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Ali's Crohn's Journey

This seems like a good place to share our experiences with Crohn's- so here goes.

My daughter is 16 and she was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease a few weeks ago (May 2019).

Back story- she has no history of diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, weight loss, fever or any of the other symptoms associated with CD. She was maybe a bit tired, but that seemed kind of normal for a busy, hard-working, teenage student. The only health problem she had was bad period pain which she treated with Naprogesics. Pre-period she always suffers flu-like symptoms and constipation. There is no known family history of CD but the potential is probably there.

About a year ago she complained of having a sore on her bum which bled a little bit sometimes after a poo. After some quizzing it seemed that this was intermittent and exacerbated during the period constipation. I suggested she see if it would clear up on it's own. We had a very busy year with international travel, school camps, school formal, work experience, etc. In January she mentioned that her bum was still causing trouble so we went to see the GP.

The GP found two fissures and prescribed Rectinol ointment and salt baths and advised it should clear up in 2-3 weeks. She also wanted blood tests. These first tests showed anaemia and inflammation. The GP asked about diet. I was surprised because we have a very healthy diet - fresh meat and veg every day, almost no junk food, eggs or porridge for breakfast, fruit for morning snack. Anyway we upped the red meat and introduced orange juice with dinner instead of water.

The follow up blood tests 3 months later were almost unchanged (Ferritin = 16) and the unhealed fissures led her to organise an urgent visit to a pediatric enterologist. Three days later she had a colonoscopy and gastroscopy and a provisional Crohn's diagnosis. The pics showed a healthy colon, a thickened patch on the stomach and a seriously inflamed Terminal Ilieum with a stiff valve. She was given an iron infusion the same day. This made an instant improvement in her energy levels. She became more aware of abdominal pain after eating.

We had to wait a couple of weeks for the follow up appointment where we were told the tests and biopsies indicated no tuberculosis, hepatitis or chicken pox but there was Crohn's Disease. He gave us a choice between steroids and EEN for 6 weeks, followed by immune modulators. We opted for EEN. He is also giving her a second iron infusion next week because the serum is still only 4L. (Ferritin = 165)

It took a while to get an appointment with a dietitian so EEN didn't start for another two weeks. We have just completed Week 1 and so far so good. She is having a combination of Ensure, Fortisip, Resource and Sustagen. The flavours are vanilla, chocolate, banana, strawberry, coffee, wild berry and peach. She can also have barley sugars and jelly. She is missing eating crunchy food.

So far she has maintained her weight and still feels occasional abdominal pain which seems to be associated with wind. EEN has given her loose stools once a day.

Meanwhile, I have spent hours trawling the internet for information on CD, UC and IBD. I am glad we opted for EEN, but time will tell. The most informative general website is:

I plan to write updates as they happen.
Welcome to the forum, but sorry that you have to be here. Thanks for sharing your daughter's story. I also have a 16 year old daughter with Crohn's who was diagnosed when she was 12.

A few things jumped out when I read your post. First, I think it's great that you and your daughter were willing to try EEN. It's not easy, but it can really be effective and certainly has fewer side effects than steroids. I noticed that your daughter is using polymeric formula, which is the easiest to drink. Some kids do great with this type of formula, but if her test results don't improve on the polymeric formula, it might be worth asking about semi-elemental formula. This type is more broken down and thus easier for inflamed intestines to absorb. It also tastes much worse though, so some kids need to use an NG-tube with this type of formula.

You also said that immune modulators would follow EEN. Has your doctor said what those might be? EEN and steroids are not long-term treatments, and the maintenance medicines that are used long-term often take a while to start working. So usually those are started at the same time as EEN, so that they are starting to work by the time you stop the EEN.

Finally, has your doctor said anything about getting a look at your daughter's small intestine? Either an MRE or a pillcam can be used to find out whether there is any inflammation or damage in the small intestine.

