I have an appointment with my gastroenterologist in Boston today. I’ve had follow-up appointments with him a few times since coming out of the hospital, and this is the first time that I feel like I can tell him that the holistic approach is making a definite difference. I’ve continued with Remicade (the drug that gets infused once a month), Asacol (my “lighter-weight” maintenance drug), and prednisone (which I’m tapering off of – at 15mg, down from 60mg!). But I’m pretty sure these are not helping to the extent that my supplements and diet are.
My logic for that is this: I had started on prednisone before entering the hospital, and I didn’t improve and ended up in the hospital. While tapering, I haven’t had any setbacks. This time around, prednisone is not acting like itself.
As for Remicade, I received two doses while in the hospital, and I didn’t respond well; I saw improvement, but not to the extent that many others see. (The hope was that Remicade would put me in remission.) Remicade has a higher success rate in Crohn’s patients than colitis patients. I think it has a 60-something-percent success rate in colitis patients, so it’s not surprising that it didn’t do the trick for me. I received one more dose of it in June, and an odd thing happened. For the next couple days, my colon was more spastic than ever! With the smallest of movements, I needed to use the bathroom. But then this stopped one evening, and…I won’t go into bathroom details, but I’ll just say that things got better, plus I did not feel such urgency. At this point, was I better than before that Remicade dose? I believe so, but not by much.
I think it was July 5 that I had sort of a turn-around, for the better. It’s interesting that it happened like that. I know that the holistic treatment has played a large part, but how much of a part has the Remicade played? And of all of my supplements and dietary restrictions, are some contributing significantly more than others? I can’t tell exactly what’s working and to what extent, but I don’t care so much. I’m curious, and I want to be able to say that Remicade didn’t do shit and I was healed by holistic methods, but more than that, I’m relieved to be feeling better.