By MoneySavingExpert's Coupon Kid, Jordon Cox
Wow… what is this place? It looks homely, and smells like the Yankee Candles my mum’s always burning. Am I actually home – or is it a dream?
Nope, I’m not dreaming. After 85 days of being treated for Crohn’s Disease in hospital, I’m FINALLY FREE. But I’m not out of the woods yet. Far from it.
I may be free, but I will be continuing treatment at home, with regular visits from district nurses, before returning to have surgery in two months.
Before and after
The photo on the left was taken last summer when my health was deteriorating rapidly, and on the right, me beaming with joy as I left hospital yesterday. (Yay!)
What on earth happened to me?
If you missed the first instalment of Coupon Kid vs Crohn’s Disease, basically, I fell very ill around June last year. I was struggling to eat without experiencing pain, my weight had dropped below 7 stone and I barely had the strength to walk the 10 steps from my bedroom to the bathroom without gasping for air.
Then in January, I was rushed to A&E and diagnosed with fistulae, strictures and intestinal blockage – complications arising from my Crohn’s Disease. My doctor told me, that if any more food passed through my digestive system, it could potentially cause more serious damage, so stopped eating immediately (and haven’t had a bite of solid food all year).
To make sure I was still getting nutrients, I had a ‘PICC line’ inserted into a vein in my upper arm. Every night, I have a bag of liquid food containing 1,000s of calories, vitamins and minerals infused into me – helping to build up my strength while allowing my bowels to completely rest.
Why was I in hospital for so long?
I’ve felt significantly better for a couple of months now, but as I’m still not able to eat – due to pain and risk of complications – I’m stuck with the PICC line for now. The facilities they had at my local hospital in Basildon could only feed me through my PICC line in hospital, but a couple of weeks ago, I was transferred to a specialist hospital in Cambridge that arranges intravenous feeding at home, as well as being assessed for surgery. After a couple of weeks there, I’ve now been sent home.
What will happen now I’m going home?
If all goes to plan, within a couple of months, I’ll have surgery to remove the diseased part of my bowel. Until then, I’ll be fed through my veins at home. I’ll have nurses coming in every night to set up my feed bags, which take about 14 hours to fully infuse. So it means I’ll be attached from 7pm-9am every day.
So while far from ideal, at least I’ll be able to relax in the comfort of my own home. And luckily, the pump I’ll have at home is much smaller than in hospital – so I can carry it around in a backpack, giving me a lot more freedom to carry on with my life while I await surgery. Most importantly, I’LL BE ABLE TO COUPON AGAIN!
So, am I feeling better now?
Yes. Significantly better – just not 100%. Back in January, I couldn’t even walk 10 steps without needing a sit down. Now I could walk for miles without any sweat. When I was admitted, I weighed 6 stone 10, but now I’m 9 stone (the most I’ve ever weighed). Before I was treated, I couldn’t stay focused on any task for more than five minutes, while my mind is now going a mile a minute with fresh ideas, new blogs and ways to keep busy, which is how it always was before I got sick.
The big question… will I return to blogging?
Definitely. I’m not going anywhere. I’ve just written a blog about my first couponing trip out of hospital – getting £70 of products for £7 (and how you can too).
In the interim before I have my surgery, I intend for normal (ish) service to resume. That includes being reunited with my stacks of coupons, my video camera and my desk at MSE towers. You might think I’m crazy, as I’m still very much in recovery, but hey, I’ve learned life’s too short.
Obviously, I’ll need a break after my surgery – I’ll hopefully not be gone too long – and I may see if I can find somewhere cheap for a holiday afterwards, for some much-needed sun and relaxation, and some time away from everything that’s been going on lately.
As today’s only my first day back among civilisation, I wouldn’t want to make too many promises about how much you can expect from me over the coming weeks and months. First things first, I need to get a haircut and catch up on three months of recorded TV. Next on my list is to get back out there with my coupons in hand, and I hope you’ll be coming along with me.
One last thing…
Finally, I want to say a huge thank you to all the fantastic nurses and other staff who’ve looked after me on the Edith Cavell ward at Basildon Hospital and the M4 ward at Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge. I’ll be visiting you all with a big slice of cake as soon as I’m allowed to eat it again.
If you’d like to learn more about Crohn’s Disease, visit Crohn’s & Colitis UK.