About

My name is Damion, and I’ve always had a cranky gut.  For as long as I can remember, digestion was just different for me than it seemed to be for everyone else.  As a child, it was excruciatingly painful.  I had lots of crampy pain and lots of diarrhea.  But the older I got, the less severe it became.  Eventually, it was manageable enough that by the time I had health insurance, I no longer felt compelled to do anything about it… it was just part of being me.  I’d spend days or weeks being constipated followed by days or weeks of diarrhea.

“Eat more fiber!”, they said.  Didn’t change a thing.  “Take magnesium supplements!”, they said.  Didn’t change a thing.  Do this, do that… none of the conventional wisdom seemed to apply.  It wasn’t really *THAT* problematic, so I just lived with it.

On July 19th, 2011, everything changed.  I’d been feeling generally crappy on the 18th… feverish, achy, flu-like.  By early evening, I was starting to get worried about a growing pain in my gut.  Specifically, the lower right quadrant.   I was worried because this didn’t feel like any sort of gut pain I was familiar with (and believe you me, I am familiar with gut pain!).  It was incredibly responsive to pressure.  By the morning of the 19th, I was pretty certain I had appendicitis.  Off to the ER I went.  A CT scan confirmed it.  “Congratulations!”, the Dr. said, “You’ll be staying with us tonight.  You’ve just won yourself an appendectomy!”.

The surprise came after I woke up from what was supposed to be a quick laparoscopic procedure.  The surgeon informed me that they had to cut me wide open because what they found was not an inflamed appendix, but a softball-sized mass of inflamed intestine!  Rather than an appendectomy, I’d been given a bowel resection, including ileectomy.  In total, I’d lost 2 feet of my gut, 18 inches of which was colon.

The lab report came back a couple days later.  Crohn’s Disease.  Excuse me??  I know people with Crohn’s Disease.  I know the kind of suffering they experience on a daily basis.  That’s not me.  But there could be no doubt.  The pathology was clear.  I have Crohn’s.

This blog is the story of my learning about Crohn’s and integrating this into my life.

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30 thoughts on “About”

  1. Interesting…I wonder how many people with Crohn’s are misdiagnosed as appendicitis. My daughter had hers out at age 12 and was later diagnosed with appendicitis. My bet is that was Crohn’s. Glad you found SCD…hope it leads to complete healing for you!

    • That’s a really good question, Rebecca. When I was being prepped for my surgery, my surgeon said that in about 5% of appendectomies (normally a laparoscopic procedure), he ended up having to cut the patient open. He didn’t mention the reasons *why* that might happen.

      How’s your daughter doing now? Has she received a Crohn’s diagnosis? How is she managing her gut health, and is it successful for her?

      thanks for stopping by!
      Damion

    • My adpenpix Burst this summer….and it was extremely painful….so painful i almost had a stroke! be careful if you start throwing up, or feeling nausea go to the hospital immediately. When it bursts it gets quite complicated I was in the hospital for a month and had to have a tube inserted in my arms connected to my heart to get medication!!! couldnt exercise for 4 months!! be very careful!!!!!

  2. I have a friend who was on holiday in Turkey when he was struck down by appendicitis. He had the appendix removed and being a muslim country, they believe that you should be buried whole and therefore gave him his appendix back in a jar! Somehow, he got this though customs and bought it home with him. I believe it made an interesting ornament for a few months. Anyway, sometime later the appendix pain came back. Pretty impressive considering it had already been whipped out. He went into hospital again, had more surgery and they were querying Crohn’s this time. He mentioned about the appendix and that he still had it in a jar. The surgeons were apparently delighted by this and asked him to bring it in. The appendix-in-a-jar was passed to pathology and bingo, this allowed them to confirm the Crohn’s diagnosis. Possibly not a story for a dinner party but I thought I’d share it here! Hope it’s of interest to you both.

    Rebecca, I hope that your Daughter is well now and Damion, I hope that you are going from strength to strength following your recent surgery

    BumTumBride xx

    • Wow… what a great story! I was really peeved with my surgeon that, not only did he not show me the parts he removed (After all, my mechanic does this when he works on my car!), but he didn’t even take any pictures I could look at! Grrrr! I would *REALLY* like to know what my inflamed tissue looked like. I didn’t mention it in the article above, but they tell me that the inflammation was so great that they never could find the appendix they had originally gone in to take out. It had been completely absorbed by a “softball-sized mass” of tissue. It sounds fascinating. AND THERE ARE NO PICTURES!