Please do continue to update us, and also feel free to come here with any questions and concerns.

my little penguin

Staff member
Sorry you had to join us but glad you found us
Ds was dx at age 7 and is 15 now

Second the MRE you want to know the extent of her disease
Modulen would be the Semi elemental similar to peptamen in the US .
Semi elemental is standard for een
But if she tolerates polymeric and maintains weight all the better

Additionally finding out what maintenance med
Methotrexate takes 12 weeks to be effective
6-mp takes 3-4 months
Remicade takes 6 weeks
Humira 3-5 months
So you definitely want to start the same time as een
Since once food is re introduced the inflammation comes back and you have to start over
Sometimes with steroids

Also be prepared there is no “right” way to treat crohns
It’s all about what med actually works to get your child healthy again

That may not be the med you like or want or even the first Med you try
It may be a combo of meds

That was hard for me to learn when Ds was first dx
I was going to only do “een” everything else seemed evil
Then he got sicker
And we spent a year trying lower level
Less risky but less effective drugs
Finally after a year they permitted him to try remicade (he was mild crohns with lots of extra intestinal manifestations)
After three infusions I had a new kiddo
No vomiting
Plenty of energy
Swimming times improved
That was at age 8

He is now on Stelara and methotrexate
Crohns is ok

As far as crunchy
Crushed ice with sprinkled sugar or salt to chew
It helps
As does rewards per week

Sugar can be “spun” to make cotton candy
Which is fun to eat
Also to make sugar /water “candy”
Once you boil the sugar

We are here and all of us have asked a ton of questions in the beginning
Takes 1-2 years to get to the normal (new version )
So take it slow
Hi Pdx,
Thanks for your reply and tips.

The current plan is to see how we go with 6 weeks of EEN, one down, five to go. So far she is willing to drink it orally. Some plus sides for her are that she doesn't have to help with the dishes, cooking or table setting, and is allowed to watch screens at meal times.

The doc said he might use a pillcam next time but there are hoops to go through to get it approved. It would be good to check the full length of the small intestine. Colonoscopy showed about 3-4cm of Terminal Ilieum was inflamed and further up looked ok, but he didn't go in very far.

Doc is suggesting Imuran for after. I am not convinced that this is a good idea, I worry about an impaired immune system. Studies seem to show that longer term EEN can gain full remission, mucosal healing and transmural healing. That bridge is ahead of us...

I foresee one future problem...how do we know when she is better (or flaring again) given that she is essentially asymptomatic, except in terms of blood tests and visual inspection via colonoscopy?

my little penguin

Staff member
Long term een is great on paper
But an active teen - means it has social /psychological implications
As an adult try going to work (with food but not eating it (doughnuts cakes etc...)
Being home when food is cooked the smell makes your mouth water
The desire to eat is strong for a reason
Try shakes only for one weeks and adult then reassess
Three year old yep not as big a deal
But many kids who don’t have a choice due to Eoe develop psychological problems
Sneak food etc...

As far as imuran most Gi in the US no longer use it in kids due to the high risk of lymphoma
They use methotrexate instead

Remember her immune system is over active
Immunosuppressants calm it down to close to a normal level

They are a necessary evil to this disease no matter how you slice it
Either immunosuppressants or biologics

Long term een is not really an option

Some studies in the US Use 80/20 or 90/10
Basically 90% calories from formula /10% solid food
Or 80% formula /20% food

Those are a little more doable
But still difficult and some kids don’t stay in remission on them

My kiddo has done een 3-4 times since dx
Each time it’s a little harder and less effective

Just try the een as an adult for a week
And then decide
It takes more than will power

One last point
Een is hard in the body (high sugar ) so at risk for tooth decay , diabetes , yeast infection , bacterial over growth
Nothing is without risk
Not even Tylenol that’s given to infants (causes liver failure ,Steven Johnson’s syndrome and death )

It hard in the beginning
Thanks for your support and tips. I didn't know about the kick-in times for meds so I will ask the doc.

I can see that EEN needs longer than 6 weeks, that is just the start. Normal is unlikely to return for much longer, and then it might be a new normal which doesn't have gluten or dairy. Ho hum...

I think we may be lucky to have got onto the problem when we did. Although we don't know for sure, I am guessing she picked up a bug when she went to China in October 2017 for 5 weeks. It was a few months after this trip that the anal fissures first appeared.

my little penguin

Staff member
You don’t need to stop gluten or dairy unless those are triggers for your kiddo
Ds did een for 9 weeks the first time at age 7
Through holidays etc ....
We have used gluten free dairy free meat free you name it free (Ds has life threatening food allergies as well )
Nothing makes a difference
We follow a modified diet
50% elemental formula
Prescription probiotics
Mostly crohns exclusives diet (see post study )
Plus meds

Checks for disease activity
Fecal cal
Blood tests
And scopes /imaging as needed
Welcome TraceyA. You found yourself a very helpful forum here. I don't have a lot of experience as my son was diagnosed August 2018 at age of 19. I was overwhelmed by the thought of biologics for him but as you become more familiar with the medications, they become less scary. I have been learning everything I can since learning about his diagnosis. This forum has helped me immensely. There are a lot of knowledgeable parents here to help. :)
I know about how hard the food thing is. I went on a weight loss program. It was hard but I got results and was motivated to not eat carbs. I still am. She saw the benefits with me so that helps to motivate her.

