Have you ever felt that something was not quite right with your body, but everyone else said you’re fine or they try to tell you it’s not what you think it is? Well, that happened to Melodie Narain Blackwell, a wife, mother and former working professional.
Melodie suffers with Crohn’s, an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and initially, before her official diagnosis, she felt pain in her joints. She was told it was rheumatoid arthritis, but she felt it was something more than that.
“I had debilitating arthritis they kept writing it off as gout. It got so bad that my joints were literally stuck, and I was crawling on the floor,” explains Melodie. “I began doing my own research because I realized something else was going on with me.”
Besides the arthritic joint pain, Melodie was losing her hair and had regular eye infections. Eventually, she began to bleed from her colon. She finally had an MRI and doctors could see something was going on with her immune system but weren’t sure exactly what.
After constantly being misdiagnosed, she became seriously ill and required surgery. After her second surgery, she finally received a correct diagnosis. She had an autoimmune disease (AD) called Crohn’s.
Nearly 24 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases. Crohn’s is one of the autoimmune diseases that affects more African Americans and especially African-American women. The average age for Crohn’s diagnosis is 15 to 35 years old.