders were expected to show up from around the country. The weekend before the conference, I went out to dinner with some friends...then went home and sobbed from pain, fever, and nausea. I finally called the 24 hour nurse line, and the very helpful nurse informed me I was most likely having a Crohn's flare up, and I needed to go to the ER right now. Went to the ER, got some pain meds and Prednisone, discharged at 2 AM and told to take it easy, but to come back if things got worse.

Of course, they got worse. By 6 PM the next day I hadn't been able to keep anything down (including water), so back to the hospital, this time getting admitted. Ended up spending 4 days there, which was awful, but I got a lot of tests done, a bigger dose of Prednisone, and I also learned that the Ohio State Hospital does not, in fact, know what vegan means, nor do they have any vegan options (they do, however, think turkey burgers are vegetarian and beef or chicken broth are acceptable options for everyone).

Fun (less sad) side story: When I was in the hospital the 2nd time, I was all pukey and gross, and I said something about how I just wanted to die. Sean said, "You can't die, because I love you."...and then looked away. So when I said, "I love you" back, he didn't hear (because my voice was hoarse, and maybe I was quiet because I was nervous!)...and that was a cute and awkward thing. But mostly cute. :)

So, fast forward to early August-- I had been on a prednisone taper to help shut down the flare up, but turns out it didn't help at all, so my doc scheduled me for another small bowel follow through, and the results of that would determine whether I needed surgery or not (spoiler alert: the answer is yes, I need surgery).

In the meantime, since I still had the anal fissures that I originally went in for, I had to get surgery to take care of those. That happened this past Monday, and it was pretty awful. (This is super gross, but my butt basically won't stop bleeding so I have to wear a pad all the time, and it feels like fucking shards of glass passing through my asshole when I poop. I have cried almost every single bowel movement since the surgery. Oh, and I fill up the toilet with blood, that's fun. I also need to take a sitz bath after every time I poop, or just three times a day, and those help...but mostly, the pain is outrageously awful. I do not recommend having anal fissures for 3+ years and letting them get so bad you need surgery...but hey, what can you do when you can't afford healthcare, amirite?)

So, here I am, getting surgery on Tuesday, August 28th. I'm getting a laproscopic colectomy done. It's good that it's laproscopic, because recovery time will be much quicker than if they had to open me up (although, if something goes wrong or there's more diseased tissue than they thought, they will have to open me up). But yeah, basically they are cutting out my terminal ileum and some of my colon, and they're gonna sew the parts together and hopefully that will help make things better. 

So...that's about where I am now. Trying not to freak out too much. Tomorrow (Friday) is my last day of work, I have Monday to prepare for the surgery, and then I'll be on leave from work for 4-6 weeks (at least).

So, what can you do to make me feel better? Here are a few options!

1) Recommend books, tv shows, movies, documentaries, or video games to me. You can edit this sweet Google Doc!

2) Help create a Spotify playlist! I like most kinds of music, but please nothing too heavy-- really, no metal or really hard rock. I think I'd prefer chill music, but upbeat is okay...I just will probably be in bed, on drugs, and metal/hard music sounds kind of bad at that time.

3) Send me a card! You don't even have to mail it! I'll be in the hospital for about 5-7 days (from Tuesday, August 28th - Sunday, Sept. 2nd), and if you go to this link:, you can type out a message to me and they'll print it and hand deliver it to me. Address it to Sarah Moglia (no nicknames or they won't be able to find me) in Room 325. I'll be at Mount Carmel East. (Please don't write anything offensive or gross-- it will be printed and read by volunteers.)
(If you do want to go above and beyond and send me something in the mail-mail, just message me on FB or twitter and I'll get you my home address. I will be in bed for 4-6 weeks after I get out of the hospital, so no rush, really.)