IRONMAN MAINE, HERE WE COME!
Hello Friends and Family and anybody else who may be visiting my page!!
My name is Brooke Hayden and I am running a Half Ironman to help find a cure for Crohn’s and Colitis! This disease is a real pain in the ass, and I mean that both literally and figuratively. I recently was hospitalized for 33 days due to complications from Crohn’s and the current medicine that we have available for treatment. Here is a small peek into what a Crohn’s flair for me looked like, and you will be able to see why I am so determined to find a way to abolish this disease.
My flair started while I was on a hike in the Grand Tetons. It seemed innocent enough; a little stomach pain and some vomiting at the top of the mountain, I wrote it off to altitude and carried on with my trip. I got back to Denver, and the vomiting started to get worse, along with the stomach pain. At this point, I started to worry that it could be my Crohn’s acting up, but I had to tough it out because I was doing my very first Triathlon within the next 3 days. Everything got worse as I got back to San Diego, and I could not keep down any food besides rice, but I am stubborn and I was going to complete my Triathlon even if everyone around me told me it was a bad idea. Well, thanks to my amazing Team Challenge Family, I was able to complete my Tri and I went on with my business, even if my body was quite angry. This pain and rice eating and vomiting lasted throughout the week, and I knew I was pretty sick, but I decided to complete another Triathlon the following Sunday. This was the final nail in my Crohn’s coffin, I should have definitely gone to the hospital days before.
So, the next day after my Tri, my body started to really rebel. The vomiting turned into horrid pain, pain that was so bad I couldn’t pick myself up off the floor in my living room. I got in a Lyft over to the VA, assuming they’d give me some pain meds and steroids, and they would send me home. After being in the ER for a few hours, they told me I was being admitted for further exploration of what could be wrong with me. I started to not be able to keep down liquids at this point so I was living off of an IV bag for almost a week before they decided it was time to give me a feeding tube. Sadly, the feeding tube aggravated my stomach so bad that it caused my body to completely go into starvation mode. This was coupled with a Crohn’s medication called 6mp, which decided it was going to try and shut down my liver while the rest of my body was on the fritz. At one point, my heart rate dropped to 30 beats per minute, I could hardly speak, my liver enzymes were through the roof, my kidneys weren’t processing anything correctly, I was not doing well. The doctors decided it was time to start TPN. TPN is a form of feeding which is done through a PICC line. A PICC line goes through a big vein, directly into your heart. So, I was starting to get calories again through this thick tube that went into my heart. They initially messed up the PICC Line though, so it was rubbing up against the wall of my heart and sending me into VTACH every single time I moved. It was absolutely terrifying.
This all ended up getting resolved, but it took the doctors over a month to even admit to me that this was indeed a Crohn’s flair. They wanted to diagnose it as anything other than that because Crohn’s varies so much with different patients. I personally am not a textbook Crohnsie, I have odd symptoms and odd test results but when given treatments to help fix Crohn’s I get better. It has taken a few weeks to start to feel normal again after the hospital, but I am finally getting there. Now I plan to join the elite ranks of those who have completed a 70.3, and I want to raise the heck out of some money to find a cure for this beast of a disease. If you need help in figuring out how much to donate, I have some fun numbers that may encourage you a little :D
You could donate:
13.1$ - For the run of a 70.3!
33$ - For the number of days I was in the hospital battling this current flair.
56$ - For the bike portion of a 70.3!!
70.3$ - For the number of miles I am going to cover in my Half Ironman
Honestly, any amount that you are willing to give will help immensely. I am just honored that I get to do my part in finding a cure and bringing awareness to this disease which affects so many people! THANK YOU!!!!
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