Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Health Update July 2016

I'm conscious that many kind friends (not least those on Twitter) may be be unaware of my recent health 'Good News'. As it's rather splendid to share good things from time to time, here's the FB update for those who might not have seen it! Thanks for all your support, love and prayers!

As many of you will know, about two years ago I had something called a 'Double-Balloon Dilatation'. Or rather, the procedure was tried and abandoned as the narrowed sections of my ileum showed ulcerated Crohn's rather than fibrotic Crohn's. It was stopped because it was all too dangerous.
Since then I've been on a weekly dose of Humira, as well as Methotrexate. On Friday the Dilatation was attempted again. This time, I'm glad to say, my ileum showed fibrotic Crohn's and my consultant, Dr Rob Willert, decided to go ahead and 'stretch' the bowel.
He found that the 40 cm of ileum proximal to my ileostomy was splendidly healthy. Yay!
Then there was a section of bowel - a few centimetres long - of about 7-8mm diameter ('normal' ileum = c. 30mm I think!). This has been stretched to c 15mm.
Further on Rob found what he described as a 'pinhole stricture'. Basically, I've been incredibly lucky not to have ended up with it completely blocked and in hospital. No wonder I've been in agony when eating anything other than v simple/easily digested foods.
He managed to stretch to about 7/8 mm.
The plan is for me to make return visits over the coming months with the aim of stretching these strictures further (and potentially seeing if there are any other issues higher up!).

I am profoundly grateful to the NHS. This is a service we must fight for and support. People like Rob are amazing - humble, unpretentious and brilliant. But so are the rest of his team - nurses, nursing assistants etc. Thanks for reading. Thanks for your kind messages, your love and your prayers. xxR