By Todd Friedman
I was diagnosed with Crohns Disease at age five. Before HPN was widely available, my doctors had unsuccessfully tried to treat my illness with various oral steroid medications and surgery.
When I was first diagnosed, I weighed 55 pounds. Nine years later at age 14, I weighed only 69 pounds and wasn’t absorbing enough calories and nutrients to stay alive. That was in 1976, and as good luck would have it, my family moved that year from Cleveland to Los Angeles, one of the very few cities to have an HPN clinic in those days. Back then, HPN was called hyperalimentation and came in one-liter glass bottles. The pump itself was roughly the size of a payphone and was mounted to an equally bulky IV pole. I used that pole-mounted pump all the way up until attending my first Oley conference in 1992, as I had no idea at that time that any other options existed. At that first conference, I visited every breakout session that interested me, spoke to as many other HPN consumers as I could, as well as nearly every vendor inside the exhibit hall. I followed up with a handful of them after returning home and decided to give Nutrishare a try, as they specialized exclusively in HPN, and took a personal interest in me as an individual rather than merely as a client.
What a difference switching to Nutrishare made on my quality of life! In my first 16 years on HPN before joining Nutrishare, I had frequent catheter infections. Then I went my next 16 years on HPN after joining Nutrishare (from 1992 to 2008), without having any CRBSI-related line infections to the best of my recollection.
I have now been an HPN consumer for 42 years and if I live to be 99 (which I’m planning on), I’ll be on it for another 42 years! For fun, my wife Susan and I enjoy traveling (I have been to all 50 states), dining out, and taking scenic walks with our golden retriever Molly.