Jewish Health

Carol - Interview 10

Age at interview: 66

Brief outline: After suffering severe abdominal pain and weight loss, Carol was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease aged 26. She had a major resection of her bowel and has remained largely free of Crohn's symptoms.

Background: Carol is a retired administrator and is married. Ethnic background/nationality: Jewish

Audio & video

When Carol was 26, she experienced severe abdominal pain which was followed by mouth ulcers, a back rash and intense night sweats. Over the period of several months, Carol had all sorts of tests but the doctors could find no cause. She reduced her working hours, began to lose weight and eventually ended up in bed for a week with daily morphine shots administered by her GP to manage the pain. At the end of that week, Carol was admitted to A&E where it was decided she needed exploratory surgery to establish the problem.
During the operation, it was discovered she had Crohn’s Disease and a top surgeon in that area performed a major resection of her bowel. It took Carol three or four months to recover from the operation and to resume eating properly. Over the course of six months, she had lost around three stone and felt debilitated by the surgery.
Since then, Carol has had a couple of episodes that appeared to be Crohn’s and she has been hospitalised twice. On neither occasion was Crohn’s confirmed and Carol thinks that it is a testament to the skill of the surgeon that she feels that Crohn’s has not played a role in her life for the past forty years. She experienced some arthritis in her thirties which the consultant said could be related to the Crohn’s but otherwise, has been in good health.

Carol’s grandmother and her mothers’ siblings all experienced bowel problems although none were diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.  


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