      • Damion, you could be telling my story! I have had a sensitive stomach from my teens until present. I am now 51. This past year I was hospitalized with an intestinal blockage which the doctor said was scar tissue. I stayed in the hospital for 4 days on a NG tube. Awful. Two months later I was back in the emergency room with the same symptoms. I was taken in for emergency surgery to deal with scar tissue. Well,when I woke up they told me I had a softball size mass of inflamed intestine and a fistula. The removed 10 or so inches of small and large intestine including my ileum. My surgeon asked me if I had my appendix. He couldn’t find it. When the pathology came back they said it was in the mass. My diagnosis is Crohns disease. My surgeon did take a picture with his cell phone and was excited to show me, but then couldn’t find it on his phone. Ugh!!! I really wanted to see it! As I mentioned, I have always had stomach issues but just dealt with it. I haven ‘t had the typical symptoms I read about with Crohns. Mostly, just bloating after eating, occasional cramping. Rarely D but probably Constipation. Although I have always been regular. I did some research online and came across the SCD diet. I have been following the diet and feel mostly good. Periodically I do still get bloating and stomach cramps. I went to a GI doctor and he wanted me to go on remicade. I don’t really want to do that. It doesn’t really make good sense to me. So
        for now I am just following the diet and trying to read as much as I can to educate myself about this disease. I am so thankful so many people have shared their successes with Diet and alternative options. When I start to have doubts about my choices, it reassures me to read about other people’s experiences. Thanks for sharing!

        • Thanks for your comments, Lori! It’s nice to know that there are others out there with ‘sniper Crohn’s’! I agree with you that Remicade seems like a bit of a ‘nuclear option’ for a disease that is causing you occasional bloating and cramps. I mean, if you need the big guns, then you need them, but I know that for me, I’d have to be pretty damn sick before going that route. Have you looked into LDN? I’ve been getting a lot of benefit from it.

          Anyway, glad to hear that SCD is treating you well!

  3. Hello Damion,

    Just wanted you to know that I think your website is wonderful! I just posted a link to Cranky Gut on bethsblog. Thanks for linking to my site.

    My daughter has Crohn’s and has had fantastic success controlling her symptoms with the SCD.

    I recently published an SCD cookbook. Endorsed by Elaine Gottschall’s daughter, Judy Herrod; Raman Prasad from scdrecipe.com; and Lucy Rosset from Lucy’s Kitchen Store; “Turtle Soup: Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet TM from an SCD Mom” is available print-on-demand from Lulu Press.

    I’d love it it you’d consider mentioning my book on your site.

    Thanks so much and bon appetit!

    Beth Spencer

    http://bethsblog.typepad.com/bethsblog/turtle-soup-resources-for-the-specific-carbohydrate-diet.html

    http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/turtle-soup-recipes-for-the-specific-carbohydrate-diet-from-an-scd-mom/18553850

    • Hi Beth! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words! Something I’m working on right now is gathering material for SCD-related book and product reviews. While I’ve not yet acquired a copy, your book is already in the queue! I’ll be sure and send you a heads-up when I have something to publish.

      thanks again!
      Damion

  4. Just found your site! I too went into the ER for an assumed appendicitis and found out it was not that, but Crohn’s. And I too have been just living with it as it hasn’t seemed bad enough for the extreme treatment measures that have been recommended me. …but I worry about the long haul and the potential for damaging flare ups. Plus I love my guts, I want to keep every inch of them. The SCD has been on my radar for a some time but I’m balking due to the daunting time commitment of food prep and the required diligence needed to keep on the “legal” track. I have lots of excuses. Anyway, thanks for writing about your misadventures because they may help folks like me begin to see that misadventure is adventure still instead of staying unwell.

    • Hi Denise! Thanks for stopping by, and thank you so much for your comments. Encouraging and helping others really is the primary reason I continue to write this blog, so I’m glad to hear that you find some value in it.

      SCD can seem daunting to start… there’s just no getting around how overwhelming it can feel. But like so many things in life, it’s the greatest challenges that provide the greatest reward. Thanks to the lifestyle changes I’ve made since my diagnosis (in particular, SCD and LDN), I can say without reservation that I am, and that I feel, healthier than I have ever been or felt. Ever. If you’re considering whether or not it’s worth it, then allow me to alleviate you of your uncertainty…. IT IS SO WORTH IT!!!!! Do yourself a favor and give it a 3 month trial. If you feel no better and the effort just isn’t worth it to you, then what have you lost?

      Best of luck to you!!

  5. crohnsycharldibs said:

    Thank you for the follow! I’m just having a look around your site now, consider yourself followed

  6. If you don’t mind, I’d like to add your blog to my links page. My goal is to publicize work from a variety of bloggers and help people find useful resources. I look forward to reading about your adventures!

    • Of course… I’d be honored! And it sounds like just the excuse I needed to update my own shared links (some of which are sadly out of date!). I’ll be sure to include your blog on the list!

  7. Damion,

    It is so great to stumble upon your blog! I also have Crohn’s and was fortunate to be diagnosed, almost ten years ago now, young (at age 19) before having to endure surgery as you described. I have am also on the SCD diet (six months now!). I have found the diet extremely helpful this far and just love connecting with other people who follow it. I hope we can offer each other some mutual support:)

    • Thanks so much for your comment! I’m glad you’ve been able to avoid surgery so far… it’s no fun! SCD is one powerful tool for helping to keep things in check, and I’m happy to hear that it’s working well for you.

  8. Hi I nominated you for the The Inspirational Blogger Award! here is the link http://merandaroben.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/the-inspirational-blogger-award/

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