Last I left you, I had just been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in the ER and referred to a specialist. So, let’s continue on my journey of discovery of what this diagnosis means.
Going to the specialist for the first time was an interesting trip. I sat, somewhat nervously, in the waiting room waiting for my turn. I was called, and was shown to one of the exam rooms. Then, more waiting, patiently for the doctor to arrive. I brought my mom with me, knowing that I wouldn’t catch everything that was said, and I didn’t want to miss anything. The doctor finally arrived, and I was shocked from the beginning. Here stood a doctor that had to be in his mid 40s at his oldest and I was expecting someone in their 60-70s. Not that I say anything wrong or was put off by having a doctor so young, it just surprised me.
He introduced himself, and we got along really well right from the start. It’s one of the things I have learned through my experiences is that you not only have to be able to trust your doctor, but be able to get along. After the quick introductory conversation, he started into the important information, what is Crohn’s and what I was going to do. The first thing I learned is that they don’t know what causes it, so there is no set cure/solution. Only treatments that help alleviate the pain and discomfort. There were many different options, but I was going to start off with the lightest to see how my body would react. Then, we talked about my medical history, and some basic body scans. This is where is got interesting. He wanted to do an anal scan which involved a “bend and cough”. It was a bit uncomfortable, but didn’t take long to be over. Then, I left the office with my new prescription and a bit of a waddle. My mom asked me if I was alright which to my reply was “Now I know I’m not cut out to stand on street corners”.
Now at home for a few days, I started to research on my own what Crohn’s was. As I said, they don’t know what exactly causes Crohn’s, but there are many theories to what does. One thought is that it is the increase in processed foods such as fast food, and frozen dinners. This made sense to me seeing that a lot of it includes man-made fillers and chemicals in higher levels that really don’t belong in the body. With this new information, I moved onto finding out how to change my diet to make it easier on my body. Just like anything else though, what I react to may not be the same as what someone else reacts to. I had to personalise this diet to my own reactions. Reading on some of the diets online though, most of them stated that foods such as leafy greens, peas, corn, apples, and eggs were foods that didn’t help because they were hard on the system, or caused excess gas. After creating a list of what I could eat, what was I left with? The processed foods of course. Life is evil bitch sometimes.
I Swear I Don’t Have A Drug Issue
Now done with the diet research somewhat, I could move onto the drugs. Oh, how they can pillage your sanity. I went to pick up my prescription from the pharmacy only to so white with fear. Sticker shock had set in. It turned out that my pills were going to cost me around $300/month. Having no drug plan, this was a lot of money, but it was still doable. I went back home and started to look into my options for assistance from government programs. Let the red tape games begin. I found out about Trillium, the Ontario Government’s drug assistance program. I looked through the application and it said that I had to include my mom’s income because I was still at home. I found this odd, because I was paying rent to her, and bringing in my own income. Essentially being completely independent. I still sent it in, and looked into other assistance programs. I found out that I could get help from a municipal program as well. I applied, but because I had taken OSAP for my college courses, they saw me as an independent, so the money I was going to receive from them was not going to match the provincial program. What was the gap? $900/quarter, or $300/month. So, here I sat back at square one, not really getting any assistance. I say this, but I am certainly not complaining. I consider myself extremely lucky that I live in such a great country such as Canada that provides free basic healthcare for all it’s citizens and social assistance programs to help when that isn’t enough. There are many, even the industrialized world, that are not as lucky.
Till Next Time…
I shall not bore you anymore for now. You must have many other things to do other than read all this. Stay in touch, and I shall continue this story another day.