Crystal Finlay

If something isn't right please go check it out! I knew something wasn't right when I first noticed the symptoms at 16, 17 years old. In 2003, I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis after three years of trying to figure out why I was feeling ill. Crohn's severely affected my life, because I always based my life around the bathroom. I would only go out if I knew exactly where the bathrooms were. It played a big role in my social/love life. Some days were more difficult than others and there are times when I couldn't get out of bed from joint pain. My husband would help me get out the car or help me dress. I've been through a lot, and have been prescribed a lot of medications. My first major surgery was April 30, 2019 where parts of my colon were removed and I ended up with an ileostomy bag for 3 months!!! The surgery was 8hrs and totally changed my life, because I couldn't handle it. Luckily I had a great support team that kept me going. I'm glad I had the surgery, because I do feel a big difference. You still have to definitely watch what you eat but it was all worth it. Since my surgery I have been under the colorectal staff at Washington Hospital Center and they are awesome. I am currently on Stelara and that seems to be working, but have been on Remicade, Entyvio, Methotrexate, Asacol, Imuran, Celebrex, Xeljanz, Prednisone, Humira, Cimzia. I am a parent and when I had an ileostomy bag my child was really shy, sad and didn't want to hug me too much in fear of damaging the bag. When I have flares, my son gets worried that I might stay at the hospital again. My mental health is good. I have my days of “why me”, but God has always helped me to see that he's with me. I have gone through some dark days when I was really sick in the hospital, but again God spoke to me and reassured me I was ok. Living with a chronic illness is not easy and it really makes you tired, so symptoms like chronic fatigue, joint pain, abdominal pain, nausea are some of the problems I deal with. I would appreciate it if people would please bear with us, we're not lazy just tired. We're not picky eaters, we just have certain foods we cannot eat that'll cause a flare.

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