Home For My DIN­NER

Naomi was out of hos­pi­tal for the big day

Pick Me Up! - - HEALTH & HAPPINESS -

The pain and vom­it­ing came back and I lost weight

Naomi To­plis, 24, Gosport

Get­ting ready for a hol­i­day to Cyprus with my friend in Au­gust 2012, I was so ex­cited. I’d been vom­it­ing in the fort­night be­fore the trip, but my GP had cleared me to fly.

Once there, I got worse, though – un­able to keep down wa­ter. Suf­fer­ing from se­vere de­hy­dra­tion, I had to get an emer­gency flight home.

My dad took me to Queen Alexan­dra Hos­pi­tal, where I was given IV flu­ids.

I was ter­ri­fied that I was dy­ing.

CT scans, ul­tra­sounds and a colonoscopy all pointed to Crohn’s dis­ease, a con­di­tion caus­ing di­ges­tive in­flam­ma­tion.

Doc­tors didn’t know why I had de­vel­oped it, but I was re­lieved to know what it was.

Then re­al­ity sank in. I had been a healthy 19-year-old and now I had an in­cur­able dis­ease.

‘How am I go­ing to live with this?’ I wept to Dad.

But, with steroids and an­ti­in­flam­ma­to­ries, my symp­toms be­gan to im­prove. I could go out with friends, even got a job.

As the course ended, though, I slipped again.

The pain and vom­it­ing crept back in and I be­gan to lose weight, so Dad took me back to hos­pi­tal on 14 De­cem­ber.

I spent 10 days on IV steroids and had im­muno­sup­pres­sants.

Would I be home for Christ­mas?

‘It’s un­likely,’ said the con­sul­tant.

I had daily blood tests and a drip with a bi­o­log­i­cal drug to sup­press my im­mune sys­tem.

Re­sign­ing my­self to be­ing in hos­pi­tal on Christ­mas Day was so dis­heart­en­ing. But then, on Christ­mas Eve morn­ing…

‘We’ll need to get you some med­i­ca­tion to take home,’ a nurse said.

‘I’m com­ing home!’ I squealed down the phone.

‘Well, I’d bet­ter get some food in, then!’ Dad replied.

He’d planned to spend Christ­mas Day at the hos­pi­tal.

I was dis­charged – and the next day our won­der­ful neigh­bour Nicky knocked on the door with turkey and veg.

Dad and I had a lovely day of games and fes­tive telly.

In 2014, I had the dis­eased part of my bowel re­moved. But I have to be care­ful as, al­though milder, my symp­toms re­main.

Still, I don’t plan on be­ing in hos­pi­tal for any fu­ture Christ­mases!

Me in Cyprus and (left) in hos­pi­tal with my now-hubby Ben in 2014

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