When I got diagnosed with Crohn’s disease I had been suffering with what I had thought was a severe Endometriosis flare up. For a year I had severe abdominal pain, bowel issues, fatigue and stomach problems. I got diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in December 2018 following a weeks stay in hospital. I was severely unwell and am still in the process of getting into remission. My symptoms come and go for both conditions depending on what time of the month it is, what I eat, if I am stressed or tired. What is guaranteed each month is that when my period comes all hell breaks loose and my symptoms from both go crazy.
I’m currently laying in bed it’s 1am and my period started earlier on today, I’m waiting for my second dose in 3 hours of oramorph to kick in and I am in 8/10 pain. My pelvis is on fire and the top of my lower abdomen just below my belly button is cramping beyond belief. I have a constant feeling off needing to go to the bathroom and have shooting pains in that area. I’m nauseous but starving and my whole body aches like I’ve done a hard workout at the gym. Today is the standard for the first day and unless by a miracle the rest of the week has magically changed from the last year will follow with; the same pain for 3 more days, nausea, headaches, excessive bowel movements and sometimes blood in my poop. On top of it all my periods are super heavy and tampons are very painful so I have the luxury of just feeling gross the whole time as well as bloating like I’m 6 months pregnant and getting acne like a teenager. I know some of the above is applicable to any period but the combination is a complete bitch!
I understand why the endometriosis pain is bad as this is one of the main symptoms but I’m still learning why my Crohn’s goes crazy as well. Endometriosis is an inflammatory disease so I think that the inflammation there makes my Crohn’s more active as well. All I know is that each month I get mini flare ups and it makes me so worried as 2 of these mini flare ups are what drove me to go to a&e last year with one of them being when I was admitted for a week.
I can not take ibuprofen or codeine because of the Crohn’s disease and I’m allergic to paracetamol. I hate taking oramorph as it’s such a strong medication but I feel like I have no choice, the pain is that severe. Using a heat pad on my back and a hot water bottle on my stomach is a complete necessity and I’ve even got toasted skin on my stomach from using a hot water bottle too much before.
There really isn’t much information about having both conditions and how it can be helped. I’m hoping if I get my Crohn’s into remission it will improve but even that is looking like I will need to go onto a strong medication with more side effects. At the moment I find it very difficult to function on the first and second day of my period so need to find a solution as work and living my life is just not great on these days, I’m usually dosed up in pain relief and just consumed by the symptoms.
My periods are regular within about 2-3 days but this doesn’t make it any better, I still feel really unprepared and the pain does not get any easier each month. I am lucky in that my mental health isn’t too bad, I do feel a bit down in the week or so before but I did used to get a lot of anxiety which has been ok for the last couple of months. What is suffering right now is my sleep and lack of it, I am sure it’s all down to prednisolone as this causes insomnia but it’s just not ideal right now when I just need to sleep the pain away.
If you are like me and have both Crohn’s and Endometriosis please comment below or message me on one of my social media accounts. The 2 together are a shit show of sometimes embarrassing and painful symptoms and I’d love to speak to others in the same boat as me. Also if you have Crohn’s and also find it is worse during your period please let me know as well.
Thanks for reading!