Caitlyn, Football and Crohns update...

After our Last Article on Caitlyn Hamilton's Battle with Crohns Disease we asked her mum Lyndsey for an update on her progress This is what she had to say.....

Thursday 25th April 2019 marked Caitlyn's next step on her journey with Crohns Disease. It has been 15 months since she was diagnosed and to say it has been a tough journey is not even close. This is now the 3rd time of being fed via a nasogastric tube and after this 5 week spell, Caitlyn will have clocked up 6 out of 16 months with her tube in whilst being unable to eat any food at all. The tube, which she has now christened Tallulah is her lifeline during these times and ensures she gets all the nutrients she needs to continue her life as normally as possible.

The process itself is so enduring for Caitlyn; she can't eat which makes undertaking daily life challenging since it's unbelievable how much of our life involves food; I'll meet you for a quick bite, I'll meet you for a coffee, we'll catch up at lunch, you get the idea? Caitlyn's only exception is 7Up and a drink she previously enjoyed becomes almost medicinal when it's something you associate with your illness. It is also a time when Caitlyn becomes aware that her normally invisible condition becomes visible. Normally people doubt her or question her saying 'you look fine to me' but with the tube in they point and stare.

This time is however, a slightly bigger deal. At the end of this spell, Caitlyn will have major surgery to remove a section of her colon along with a section of her intestine and appendix. The surgery is being performed in an attempt to bring Caitlyn’s condition under control and in the hope that it will allow her a longer spell of wellness than she’s so far managed during the time since her diagnosis. Unfortunately, this is not a cure and not a guarantee of any improvement but it will mean that the section that is damaged, once removed cannot cause her any more harm.

This will see Caitlyn’s sporting activities on hold for a lengthy period until her body has recovered and anyone who knows Caitlyn will know that this will distress her almost as much as the condition and surgery. Caitlyn literally swims and/or plays football 7 days a week. She loves being active and competing either for Lanark ASC or for Lanarkshire Hibs; eat, sleep, exercise repeat is literally her routine.

Unfortunately anyone who knows her, really knows her, also knows that she struggles daily with stamina and is always fighting with her body to try and make it perform. Getting her body to work with her rather than against her since diagnosis, has been a battle in itself. She hopes that having this surgery will improve her energy levels but she is also well aware that it may not. Either way, she’s having this surgery with the same positive approach that she lives her life; she can get through this successfully! And so in late May, Caitlyn is having this surgery and whilst it’s not a cure, she remains positive that it will improve her condition even if all it means is that by removing these sections during her surgery, they can’t hurt her if she doesn’t have them.

Lethargic or not, Crohns or not, Caitlyn’s positive attitude to this surgery can only help her. In all likelihood, this amazing 14 year old girl will spend her 15th birthday in hospital but Caitlyn’s view is that it’s all in a good cause so in reality many could learn from this resilient young lady. As World IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) approaches, Caitlyn continues to show Crohns the red card!

Caitlyn you continue to amaze us all with your inner strength and positivity lets all keep sharing and caring this post to let Caitlyn know we are all behind her.