Your senior year of high school is supposed to be one of the best years of your life, but one young lady had a traumatic event happen that threatened to stop that good time.
Lexie Cox from Minford was like any other high school senior, a great student, a cheerleader, and many other things that students participate in while in high school, but toward the end of that year, Cox’s world was about to change her life forever.
Cox says that she had never been someone who was sick and was thin and healthy, to look at her, she was a beautiful young lady, but toward the end of her senior year, this all took a significant turn. She says she started feeling sick and began to lose weight, which she did not need to do. She says that she and her mother, Rena, decided she needed to see someone and that they went to two different hospitals and that both took basically the same tests, blood work, and others, but neither said that they could not find anything. Cox left frustrated, and she continued to get sicker and lose more weight.
“It was my senior year about mid-April, I had just finished cheerleading, it was about to be fun and graduation, and I started getting sick and throwing up,” Cox said. “I was nauseous all the time, and I was losing weight dramatically.”
It was here where she went to two different hospitals. “A couple of weeks go by, and I was working for about two weeks at a new job, and I started getting worse, I started losing blood, when I would go to the bathroom. I had to call off work. My mom decided we should go to Children’s because I was just 17 at the time. They seemed concerned and they sent me to their GI Doctor and they wanted to do an endoscopy and colonoscopy and they do biopsies at that time. I was actually super sick, while we were waiting on results. I ended up getting three blood clots in my lungs as a complication to some of the tests, I was in the emergency room locally and I was out of breath, which was not right for someone my age and who is healthy. They said I had pulmonary embolisms, and I was sent back up to Children’s, and that is when they said I had Crohn’s Disease, and I also had to have blood thinner shots. I started my Remicade infusions about the middle of May.”
Cox continued, “The scariest part of this situation was probably toward the end of May, I was going out to lunch with my mom and my friend, Brooke Day and we were walking into the restaurant, and I noticed that my vision was kind of blurry, like tunnel vision. I walked in, and a person was sitting by the door, but I couldn’t see their face because it was too blurry. I told my mom I was feeling kinda weird, just seeing the outlines of people. I told my mom we needed to leave, we hadn’t even eaten our food, and I remember sitting down in the car, and I don’t remember anything after that, the whole day after that either.
Cox then tells of the worse day, “What I was told was we went to the Urgent Care and when I got there, they were trying to get my name and birthday and at that time, I didn’t even know my name or birthday, they were trying to get me on the scales to weigh me and I knew what to do, but I couldn’t do it. Once they got my blood and everything, that’s when they took me up to the flight pad to Lifeflight me. Once they put me in a bed, I kind of remember asking where I was and I was coming out of it. My mom and Brooke told me that when I was being Lifeflighted, I was texting them and asking where I was going, and I don’t remember that. I took a picture out of the window of the scene. I don’t remember doing that either.”
Cox said after that, “I got out of the hospital the day before my graduation. They never said exactly what happened to this day that was so weird and random because they still don’t know what happened, it was scary nothing like that has happened since then.”
She was at the beach in June, and she was super-skinny and sick. I had lost about 15 pounds, and I was already sort of skinny, and the trip was not good. I slept most of the time, and when we returned, we went back to the Emergency Room. They said that the Remicade treatments had not had time yet to do their job fully and so they put her on steroids, and her face and things looked puffy, but she didn’t care, because she was starting to feel better.
Cox said that she had to miss the Fall Semester at Shawnee State University because she was not quite herself yet, and she wanted to be at her best when she started school. She then started school in the Winter Semester. She says that now, “I am doing so good. I plan on doing Clinical Psychology and will go to graduate school for that. This is a doctorate degree so you can work in a hospital or your own practice, you diagnose your patients and do therapy with patients that have mental illnesses and things like that.”
Cox says that she really hasn’t been sick since then and that she tries to take care of herself and takes her medicine and gets her infusion treatments regularly, which used to be every four weeks, but she is now doing so well, she only has to go every six weeks. She got another endoscopy and colonoscopy in Septemeber this year, and they said, “That I looked perfect on the inside and that since I was doing so well, that’s why I don’t have to get the infusions every four weeks anymore. They said that since there is no real cure for Crohn’s that I needed to always get my infusions because it can come back at any time.:
It is with this that Cox and people that have Crohn’s, their lives as they knew it, was changed forever. She says that she is on a Crohn’s friend page on Facebook and that she learns a lot sharing with others there. Cox had a strong support system especially her mother, and her father, Bo, but also friends like Day and so many others in the Minford Community. She talked about dating and how that if someone has not been through it with someone living with Crohn’s, it is hard to explain because so many people don’t know about it or understand it. She says she has a steady boyfriend that has been through most of this with her. “I definitely think you need a good support system that understands your disease.”
According to the Cleveland Clinic, Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It causes inflammation of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and malnutrition. Inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease can involve different areas of the digestive tract in different people. The week of Dec. 1-7 is Chrons and Colitis Awareness Week.
Cox’s advice for someone who is having symptoms of Crohn’s or even other symptoms, people tend to put things off, what with the bills or things, if you have any symptoms that worry you, you should get checked right away, you don’t want to risk your health or life by waiting. Cox told her story to the Portsmouth Daily Times to raise awareness of the disease and to let the word be out for those with any symptoms, not to wait until it becomes too late.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928
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