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Depression and Heart Disease

Anthony Has Lived with Crohn’s Disease Since He Was 12


(calm music) – My name’s Anthony Loria
and I’ve had Chrohn’s Disease since I was 12 and I was diagnosed at 18. So as a 12 year old, I
was experiencing daily sharp abdominal pain which essentially feels like someone is poking a pencil through your intestines. I was nauseous, I had chills everyday and I’d have blood in my stool every day. I really underestimated
the severity of the issue. Being overwhelmed and the embarrassment, that’s kind of a powerful
combination to a 12 year old. When they took a look inside,
the disease was really severe. The doctor told me and my mom
that it was the worst case he had seen since residency
and his fellowship and my mom started crying and I felt extremely relieved. I felt a weight off my shoulders that there was a problem and it had a name and we could address the
problem and go on and live life. I spent my 18th birthday in the hospital, I wasn’t allowed to eat
for a week, put on steroids and at that point I had sever
nutritional deficiencies. At first it was a series of blood tests. Standard things that run
through a lab everyday, metabolic panels, CBCs, looking
at inflammatory markers, and nutritional status,
pathologists look at the tissue and figure out and say
exactly what is happening. It’s difficult to describe,
but the intestines under the microscope are really
beautiful, it’s complicated and the structure fits
the function perfectly. It was freeing knowing that
the disease was under control and that I didn’t have to worry
about where a bathroom was or be so tight on my diet. I feel incredibly fortunate
that I met someone who’s kinda said, that’s okay,
and we’ll tackle it together. She’s been through a lot, I think I’ve put her through more than most people who’ve been
married their first year but I couldn’t do it without her. – Communication is really important especially in a disease
like that that’s so taboo to be able to check in with somebody and say, okay, how are
you actually feeling, what’s going? Because Crohn’s Disease flares and then it dies down and
then it flares and dies down and it can be different day to day. He feels terrible that I have to sit in the hospital with him when that’s what I want to be doing. So that breaks my heart that he feels that I’m being inconvenienced when really that’s what I’m here for. – Bowel diseases are not
something that we talk about. We don’t talk about
problems that people have going to the bathroom. It goes back to the
embarrassment I felt as a kid. I’ll have tests probably
for the rest of my life. I continue to get infusions
now, every six weeks. Every time I go to an
infusion I have a number of blood test drawn and like I said, those all go to the lab and they all dictate
the care that I receive. People are resilient, and you can adapt and really accomplish
and live a normal life. If I didn’t have the accurate and timely results which are generated by
laboratory professionals, pathologists, I don’t
think that I would be able to do the things that I do. Their work and their
dedication to patient care has allowed me to live my life.

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