My daughter is very smart and she knows that cheating will be detrimental. She has supportive friends and will cope in the short term. She has survived one party this week and resisted the chips.

This first week has been exam week at school so the usual activities have been all over the place. We have one more week of term then 3 weeks holidays. She is going interstate with friends for 4 days and is determined to stay with the program.


Staff member
EEN can be very tough but I'm SO glad to hear your daughter is doing well with it! That's wonderful!

I'd advise you to take it one step at a time. The doctor suggested Imuran because she has an immune system that is in overdrive. But you are right that immunosuppression is a side effect. There are other drugs that are less immunosuppressing - biologics are much more targeted. In the US, biologics are now being used first (called "top down" treatment) to get the disease and associated inflammation under control quickly. The goal is to prevent complications like strictures, fistulae, abscesses, slowed growth, low bone density etc.

The other method is called "step up" and you typically start with immunomodulators like Imuran or Methotrexate first. If those are failed, then you move onto biologics. The downside is that your child might develop complications while you're trying to figure out whether MTX or Imuran will be enough to control the disease. They are, for some kids. But others need biologics.

Typically either Imuran/MTX/6MP or biologics are started when EEN or steroids are started. That's because like some parents mentioned above, they take a long time to kick in. Imuran takes 3 months or more (our GI said it can take as long as 6 months). MTX 2-3 months. Remicade 6 weeks or so, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. Humira can take 3 months or more. Entyvio takes 6 months or more.

EEN is mostly used to get the disease under control and to help with gut healing. A maintenance medication is necessary to keep the disease controlled.

In the 6 years I have been on this forum, there hasn't been a single child that has done long-term EEN. By that I mean 100% formula, 0 food - that's very hard on kids and can be quite isolating. There are some kids who are able to do 80% formula/20% food but even then it's typically not indefinite. Supplemental EN is much more common, but that's usually in addition to food, to help with growth and weight gain and there is some evidence it also helps with disease control. My daughter did 60% food and 40% formula for quite a while - she used an NG tube first and now has a more permanent feeding tube. She had been severely underweight and malnourished and resisted a feeding tube for a long time. But it REALLY helped her - she felt better, gained weight and finally got proper nourishment.

She did still need medications to control the Crohn's. In her case, Imuran failed, so she is on a biologic and doing great on it.

In terms of knowing if your daughter is flaring, there are blood tests and stool tests (Fecal Calprotectin) that can tell you if there is inflammation in the gut. If those are positive for inflammation, then typically imaging is done - scopes or an MRE or a pillcam.
Thanks Maya.
Just wondering- how often should we get blood tests done? And should I ask for a stool test?
I get the feeling that I need to be proactive about these things since the doctors are looking after multiple patients, many of whom are no doubt much sicker than my daughter.

my little penguin

Staff member
Depends on the meds
No meds just een or type of med
Bloodwork in the beginning for 6-mp/imuran is every 2 weeks for the first three months then every 2-3 months
Other meds vary in the beginning
Most kids after the beginning get bloods done every 3-4 months and fecal cal same
Gi have standing orders abd are used to this
They stay on top of it for you


Staff member
Typically every 3 months - sometimes more frequently if your child is really sick or as you start a new medication. With Imuran, we had to do weekly blood work for a while, then biweekly, then monthly and finally every 3 months. Imuran can be hard on the liver and it can also cause your WBCs to drop, which is why kids are monitored so closely. Honestly, Imuran is being used less and less in the US - it's considered less safe than Methotrexate or the biologics. Most pediatric GIs are moving away from using it.
5 Week Update

Six weeks of EEN is almost done, less than a week to go. Ali has stuck to the program 100%. It definitely helped having a large variety of formulas and flavours. She has Fortisip Compact, Fortisip Original, Resource 2.0 Fruity, Resource 2.0 Milky, Ensure and Sustagen. There are varieties of vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, banana, coffee, berry and peach. The dietician organised for us to access bulk purchase. The cost was about AU$500 for around 7 weeks of nutrition.

