It’s been about a month since I started on Remicade, and a little more than two months since I started taking Imuran, so this seems like a good time to give an update on how my Crohn’s treatment is going. In short: I feel good! I’d say that by about a week after my first Remicade infusion, I was feeling well pretty regularly. Since then, I’ve been feeling like I’m digesting things normally (no pain, no sudden bathroom trips, and hardly any gurgles coming from my intestines). And I’m feeling more energetic than I have in a while, too. Also, my blood tests have shown that my C-reactive protein levels (kind of a marker for systemic inflammation) have dropped a lot and are now well within the normal range.
In fact, I’ve been feeling well enough to start experimenting with adding foods that seemed to be giving me trouble back into my diet. The first test was a glass of champagne when I was in Pittsburgh: no problem! Then a few days later, I had a veggie wrap, filled with fresh vegetables and falafel (that contained some wheat). Again, no problem! About a week later I was feeling really brave, in combination with really craving bread or a bagel. So I ate a piece of whole wheat bread, with peanut butter spread on it. It tasted great, but within a couple of hours I realized that I had pushed too far with this experiment. I felt sick for about 24 hours, almost certainly thanks to that one piece of bread. After another week of feeling good, I was back to experimenting with my diet. I ate quite a bit of our pinata candy (we overestimated how much candy the pinata would hold, so there was lots of extra candy), and that was fine. Our pinata party guests left some spice cake and a chocolate chip cookie with us after the party, so I tried those out (one serving a day) during the following week. That all went well too, so then I was feeling really confident. So confident that I tried something my intestines have never been a big fan of, even in the best of times: coffee. A cafe mocha, to be exact. That went badly, but a few days later I was back on the horse and ate some veggie chicken (which contains a lot of gluten) on pizza (with a gluten-free crust and vegan cheese, no risks there). I felt just fine after that experiment too, so I am really feeling optimistic about eating some of the foods that have been off-limits, in moderation.