Crohn's story

From: Christine M. Smith (
Tue Jun 15 05:22:37 1999

I mentioned in a post last night about Crohn's disease and I had a story to tell about it, so I will do that now, now that I am bright eyed and bushey tailed!

When my abdominal problem first started my gyn said that active endo in a 48 year old woman, while not impossible, would certainly be a "medical curiousity." He said a back problem, or GI problem, would be much more likely. He insisted on a GI consult before proceeding with the lap, (I now wish he had also insisted on an ortho consult) to rule out diverticulitis especially, but also Crohn's disease. WHAT? I have no diarrhea! How can I have Crohn's?

So I saw the GI doc who pushed around on my belly and said "Na, doesn't feel like Crohn's". He ordered a colonosocpy to rule out diverticulitis and also check for crohn's by peeking into the terminal ileum, the most common location for Crohn's to occur.

So I had the colonoscopy, no diverticulitis or Crohn's.

Not too long after that a woman (50 yrs old) was admitted to the floor of the hospital I work on, came into the ER one Sunday afternoon after 6 months of abdominal pain she just couldn't stand anymore. No bowel symptoms at all-no nausea, vomiting, cramping, diarrhea, constipation, whatever. Just pain. They did all the routine tests, all negative, EXCEPT the only thing she did have was a positive stool occult blood. (I'm sure this is why they admitted her because I'm sure they would have referred her to her doctor if her only complaint was chronic abdominal pain for 6 months!) I read the doctor's notes and they were sure this woman had a malignancy somewhere in her GI tract. They did a CT Scan and what do you know-chrohn's of the jejunem!!!! This would not have shown up on a colonoscopy because they can't look that far up the small intestine. One of those "unusual presentations" doctors marvel at. I think one problem with going to specialists is that they see so many bad cases of their specialty that the mild cases, or unusual presentations, can slip by. They seem to think, you should see what some people have. What are you complaining about?

So, with arthritis symptoms and abdominal pain, crohn's is a consideration, even without bowel symptoms, however it is unusual.

Chris S.

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