I made Chicken Bone Broth and Beef Bone Broth and froze in portions. She has a bowl with the family for dinner. I made packet Jelly which she has every day or so. She also had peppermint tea, water, barley sugar, boiled lollies and lollipops.

She has maintained her normal, healthy weight of 55kg.

Blood tests at Week 5 (Jul 5) show CRP at 21 (down from 54) and ESR at 5 (down from 31) taken on May 1. The ESR is normal and the CRP is still a bit high but she had an infected toe at the time of the test so that might interfere. The toe needed to be treated with 5 days of antibiotics, which have taken away the infection but hopefully haven't brought on any side effects.

The iron levels are all normal thanks to the two infusions. Vitamin D is good at 92 (was 51) from 2 caps per day. B12 is 49 (was 38).

The anal fissures are still not better. They have begun to heal but then the period comes along and the constipation which causes them to open up again. She has had Levlen for one month now and after this period she is going to take it continually for three months to hopefully avoid the period side effects. There was a definite reduction of pain this time.

Now the plan is to reintroduce one low fibre meal and gradually build up to more normal intake over the next two weeks. She will still have the formula as snacks for a few months. There are no tough food restrictions, but avoid spicy, processed, indigestible foods.

We don't see the specialist for a few more weeks so still don't know what (if any) meds might be needed.

In summary, EEN treatment seems to have been successful for inducing remission of Crohn's without any major side effects.

my little penguin

Staff member
Glad she is doing so well on een
Once food is reintroduced though
The inflammation will come back Unfortunately
And meds for crohns take time to work
As in months to work
Normally you do een with meds so when the een is done the meds have kicked in some

Most ped Gi use methotrexate
(They no longer use 6-mp/immuran in the US due to lymphoma risk )
Methotrexate takes 12 weeks to be effective
So either it’s back to een again for that time or steriods
6-mp/immuran takes 3-4 months
Remicade takes 6 weeks
Humira 3-4 months

5-asas (sulfanizine and Pentasa) are not recommended as monotherapy for crohns since they act as a cream on the top layer of the intestine
But crohns afffects the entire thickness
So only good for UC

Good luck
But the healing from een does stop once food is reintroduced unless your doing 80-90% formula and 10-20/% food

There is the crohns exclusive diet which helps a few
That is food plus formula
Otherwise regular food with formula as snacks won’t stop the inflammation from coming back

Ds has stayed on formula plus food for 9 years
Helps with growth /weight
But still needs meds


Staff member
My son was diagnosed at 16... his initial treatment was 6 weeks EEN (3000 cal/day) of elemental formula (he used NG tube). This took him into clinical remission. No outward symptoms. He gained back all the weight he had lost (plus some), the fatigue and paleness went away... he was back to playing lots of hockey and hanging out with friends. As he was being treated at a children's hospital and he was fairly stable, I think his ped GIs were happy to keep him stable until he was transferred to an adult GI (less than a year away). So, his maintenance treatment was 1/2 the dose of EN (1500 cal/day), 5 nights per week (he did it overnight as he used NG tube) and he was allowed to eat whatever he wanted during day (aside from seeds, nuts, popcorn, etc.)

He felt and looked even better.... but MRIs continued to show simmering inflammation. Bloodwork fluctuated... sometimes normal, sometimes just outside of normal...

But, upon transferring, his adult GI was adamant that partial EN was not sufficient treatment, as proven by the simmering inflammation shown on MRIs. he said there was no way to know when things would worsen and, once they did, they 'could' worsen quickly. My son did not want to risk surgery... and, as he was feeling well, he didn't want that to change. He agreed to start on remicade. It's now been approx. 6 years.

He's felt well throughout, he's had two unrelated surgeries (due to injuries) and remicade had no impact on recovery. He's had some infections (respiratory, skin rash, etc.) - whether they were related to a suppressed immune system or from living in residence during university, who knows??

