The diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis put me on medications, along with the usual steroids. When those ran their course , the pill-cam confirmed that it was Crohn’s Disease and attacking this was different. They decided to try Remicade, at the third dose I became allergic. So now I was not only allergic to Flagyl and Sulfur drugs but also Remicade. Humira was my next step and it actually worked very well, giving me a few years of peace and joint pain free. Eventually, it wore out its welcome and Cymzia took its place. Cymzia actually gave me the good years, from 2011 to 2013. I was able to compete in show jumping and I attended 60 shows throughout the NY, Pa and NJ area. Well, time caught up to me and my condition started changing again. They then put me on Stelara, but this was just to buy time. We all knew that my large intestines were getting worse. My next step, in April of 2014, was to see Dr Frabrizio Michelassi, head surgeon at NY Presbyterian. Doctor Michelassi was very interested in my future. I stressed to him that I “love” food and I want to continue to build my facility and ride my horses. “So be it”, he said. The entire large intestines will be removed, as the disease seems to be centralized in the large and the small is very strong. So, June of 2014, the surgery was performed. Everything went well and for the next three weeks I felt great. Then it started, I really thru them curve balls, whatever could happen, did. First, it was C-diff and with the usual round of Vanco, 21 days, because I am allergic to flagyl, this really didn’t work at all. So in the hospital I went, a few weeks of antibiotics and then the next step of Dificid for 10 days. That worked but didn’t clear it completely, so the a fecal transplant was done and finally it was gone. But, the damage was done. Fistuals and abscesses formed in the anus and I went thru four procedures of drains and setons to keep it draining. By this time, it was the beginning of December 2014 and I spent four weeks, including Christmas, in the hospital. Within that time, they felt the need to give me an Ileostomy to let the abscesses heal. I had lost 40 pounds and was completely exhausted from fighting the pain for 4 months. I thought fighting my disease was unbearable at times, but C-diff and the abscesses are the worse pain you can imagine. I came home with a pic-line and three weeks of TPN. My doctors, Home Health nurses, family and friends helped to build me back up. I was in and out of the hospital a few times with a blockage but eventually Mr. Stoma and I got used to each other. I got back on my horse at the end of April 2015 and rode in Garden State Horse Show and Lake Placid. This year 2016, I rode in Garden State Horse Show and two weeks in Lake Placid, where I was Champion for the week. Through all of this, I kept going and working. I have a large Equestrian facility, which I run 6 horse shows through the winter months and a few clinics. Even though I was sick and in pain, I still managed to run my show in November. On the farm, I have chickens, goats, alpacas, a cow cats and a peacock. I love my life and my animals and along with my doctors, friends, family and my love for food, gave me the strength and drive to keep going. Everybody’s disease and story is different, but we all have a common bond, that which we can continue to fight and find a cure for this disease. At my facility, Birchtown Stables, we run a benefit Horse Show in April every year for Crohn’s and Colitis. This was our Sixth year running and we are up to $ 35,000.00 in donation. Please keep us in mind for April of 2017 and check our website. Love to see you at the show.
Thank you for letting me share my story. God Bless each of you with good health.