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I'm very grateful for what I have. After reading many of the previous stories.. i almost feel like i've been a big baby about my much less harsh symptoms. Thanks to all the previous postees for their stories.. very inspirational.

I've had a lot of trouble sharing my story with others (including my very closest friends).. so I guess this is a start... I was diagnosed with Colitis/Crohn's on Mother's Day of 2001 (talk about a great mom's day present). I had just started high school. I was a great swimmer and a very happy child. But slowly, I started to get more and more tired. Blood in your stools is not something you expect or want to talk to people about. My parents finally noticed a difference in me and took me into a family friend GI. He dismissed my problems as "boy troubles" and suggested psychiatric treatment. (I've definitely have had some hooorrible GIs during my 5 years with this disease). Anyways, after passing out at a swim meet, my parents took me into another doctor, who ran a colonoscopy and gave the vague diagnosis of crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. I was put on a large dose prednisone, which included my dad giving me an injection every night. I remember sophomore, junior, and senior years as just a blur of pain, side-effects of prednisone, and various drugs that did nothing for my once-a-month flareup. Towards the end of senior year, I started to form a fistula. Again, another horirble experience draining that with just local anesthetic about 3 days before my prom. I slightly limped through the night and was in a painkiller daze. I couldnt explain my situation to anyone. There is no pain like a fistula - its like a double whammy, its unbearable pain in a place you are not about to talk about and it is embarassing to explain the actual pain to a layperson. Well anyways, I went to college, nothing changed. I didnt eat, I lost the freshmen 15. I spent every hour of the day in bed, crying on the phone to my mother. The winter break of my freshman year, I saw a very good surgeon in Cedars Sinai, and i underwent a seton placement for the fistulas. I also started remicade. I havent felt this healthy since I was 12. It has been a very long time since i could play outside without getting winded or shop at a mall without scanning my environment for bathrooms. and all i can say is, despite all the sacrifices my crohn's/colitis has made me make, i am very grateful for what i have.


Hey man, thanks for sharing your story!
Don't belittle what you've been through...you've had quite the journey yourself! I love your attitude...instead of bitching and moaning your are greatful for what you have (not that you don't have the right to bitch and moan).

Welcome to the forum and looking forward to getting to know you better!

P.S Can we sign up for swiming lessons? I know I am rusty!


Thanks a lot for sharing that with us natator55.

Noone is hear to belittle what you went through (as we all know it is tough). It is especially hard when you cannot let anyone know what you are going through and feel all alone and helpless. I am glad that you were able to and felt comfortable sharing your story with all of us. It is absolutely great to hear that you are feeling so good now. It is also rather inspiring to hear that you are greatful for what you have.

I definately hope you continue to post some more as we would definately love to have someone like you around here!

Tami Lynn

Forum Angel

Hello natator55! Welcome to the board. I'm new here too. I was glad to read your post :)

What is your name or what should we call you (just curious)?

Don't feel bad. I think we all know people who've had it worse than we have, but when you're "going through it," I think it always feels like "the worst" (and for the individual living it, it is the worst).

Hey, just think....I really give you a lot of credit (and anyone else who had to deal with a fistula) Now that is something (thankfully) I never did have to deal with and would never want to-it sounds like it would be an awful thing to endure! Thanks for sharing.

Be well!


Mama Crohnie
Hello Natatar, welcome.
Great pleasure to meet you. I am so overwhelmed today, reading everyones story, that I don't know what to say really. It's really wonderful to hear of the strength we all have. Imagine to those of you who may know a little about me from the forums, that I am speechless...and I'm really not trying to be funny. Natator..thank you for sharing your story..such a lovely attitude you have.



Hi Natatar! I'm Ree, or Robbie if you want to be formal...lol. I'm kinda feeling like Cookey, I'm a little overwhelmed reading everybody's stories. Just want to say Welcome and I hope you come back often. I hate that you've had to deal with this all without feeling comfortable telling anyone what you're going thru. You now have a place to go where everybody knows what is happening to you and some of us know exactly what you're going thru at any given time. I have fistulas too and you're right, it's awful pain.

Thanks for coming in and telling your story! We all look forward to getting to know you better.



Natatar ... I am sure that you will make a lot of new friends here { count me in } I may not have Crohn's but my husband does and as long as there are sites like this to help us out ... I am here !! So, once again WELCOME & have a good time here ... JUMP RIGHT IN & HAVE FUN !! ;)