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Diagnosed at 27 - Life Changing

Dear Friends,

So I'm very new to any kind of forum let alone this one, but I thought it would be healthy and fun to meet like minded people out there.

I'm half South African, half Scottish but I was schooled in England. I decided to leave home and the UK and head over to Spain at the age of 18. I studied Spanish and got myself settled there. Then at the age of 23 I decided to move to China as I had already been studying mandarin for a while and it seemed like a natural move.

While in China, towards the end of 2011 I started losing wait, getting extreme abdominal pain and diarrhoea (never know how to spell that). Things were accentuated by having a slightly sociopathic girlfriend that may well have triggered it all. I went from a healthy 88k to 69k.

I went to the local hospital in the small chinese town where I was living and they said I was in bad way, my CRP levels were way over 200. I decided I needed to take drastic action, so two days later I was on a 13 hour flight back to the UK. I was almost immediately taken to hospital....where, after quarantining me to make sure I didn't have any weird tropical diseases, they finally diagnosed me with Crohn's.

16 hospital stays, 2 operations and an illeostomy later I'm still here and still grooving. Life i must say has been a little hard as I live in London and I don't have a support network here at all....so getting sorted has been tough. I have also realised how fragile the human psyche can be. I was always very active, surfed a lot, played in a band, travelled and always had a decent job...so the change has been difficult, but I know it's only temporary and things are getting better, slowly but nonetheless better.

So that's pretty much it. I hope I didn't waffle on too much. Much love to all you fellow sufferers out there. Stay strong, stay happy and above all stay COOL.




Hi Zack! Welcome aboard!

Things really seem to have evolved quickly with your condition. Past two years must have been quite rollercoasterish!. Did you get your stoma surgery recently? Are you finding it brings you relief so far?

As you said, the change as been difficult but it's only temporary! Hang on to that. I've never had much of the before and after life when it comes to having a surgery and all as I got it while I was still a teenager but I can tell you that pretty much everything is possible afterward. Once your body and your mind gets the chance to be healthy again, it is possible to lead a full happy life with all the actions you want to be part of it.

I hope things continues getting better and that the difficulties are back behind for you!