I dreaded the decision at the time but he's done well and has had no crohns issues since. And, MRI's and scopes have shown full remission.
I'm curious how your daughter is doing now. Did she switch back to ordinary food? Is she on a maintenance medicine that seems to be working?
As I write this we are in Emergency. Ali started 100mg Azathioprine 2 1/2 weeks ago and at the 2 week mark (last Saturday) she started having fever, headache, neck pain and rash. At 1am she had chest pain, rapid pulse and massive headache so we called an ambulance. The hospital is calling it viral meningitis but the symptoms also suggest hypersensitivity to Azathioprine but no one wants to call that.

To recap since July: Reintroducing regular food caused abdominal pain and the CRP and ESR escalated (44 & 25) almost back to the start. After further research we decided to eliminate gluten, then yeast and dairy. The numbers started heading in the right direction again. End of August the CRP 27 and ESR 23, and last Friday the CRP 64 and ESR 14. Of course we didn't get these latest results until Monday.

We think the exclusive diet with half EEN has helped but more time is still needed.

We sought a second opinion and are now with a public IBD clinic instead of private. This has been fortuitous since she is already in the system for our latest drama. The clinic is backing the Azathioprine treatment. They are also angling towards adding 9mg Budesonide.

We are also pursuing other treatment ideas. We have sent blood to New Zealand for MAP testing. Just got a preliminary result showing evidence of low (4%) Mycobacteria, which apparently is usual for CD in remission. We are also considering GcMAF as an option.
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Things can move fast...so now today's bloods have been analysed in the hospital and the decision has been made to stop Azathioprine. Instead, we are trying steroids (prednisone) and then start methotrexate. They are also testing for some other viruses and about to do an ultrasound.


Staff member
Her CRP is very high. I think steroids are the right decision and Methotrexate makes sense too, although to me "top down" treatment makes the most sense and given her high inflammatory markers, a biologic might be a good idea. However, I know in different countries they make you fail the lower level (and cheaper) meds first - it's still very common in the UK and Australia to use 6MP or MTX first. Prednisone will get her feeling better quickly and should give the MTX some time to kick in. It can take 6-12 weeks for MTX to work. Some kids have side effects with MTX and others do not. It's a drug that has been used for decades now and is very safe - it's actually replaced Imuran and 6MP in the US in kids, since Imuran and 6MP come with more risks.

We are also pursuing other treatment ideas. We have sent blood to New Zealand for MAP testing. Just got a preliminary result showing evidence of low (4%) Mycobacteria, which apparently is usual for CD in remission. We are also considering GcMAF as an option.
If her results show low Mycobacteria and she's most definitely not in remission, then doesn't that suggest MAP isn't the issue here? I don't know enough about Mycobacteria and MAP testing, which is why I'm asking.

Hang in there and fingers crossed she starts feeling better.
Thanks guys! We're back home now feeling very jet-lagged after no sleep. In the hospital her CRP was 120 and her pulse was 130. The bloods were negative for all the viruses and bacteria they tested for and there was no sore throat or runny nose. We are convinced she is one of the rare few who are hypersensitive to Azathiroprine.


Staff member
There have been a couple of kids on here who have had bad reactions to Azathioprine. My daughter has been on MANY other meds, including two biologics currently along with two immunosuppressants (she has very aggressive arthritis in addition to IBD). But she is doing better on this combination than she was on 1 biologic + Imuran - she got SO many infections on Imuran and was much more immunosuppressed on it than on this cocktail of meds, which is pretty crazy. She is not a kid who gets sick frequently, but that year she just got infection after infection. Finally she got a staph infection in her throat (which is pretty unusual apparently) and that led to C.Diff which led to a Crohn's flare (n).

So that was the end of Imuran for us! MTX is being used MUCH more than Imuran now in the US. It's considered safer. My older daughter has been on MTX for close to 10 years without any issues, except some fatigue the day after the injection. Fingers crossed it works for your girl.


Well-known member
Glad the hospital was very thorough and you have a plan going forward. My niece just got over viral meningitis and it was awful! Glad your girl is home and on the mend.

I would also feel more comfortable with methotrexate over azathioprine for a number of reasons.
Hi Everyone - it's time for an update.

Ali has continued with a restricted diet - no gluten, no lactose, no yeast. She has supplements of vitamin D, folate, Lglutamine, tumeric, fish oil, magnesium, zinc. Vitamin C after dinner. Avoid processed foods. Testing showed fructose is not a problem.

