I had much higher hopes for contributing to my blog this summer. Unfortunately, my wife has had some health issues, and my focus this summer has been on my family and getting her healthy. I don't typically like to put my personal stuff out on the blogosphere, but this is important enough to share. If you're interested, read on. Otherwise, I hope to get some more content out in the near future.
My wife Dee Dee suffers from Crohn's disease. She was diagnosed almost 13 years ago. This year has been our biggest challenge yet. She started with the first signs of a flareup this spring. By June, she was in the midst of a major flare affecting both her knee and abdomen. She had her first surgery in late June, where she had a major resection. She had over a foot of her intestines removed. I didn't fully comprehend the severity of the situation until one of the physicians at the hospital made a comment that her surgeon had saved her life.
A few short weeks later, Dee Dee had her second surgery, this time on her knee. She had a torn meniscus that needed repair, in addition to damaged cartilage in her knee joint. Although Crohn's is often considered a disease of the GI tract, it is an autoimmune disease that can affect other areas of the body. Much like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's can attack the joints as well.
As if the pain of the symptoms and surgeries weren't enough, Dee Dee has had a slow, complicated recovery. Because of various complications, her initial hospital stay was more than double the average length of time for the type of surgery she had. Her recovery for her abdominal surgery has had a few setbacks, and the recovery from her knee surgery has been hampered because she is still recovering from her abdominal surgery.
On top of everything else my wife is dealing with, this Crohn's flare has had a huge impact on our family. Instead of taking my 4-year old son to swim class, the zoo, outdoor walks, and all our other normal summer fun, he has been in daycare most of the summer while we take Dee Dee to doctor's appointments and physical therapy. Dee Dee hasn't been able to pick up our son for 3 months now. And she has had to deal with the fear that she might not have a job to return to if her recovery takes too long.
Thankfully, my wife has been cleared to return to work this week. And even more importantly, she wiill be able to attend this year's Take Steps walk on September 20th.
Please consider donating to the Take Steps walk. It is my hope that the research funded by the CCFA will one day find a cure for my wife, and everyone else suffering from this horrible disease.