Thursday, July 16, 2015

Crohns Strikes Again... The Recurring Nightmare

I write this sitting in a vinyl Emergency Room chair beside my husband, who is currently hooked up to monitors and IVs laying on a stretcher. He's drifting in and out of a pain-medication-induced sleep. We've been up since around 3:00am. Brandon didn't sleep well before that either, because he was up at midnight in pain and nauseous, so its good that he can get a little reprieve from the pain now.

Mean Crohns... leave my boy alone.

Meanwhile, I've been watching the hospital's logo bounce around on a monitor and listening to the night-shift nurses switch out for the day shift while I surf the internet desperately researching what our options are. It was deja vu to walk into this ER at this hospital, because a) I used to work here and b) it feels like we were just here with Brandon. It has almost been a year since Brandon was here last and had surgery. Why, Lord, why are we back so soon?

We're currently waiting on radiology to come take Brandon back for a CT scan, and he's already had some labs and other tests done.

Our major concern at this time is that Brandon may have to have surgery again if he has another intestinal blockage. We are also very concerned that either the Humira injections are not working, or that his type of Crohn's is truly so aggressive that it can't keep up. I don't want to bore you with the details but Brandon has an aggressive type of Crohns called stricturing Crohns, which basically means that when he eats, his intestines get aggravated, and when that happens sometimes his intestines get angry and inflame - a flare - and when they get super mad at him, scar tissue forms. When the scar tissue forms, a layer is added to the inside of his intestines, making it slightly smaller in diameter. Think of it like this... say you have an empty paper towel roll and you pour thick paint on the inside every day for a year. Each time the paint is poured on the inside of the roll, a layer of paint forms, drys, and the next day another layer is added on top. Eventually, you won't have a hollow roll anymore, because the layers of paint are so thick. That's what's happening to Brandon's insides, except a little less colorful and definitely more painful.

We have more questions than answers at this time and I'll be sure to update later when we know more, but for now, please pray for my husband. This is like a nightmare to be back in this place of pain and the unknown. If you want to get specific, here's how you can pray with us:

  • That the tests would be done quickly and be conclusive
  • That his doctor or someone familiar with his case will be here today and can consult with the ED physicians
  • That his pain and nausea would be eliminated
  • That we will get answers about a solution that will work longterm (whether Humira injections or not)
  • That he won't have to have surgery, but if he does that it would be minor and quick with no complications
  • That he won't worry about missing work and that his coworkers will have a light day in his absence 
  • That I will have the time and clarity of though to get some work done while we're here
  • That our boys won't worry and that they will have a fun day (Paxton was upset this morning when he found out where mommy and daddy had to go - break my heart :( ) 
Thank you for praying with us! I hope to have a very positive update soon!

PS If anyone has any advice or experience with Crohns, we'd love to hear from you. Or if you want to leave a note of encouragement for Brandon in the comments below this post, I will read them to him when he is up to it! I know it will help him feel better! :)


  1. Brandon you are a strong man, father, husband (not necessarily in that order) and God has a wonderful plan for you as you have helped so many. Just remember there are many seasons in life and just because this is not one you wanted to face this soon you have many people praying for you and the doctors and you precious family. -Angela Canada

    1. Thank you Angela! We love you and appreciate you praying for us!

  2. Brandon, Bethany and boys, We are praying for you all, and family, my SS class, friends are also praying. I know that 'He who started a good work in you will perform it' and finish it. You belong to God first, and Bethany and the boys also belong to God who gave them to you. His love for you all will sustain you.
    We are also asking the Lord to be with those who are taking care of you down here and give them wisdom, and a miracle to make you better. Pop and Nana

    1. Thank you Pop and Nana! We love you both and know that you are praying for Brandon. We will keep you posted and we love the Godly example you set for us!

  3. Brandon and Bethany, my heart breaks for you both and all that you continue to endure. Please know that we continue to lift you both up in our prayers. I am praying that you will leave the hospital with more answers than questions and that the doctors who are treating Brandon are given God-inspired wisdom. You are both a true testament to staying strong in your faith during difficult times and I commend you and pray that God will continue to bless you both.