1. Decided not to try steroids. Our GP advised to wait until after the school exams and the specialists agreed. They are not fans of steroids.

2. Started seeing Naturopath/Chinese medicine doc. Ali finds the tea and supplements difficult to take but they seem to help a bit.

3. Specialists were keen to start methotrexate but we waited until after the exams. She has 2.5 tiny tablets once a week. Has had for 3 weeks now. Folate on the other days. So far no adverse reactions.

4. Had second colonoscopy and gastroscopy. Results show colon and stomach all fine, but 30cm of Ilieum bleeding, inflamed, and the ilieocaecal valve is extremely tight. She had an awful reaction to procedure with 10/10 pain and high pulse and BP. Spent 4.5 hours in Recovery. Was given IV paracetemol and then fentanyl. We were worried it was a perforation or twist and had to insist a doctor come and see. Nothing obvious and they didn't want to do xrays because it was now after hours. She had reduced the pain to about 5 and pulse down to 100 when the shift finished and staff wanted to go home - so we reluctantly went home too. It took 3 days to come good. They said the pain was due to (a) the gas used and (b) the disease itself. She didn't have any problem the first time.

5. Low iron treated with iron infusion no. 3, five days later.

6. Started acupuncture for the intermittent pain and this has had a very positive effect. Much fewer events (only 1 or 2 per day) and not so painful.

7. Specialists say her condition needs Infliximab plus the methotrexate. They have been given permission to administer via the Australian PBS so she will have the first infusion on Friday.

PS. She did really well in her school exams - A+ for everything except Chemistry which was an A. Next year is her final year of secondary school.
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my little penguin

Staff member
Sorry to hear she is still really inflamed
Glad they are starting her on remicade and methotrexate
Are they giving her steroids to reduce the inflammation so the remicade can work ?
Maintenance meds are to keep the inflammation down
Steriods or een are used for 6-8 weeks at the induction of remicade to knock the inflammation down as a rescue med and give the remicade time to build up
Takes about 6-8 weeks from the first infusion

good luck
Ali had her second infusion of Infliximab today. So far so good. About two days after the first infusion she has had no abdominal pain. No steroids, but she is sticking to an anti inflammatory diet, taking chinese herbs and having acupuncture.

There have been no adverse reactions. Keeping our fingers crossed.
Thanks for your support.
We have good news! After two Infiximab infusions plus weekly Methotrexate the last blood results were NORMAL:
CRP = 2. Iron = 22.
The Ferritin is very high at 329, but this is likely due to the Iron infusion on 29/11.
Ali says she feels 100% normal. I hope this keeps up when she returns to school next week for her final year.
Appendicitis or Crohn's flare?

Last Saturday night about 10pm Ali stood up to go to bed. A sudden intense headache hit her, so she took 2 panadol and threw up 10 minutes later. She continued to vomit greeny-yellow liquid every half hour or so all night. Had continual, intense upper central stomach pain only alleviated immediately after vomiting. Could not hold any water down. Stemetil didn't stay down. Zofran didn't work. No diarrhea.

Sunday morning phoned Nurse on Call as we were reluctant to go to hospital because of corona virus and immunosupression. Nurse said we should see a GP.
Doctor Doctor GP came to our house around 3pm. He poked her lower abdomen and said it was most likely appendicitis and to go to ED. He wrote a referral to speed things up. Last vomit at 4.00. Ab pain = 8.

ED was very easy. Hardly anyone there. The Covid19s are sent elsewhere.

Canula inserted, bloods taken, ondansitron, iv fluids and admitted to children's hospital. Panadol after nausea subsided. Nil by mouth until surgeons saw her.

Surgeons wanted to wait until after ultrasound before doing anything. Ultrasound not available until Monday. Bloods show CRP 9. Temp about 37.

Mon 12.30pm ultrasound- couldn't locate appendix but did find nearby area of fluid. All organs appeared normal. Surgeons now want to handball to Gastro team.

Monday night - allowed to eat and drink. Had roast chiccken which stayed down.

Gastro team arrived Tuesday 9.30 am. It could be Crohn's flare or walled perforation. They want more imaging. CT was suggested but mid afternoon decided MRE is better. Now we are waiting for tomorrow to come...

Meanwhile, the abdom pain is still constant but tolerable (about 5) and the temp hovers around mid 37.

