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(by Pauline)
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since May 2004

Our lives were busy. We had two young sons and we were both working. I had started to work as a Supply (substitute) teacher, this gave me the flexibility to take time off if Gary or the children needed me.
Our lives slowly began to return to normal, although there were a few bumps along the way. Gary was made redundant and then rushed into hospital with severe chest pains. His heart had always been sound - surely he wasn't now developing heart problems? The doctors didn't know without carrying out tests. Three days later, the hospital informed me that he was suffering from - a gullet infection! This infection is more common in people with Crohn's, but not usually serious. However, Gary's temperature sored high, worrying everyone (as usual), but returned to normal (as usual) and he was discharged after a week's stay.
In the weeks that followed, however, he was often unwell. He would be well for a few days, then suddenly run a temperature for a day or two. As he was looking after the children, it made me taking time off work to look after them instead which in turn meant less money coming in - just as we needed it the most.
He mentioned these symptoms when he had his six week follow-up appointment at the hospital and the specialist asked for a stool sample. The results showed that Gary had a type of food poisoning - Campylobacter. Once diagnosed, it was quickly treated with medicine.
Life then settled down for a couple of years. We opened up our own business which was successful but didn't bring in a full wage.
Then - Gary once more started to have blockages and pain - although not as severely as before. Once again he was diagnosed with adhesions and once again he was operated on to remove them. The surgery went smoothly, although each time he is in theatre I relive the moment of that terrible phone call.

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