Weird to think that it was two years ago that I wrote this post. I went to the ER, and ended up staying in the hospital for two weeks, diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC), the sister disease to Crohn’s.
When I got out of the hospital, I left feeling revived. I was on medicine, finally had a gastroenterologist (GI), and was in remission, after months and months of issues and pain. Today, well since April really, I’ve been on a steady decline. My medicine, which has been my savior the past two years, just all of a sudden isn’t working for me anymore. I’ve been trying a new drug, vising the hospital on a weekly basis for labs and tests, and have been back on the devil’s drug: Prednisone.
It was a good reminder for me to read my post from two years ago to give me some hope for better days ahead. It reminded me the main lesson I learned from that experience: your health is everything and should be held above everything else. It is so easy to get caught up in life and put off your health needs. I needed this reminder to make my disease a top priority so that I can find remission again.
If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, it’s important to begin learning as much as you can about what it is. Not many people know what UC is, or understand how it effects the body and everyday life. Below are just some basics, leaving the actual symptoms and treatment options out. Even just the basic overview can help you to support your loved one, and I promise, promise, PROMISE they will be so appreciative that you have even taken ONE minute to try to understand.
What it is:
A chronic disease, that has no cure, or cause. Periods of remission can span months or even years, but symptoms will eventually return. Meaning: I’ll have this forever… BUT I do know many very smart people are working on fixing that(:
It causes inflammation of the large intestine, and pretty much throws your whole body off.
The result of an abnormal response by your body’s immune system. UC causes your immune system to not turn “off,” and therefore begins attacking your body. As a result, I am on a medication that weakens my immune system, so if you’re sick, stay awayyyyy.
What it’s not:
A constant stomach ache. I’m sorry if your stomach hurts sometimes too, I really am. But it doesn’t have anything to do with what my symptoms are. Yes, I do get stomach pains, but that’s the least of it.
Laziness. One of the many wonderful symptoms that comes along with UC is fatigue. I can sleep for >10 hours, and still wake up feeling absolutely exhausted.
Caused by diet. I mentioned there is no cause. While some people have found certain foods that irritates them, there is not a food group that we are asked to avoid.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS does not cause inflammation.
I hope that you or your loved one finds remission. UC sucks. It just does. But knowing that you have someone who understands, or even tries to, makes an incredible difference.
She had blue skin,
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by-
And never knew.
Shel Silverstein, “The Mask”