Hello and welcome, here on this page you can get to know a little bit more about myself and all the illnesses I suffer with. My name is Gemma Louise, 24 years young from Birmingham, UK. I suffer with the following illnesses Crohn’s Disease, Peri-Anal Disease, Arthritis, PTSD, Severe Depression and Anxiety.
I wish i could say I am your average 23 year old but i’m not I am far from it. Unfortunately due to my illnesses I am now severely disabled and have no quality of life, however I am hopeful that with my operations and treatments to come I could be on the road to a better quality of life starting in 2017. I had an amazing child hood I cant fault it one bit me and my brothers were very spoilt but we was also taught discipline and respect which I am grateful for, my parents have turned me into the wonderful self respecting nice kind caring women I am today. My life started to go downhill coming into my teenage years I was constantly ill in pain and depressed I ended up being diagnosed with many illnesses which is a daily struggle for me now. I am going to tell you all about my illnesses and how they affect me.
Crohn’s Disease – Diagnosed in 2009
I had symptoms of Crohn’s for years but they could not find it in my blood so they put it down to IBS. My mother and her brother also suffer with crohn’s they was diagnosed at a young age too resulting in them both having a lot of there bowels removed. This is how i knew I had crohn’s as I have watched my mother suffer for years with this disgusting horrible life threatening long term disease. Since being diagnosed I have had many problems it led me to have peri-anal disease and arthritis as well as anxiety. My crohns affects me in many ways I have ulcers form from the tip of my tongue all through my digestive tract right through to the back passage. (OUCH SOUNDS PAINFUL I KNOW!) This affects my ability to eat and drink at times as when my ulcers are flared I struggle to swallow its truly horrible sometimes ive sat there staring at a beautiful sunday dinner thinking mmm looks amazing im going to clear this plate… but as I put it in my mouth my body rejects it. I cant chew or swallow, this made me sit there crying a few times staring at my food like I want to eat it so bad but my body just wont let me, it was and can be so traumatizing and frustrating. Also due to the inflammation of the bowels it causes me a lot of pain as my stomach swells up making me look around 4 months pregnant, you can feel my bowels when you touch my stomach they are that inflamed. I suffer bad with constipation most of the time I am curled up in a ball crying from the pain, I really hate constipation it hurts so much! When I use the toilet I have to have a tap running to splash water on me to cool me down as I can pass out. Other times I have loose stools and i literally cant control it I have had to wear adult nappies. (EMBARRASSING RIGHT?!)
Peri-Anal Disease – Diagnosed in 2009
I was diagnosed in 2009 when an abscess in my bum almost killed me. I went to my GP as I had a huge golf ball like lump on my left bum cheek near the anal opening. He told me not to worry and sent me home with cream and said it was just a large spot. I was frustrated as I knew it wasn’t a spot but was to ill to argue with him. However a few days later my mom had to take me back down there, I was still dressed in my pj’s!! I felt like I was going to die I felt so weak and sick, I couldn’t walk, speak , drink or eat I had to go in an ambulance from the doctors. I was rushed straight to theater when I came round from the op I was told: ”If you would of been another 5 minutes, you would of died and we wouldn’t of been able to do nothing. The abscess had burst inside you, causing poison to leak through your body it was a close call.” It was indeed an abscess! So my GP nearly killed me failing to treat me correctly. I had to have a district nurse out for a week as i had packing in place to heal the wound as it was 5 cm deep! It was so painful. Since then I have been prone to constant abscesses that developed into anal fistulas (THE NO1 KILLER OF ANALRECTOL DISEASE) You can read about it here: ANAL FISTULA: THE NO1 KILLER OF ANALRECTOL DISEASES
I have had many surgeries on my bum which now affects me terribly. I currently have three setons in place. A seton is a surgical piece of thread that drains pus from my anal tract basically helping keep me alive. But as the pus constantly leaks down onto my skin it has become so sore and blistered it is now eroding my skin I find it very difficult to walk or even move slightly. I haven’t been able to sit down properly since my first abscess in 2009 I have to lie on my side. My fiance has to change my dressings and clean me around three times a day during this process all I do is cry and bite onto the sofa as it is that painful! I hate having it done but I need to to keep infections to a minimum.
Arthritis – Diagnosed in 2016
I have recently been suffering such agonising pain in my bones and joints. I suffer severe back pain as my spine tends to curve I suffer with bad knees they hurt any time they are knocked sometimes my right knee will lock and i will be in a lot of pain. The bones and joints in my feet and ankle really hurt so when i stand on them it feels like i am going to snap them at times also I have been suffering pain with my wrists especially my right one it just seizes up and I can not move it all I have been unable to open crisps packets or bottles for ages but now i can no longer hold a kettle full of water or even a cup of tea without feeling discomfort and pain.
PTSD – Diagnosed 2015
I was diagnosed with PTSD because i was suffering terribly with the violence that I had been through in my life. My main trigger was my ex partner I was in a very bad abusive relationship for 6 years. You can laugh and say if you stayed that long it couldn’t of been bad, well little did people know many times i tried to escape many times i begged him to leave but he wouldn’t I was trapped. I tried to do everything I could for him it was like beauty and the beast no matter how much of the monster i seen i always seen good in him and forgave him. On many occasions he almost took my life by strangling me till i was almost out, luckily i have long nails so i managed to claw at his neck to get him to release me. Other times he would have me cowarded down under kitchen counters or in corners or on the floor screaming for him to stop crying begging him I could never stop him sometimes this lasted for hours ive tried to jump through windows his tore my clothing pulling me back inside. He has punched me slapped me kicked me in the lady parts and worst of all he beat me whilst pregnant on many occasions resulting in many miscarriages he kicked me in my arse just after an operation on it and left me on the floor screaming in agony he has tried to stab me booted me in my chest taking all my breath away the list truly goes on. The worst part of this all was i never once deserved anything this man did to me. I obeyed him i never did him a wrong in any way i always stayed in like a good girl i did everything he asked but he just abused me i could go on for ages and tell you many stories but maybe i will save that for my book I wish to write. Any how because of all this when I split up with him and got with a man who made me see my self worth i realized how terrible the life i was in and how i was still alive is astonishing i started getting very bad flashbacks and nightmares of what he did to me it affected me and my ability to trust men sexually and emotionally but my prince charming got me through it. I still suffer with the trauma i went through but hopefully one day i can cope again.