Marathon #27 – 26.2 for Ronnie
I wanted to start off 26.2 For You – Race To 50 running the first marathon of this second part for Uncle Ronnie. Ronnie is Sharon’s uncle and became my uncle too and even though he isn’t on social media I’m thankful he is allowing me to share his story here with you. I talked with Ronnie about Crohn’s disease and he was honest and very open with me about his battle with this awful disease.
Uncle Ronnie is a quiet guy who often keeps to himself, especially when it comes to his IBD, with others. Ronnie was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease 12 years ago, but started to know something was wrong a few years before that. It was shortly after Ronnie turn 50 when he started to develop some troubling symptoms which included stomach aches on a regular basis with pain often accompanying them. He was having trouble going to the bathroom as well, sometimes feeling the need to go, but then couldn’t. Other times urgency would happen without warning and he would have accidents because he couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time. For about 4 to 5 months, he dealt with these issues, mostly at work, where there was only one bathroom in the shop which caused concern, especially with the unexpected urgency. The fear of not making it to the bathroom on time, or even worse, getting to the bathroom only to find it occupied by someone else. This fear made the thought of not even wanting to be at work most days, very real. On some occasions Ronnie resorted to purchasing adult diapers to wear on days where there was too much uncertainty.
These symptoms did not go away and started to get worse, so Ronnie made an appointment with his doctor to find out what was causing these issues. His doctor sent him to a Gastroenterologist who immediately suggested a colonoscopy be done. Ultimately the colonoscopy could not be done because when they attempted to do one Ronnie’s colon was so inflamed and swollen it just wasn’t possible. Crohn’s disease was suspected so the first option was to try and treat it with medication.
Ronnie was first prescribed the immunosuppressive drug, Humira. He was on Humira for a few months but the symptoms remained and nothing seemed to change. Remicade became the second option and Ronnie went through four infusions over the next three months with each infusion lasting about four hours. Unfortunately, Remicade did not work either and that is when Ronnie went to see another specialist who confirmed the Crohn’s disease diagnosis.
Because Ronnie’s body was not responding to the medication treatment, it was decided that surgery was needed. He was told they may have to remove part of his intestine and possibly remove his colon. He wouldn’t know what they needed to remove until after it was over. In Ronnie’s case, the surgeon had to remove his entire colon due to how widespread the disease was. With the colon gone, another route was needed for passing solid waste from his body. An ileostomy was preformed, which meant surgically creating an opening in the abdominal wall through which stool can pass into bag.
Ronnie lives each day having to deal with his bag, which he empties multiple times a day. He also changes the bag a few times a week, but the hassle of life with a bag was necessary for him. Medical treatment didn’t work so removal of the diseased colon had to happen in order for him to feel better. Uncle Ronnie has had Crohn’s disease for about 15 years and is an IBD hero.
Running 26.2 for Ronnie!
Marathon 27 – Recap