Courtney Romero's Story
My name is Courtney and I have been battling Crohn's disease since 2014. It has been quite an undesirable journey, but the disease won't keep me down! I'm so happy to say that I feel the best I have in the two-and-a-half years I have been battling my Crohn's disease diagnosis.
As of today, I am proud to say I am currently only on ONE medication to manage the disease. But let me tell you that it has taken a long road to get here... In the last five months, I was hospitalized five times for a total of six weeks. I had my fourth colonoscopy. I had four blood transfusions. I had two abdominal drains installed in my stomach to drain an abscess for over nine weeks. I had countless CT scans and MRIs that revealed fistulas and strictures. I had a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line. I had a bowel resection during which a surgeon removed 20 inches of diseased intestine. I had an ileostomy. I had upper and lower GI series. I was on steroids, including prednisone and budesonide; diazepam for muscle spasms; muscle relaxers to slow my digestion; anti-nausea medication; antibiotics to kill the infection inside me; and two immunosuppressants, an antidepressant, and oxycodone. I switched from certolizumab pegol to infliximab to suppress my immune system. And two months ago, I had my ileostomy reversed with another small bowel resection.
I love to see what I have made it through! I feel like I could face anything. I overcame the struggle that we all fall into of pain, depression, and hopelessness by reaching out and building friendships in the Crohn's community. These relationships not only encouraged me but created wonderful friendships. It is so wonderful to have people who know what you are going through and who support you 100 percent without judgement, and know exactly what to say to make your day better. I had to change my mindset to not feel sorry for myself and let the disease win. I took up reading motivational books, coloring, crocheting, and really anything to keep my mind busy and to allow my body to heal.
I want patients to know that that whatever you are battling, if you press through it will get better! There is nothing that you are facing now that you are not strong enough to get through. You are brave. You are strong. You are a warrior!! I'm so grateful to all those who have believed in me and just know there are so many people who believe in you. Keep the faith and don't lose hope - I promise there are brighter days to come!