Ever heard of Erythema Nodosum?
Me neither, until the end of September last year.
In addition to systemic and gastroinsential symtpoms, Crohn’s Disease affects other organ systems: the joints, muscles, eyes, blood and skin. I presented with erythema nodosum – the inflammation of the subcutanious tissue, which is charaterised by septal panniculitis; that explained my crohnic faitgue and weight loss – on my elbows and upper arms, along with joint pain – formally known as mild arthritis.
I suffered with the nodosum for a week before being admitted to hopsital. I continued to suffer with them even after they mis-diagnosied them as cellulitis. Without the diarreah, it was considered a rare presentation for the diagosis of Crohns Disease. Thank goodness for the Flexi Sigmoscopy.. sort of.
When I am in pain, it radiates from my elbows and reminds me of the weeks I spent with achy joints. My aches are nothing to the same pain level as then, but they still cause me concern. The level and length of my steroid treatment concerns me every time I am stiff and unable to bend and sometimes walk, it perplexs me that despite being free of gastroinsestinal symtpoms, I still suffer. That I can be flare free, be on my medication and happy, but I have days that I can’t be everything I used to be. Those are the days when I realise – once more and starkly – that I do have a medical condition. It is nothing to be ashamed of, despite being unable to function to 100%. I push to get there, when I know I shouldn’t. I don’t know any better; in practice, yes, but in reality, no.
What else does Crohns make you suffer with / from? How long has it been an issue, how do you treat it, how do you cope?