Back in February I had my first ever colonoscopy and whilst it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be the results we both good and bad. They were good as it confirmed my diagnosis of Crohn’s disease (Honestly I have always been an overachiever but I have never passed so many tests 100%) but the results were also bad because it showed that even after nearly 10 weeks on prednisolone my bowel was still angry and inflamed.
After a discussion with my consultant they decided the best course of action would be to put me onto Azathioprine. Azathioprine is one of those drugs which comes with a list of side effects so bad you may lose a few days or weeks sleep. After a few weeks of panic and reading way too many stories of people projectile vomiting after 3 days on it I decided to put on my grown up hat and just start taking it.
So firstly the side effects! Luckily I haven’t projectile vomited so far and other than some heartburn and indigestion (the irony!) if I don’t eat a big enough snack when I take them I have been pretty good stomach wise. Another big one for me was hair loss, I have noticed that I am losing quite a bit of hair but I don’t know if its because of the Azathioprine or because I wasn’t aware of how much hair I was losing previously. My hair did go really dry but this also could be put down to wanting to be blonde all of the time when I wasn’t even blond as a baby… I was born with dark brown hair. I had a recent hair cut into a jaw length bob and my hair feels great again.
The biggest side effect of all and I am almost feeling superstitious just typing it, is that I feel better!!! My bowel movements are totally normal, I have not taken any painkillers other than for my period which Azathioprine unfortunately does not help, I have a lot of energy and my joint pain and nausea has all but disappeared. I am bloody delighted, I spent some time today reading some of my old blog posts and I feel like a different person. I have not had another colonoscopy to confirm if I am in fact in remission but I genuinely do not feel like I have any active Crohn’s symptoms.
I am not going to go into too much detail on this post about it but I have also made some really exciting diet changes which I think in combination with the Azathioprine have taken me into feeling even better. I will write about my diet changes in a future post as this is still fairly new but I honestly feel really happy.
I want to carry on writing on my blog but feel like since I am feeling so good I will explore different topics and areas of my life and thoughts. Its so easy to get caught up in always thinking about being ill until you no longer feel ill. I remember about 4-5 weeks ago where I went about 3 days without even thinking about my illness and I was like holy shit I am actually getting better.
New medications can be scary and with a lot of the IBD ones they come with some pretty bad warnings and side effects. It really comes down to weighing up whether you think its worth the risk of taking them if they can give you your life back and I can honestly say it was worth the risk for me. I am still only 2 months into taking Azathioprine but if anyone who comes across this post has any questions please message me. I find a lot of people are really quick to share their bad experiences on social media and on forums but if the drugs were really that bad then Dr’s would not prescribe them.
Thanks for reading!