My Dr Google research points to ruptured appendix which has been walled off. The rupture probably occured Sunday night. Methotrexate & Infliximab have masked/dampened usual immune response.

Of course it might be Covid19?

my little penguin

Staff member
Hugs btdt more than once of is it appendix or crohns with Ds - always tough
For him later determined to be crohns flare Both times
We were told appendix that’s inflamed is hard to miss on ultrasound but non inflamed appendix is very hard to find
he has had multiple MRE s after that incidents and thickening was found at the TI which explains the issues

good luck with the MRE
Hope you get answers soon


Well-known member
What a dramatic turn of events. So sorry you are having to deal with all this.
My niece had a ruptured appendix and this sounds very similar but with Crohn’s you never know. If it were a Crohn’s flare/obstruction I wouldn’t expect it to get better like that but I don’t have any experience with obstructions so really don’t know.
Poor girl, I hope she gets answers and relief soon. Are you with her?
We've been there too. My daughter's turned out to be an obstruction which resolved itself after a couple of days in the hospital.

She presented very similar to your daughter, vomiting green liquid every 10 or 15 minutes all night. At the ED, doctors suspected appendicitis or obstruction. They did a CT scan, but it didn't give them any answers. I just looked back at the report, and they saw "free fluid, edema, and inflammatory stranding" surrounding both her intestines and her appendix. They sent her to the children's hospital, where she was given pain and nausea meds and allowed nothing by mouth for a couple of days until the obstruction spontaneously cleared and she felt immediately better.

I hope you get answers soon, and that your daughter starts feeling better. I know this is a particularly hard time to have to be in the hospital.
The MRE was ok but inconclusive. They think it rules out appendicitis. The fluid collection is clear, not pus, and described as small. The suggestion is that her illness was caused by an unknown virus. They didn't test for any viruses.

Plus side is that the Crohns inflammation is reduced compared to the previous scan in December. But still not gone.

A new complication is that when I woke up yesterday I had developed a head cold. Given that I have only been in the hospital it is a worry...I decided to get tested for COVID19 so now i am quarantined until I get a result.

I think she will be discharged today but I'm not sure if she should come home. Hopefully my result will be processed soon.
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Did they test her for Covid? Glad you got tested. Is there a way to quarantine yourself in the house? A comfortable basement with a bathroom? master bedroom with it's own bathroom? When I was sick, we apparently did an excellent job quarantining me because no one else in my family got it. I stayed in the master bedroom and they dropped my food on paper plates outside my door. After they were gone, I opened the door, grabbed my plate, ate and there the plate and disposable cutlery in the garbage in my room. It was weird but it worked....or they all got a much more mild case of whatever I had. I wasn't tested because it was so early in the outbreak, my health center didn't have tests but I was negative for flu.
Good news. Ali came back home yesterday. Diagnosis is unknown virus. She still has a little pain and nausea but being home is helping with everything. Also my covid19 test was negative.
It's been 1 year since Ali has been on weekly Methotrexate and 8-weekly infusions of Infliximab. It seems to be working. She only occasionally feels a stab of pain and her energy levels seem normal. The bloods are normal, iron levels ok, etc, although the doctors don't tend to share this info with us much. The next colonoscopy will tell us more.

She is now eagerly waiting for her Year 12 results and hopefully an offer to study Biomedicine.
Just over 3 more years have passed since I last posted here. Ali still has Crohns but it is under control. She stopped the Methotrexate 2 years ago and continued with the infusions. One year ago she transitioned to fortnightly DIY jabs of Infliximab which are far more convenient. A recent ultrasound showed 5cm inflammation at the terminal ilium and 80cm of healed small intestine. So not gone, but way better.

She completed her undergrad in Biomedicine and is about to start an Honours research project in Immunology focussing on T-cells and autoimmune disease, including Crohns.
Just over 3 more years have passed since I last posted here. Ali still has Crohns but it is under control. She stopped the Methotrexate 2 years ago and continued with the infusions. One year ago she transitioned to fortnightly DIY jabs of Infliximab which are far more convenient. A recent ultrasound showed 5cm inflammation at the terminal ilium and 80cm of healed small intestine. So not gone, but way better.

She completed her undergrad in Biomedicine and is about to start an Honours research project in Immunology focussing on T-cells and autoimmune disease, including Crohns.
So glad to hear! Thank You for the update!