Health Hero: Angelia Young

When Angelia Young began experiencing extreme digestive issues, she refused to give up until she recieved a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

My name is Angelia Young. I am 42 years old and live in Imperial, Missouri. I currently work as a Web and Social Networking Developer and a Professor at the local college teaching Art. I have been married for 22 years and have two teenage children, 19 and 17. 

Before I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, I knew I had some kind of issue with my stomach as I went through years of discomfort and issues with numerous things I ate. At the age of 35, after about 6 months of pain, weight loss, and rectal bleeding, I finally went to a doctor. I was diagnosed through colonoscopy and was told at first that I had Ulcerative Colitis (UC). I was unaware of what this was and had a terrible experience with the GI doctor I was seeing. I was placed on numerous strong levels of drugs including steroids and other inflammatory medications. I continued to be sick, deal with all the issues surrounding UC, and did not see any relief for about four years. I had switched doctors and the diagnosis was changed to Crohn's Disease, but I still did not see a result that allowed me to consider myself living a normal life. The sickness was taking over everything I did.

This took a huge toll on my family and me. My children were always worried as I was in and out of the hospital several times. My husband felt the strain as he felt helpless and did not know how to deal with the strain of an ill wife. I personally am a very strong woman and very independent. This disease, however, took me down and did not allow me to be the woman I am. I like to live life; I am an artist, a visionary and like to live to the fullest.  However, Crohn's disease was taking over who I was. 

I researched GI doctors again and began to see a highly recommended doctor. He did another colonoscopy and after months of extreme pain and bleeding, he put me on Humira. This medication was my lifesaver. I injected myself weekly with Humira and after a year on the medication, I was in remission for the first time in six years.  I discontinued the medication due to bone pain but since discontinuing, I have been in full remission. For the last two years, I have been symptom-free. I still have IBS flare-ups but not a Crohn's flare up. There is a difference. 

I am me again, I paint, I hike, I live! I can now be the person I truly am. My children are happy to have their mother back and my husband is happy to have his wife back. There is life with Crohns and I'll never again allow it to take control of me.

My advice: Do not quit until you find the solution that works for you. Do not stop believing in yourself. Do not quit the search for a doctor who truly cares about you.

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