2 words :: ulcerative colitis [my diagnosis]
This is a blog post I wrote in July 2015. Here is the post as it was written back then, without any edits. The story of my journey to health and wellness will be continued and updated as part of this new essentially vibrant site…
To be honest, a few months ago I didn’t entirely know what those 2 words meant. There may have been a little Dr Google searching that took place. Just for a basic definition which (if you are curious, and without going into ‘too’ much gory detail) is:
In ulcerative colitis, inflammation occurs on the lining (mucosa) of the large intestine or colon. The inflammation is usually located in the rectum and lower colon but may involve other parts of the colon and sometimes even the entire colon. Tiny open sores or ‘ulcers’ form on the surface of the lining and these may bleed. Source.
[Insert pretty image here to detract from gory details! Birthday flowers from this gorgeous lady!]
After many [many] years of unexplained symptoms, a Prolactinoma / Pituitory Ademoma discovery that no one really knew what to do about, a worsening feeling of bleh, and those other two words [glandular fever] chasing me for almost 5 years, I really did not expect an Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis.
No one knows for certain yet what causes Inflammatory Bowel Disease (and it is different from IBS) but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental and immunological factors. Exposure to environmental triggers – possibly viruses, bacteria and/or proteins – prompts the immune system to switch on its normal defence mechanism (inflammation) against a foreign substance.
In most people, this immune response gradually winds down once the foreign substance is destroyed. In some people (possibly those with a genetic susceptibility to IBD), the immune system fails to react to the usual ‘switch off’ signals so the inflammation continues unchecked. Prolonged inflammation eventually damages the walls of the gastrointestinal tract and causes the symptoms of IBD. Source.
More to the point:
I really don’t want an Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis.
Because – it’s for life.
And it means talking about your bowel habits with, well practically everyone it seems…
It’s not something that will go away and never come back.
It is Forever.
If I work hard, putting together puzzle pieces and working out a combo of diet and medication and supplements and lifestyle over un-specified periods of time, then I will be lucky and it will go into remission. Fingers crossed, I can then manage to stay on track and dump the medication. But it can (potentially) come back without warning, or explicable reasons. Then we start again, to manage the flare up.
Plus, it could get worse. Way worse.
Sounds delightful, hey?
At the moment, I am a crazy mix of scared, frustrated, pissed off, positive, confused and determined.
Anaemia – not pleasant. Tired, tired, tired. Can’t concentrate – soooo frustrating. I want to do fun stuff! Malnourished (but yet bloated and so much excess fluid – kinda not fair! I look like I am well fed on a diet of cupcakes and icecream at the moment, that’s for sure 😉 Without the pleasure of eating said foods, which sucks! )
I am trying to be the good patient, and do all I am told to do. Another diet overhaul (to be honest – I am not sure how much better I can eat without being obsessive??) Rest. Relaxation. Research. Hope for some spare time after all that to run a business and study. Because medicals bills don’t pay themselves!
I am somewhat excited that this, at least, is an answer though. A step in the right direction to waking up in the morning and feeling fabulous. I am grateful that I have created myself a lifestyle that allows for pj’s at noon, and daytime naps when I need them. Of course, if I had a 9-5 job and didn’t work for myself then things could be a lot worse. But that said, I will be entirely honest here – things aren’t great! I have absolutely no idea how to fix anything, and I am sooooo tired, I daydream about the end of the day just so I can go to bed.
There are many positives. I have absolute certainty that I will come out this the other side with many a lesson learnt, and fabulous health. I will figure out what works for me, and I will kick this in the butt (see there << I made a funny!) and I will get back to my energetic, life-loving self. I will get my routines back! Be in tune with my body. Ahhhh – exciting!
This post will now end with a call for love. Inspired by the fabulous Belinda Davidson who this week wrote about Why It’s So Hard To Raise Your Vibrations When You’re Unwell
Belinda says: “When sickness has taken hold of you, and you find yourself with very lowered vibrations (and are unable to meditate properly), this is the time to call upon others to help you! Ask your friends and family to visualise you healthy, happy and vibrant. When you can’t raise your vibrations yourself, don’t feel shy in asking others to do it for you!”
Support, well wishes, good thoughts, prayers, white light, positive energy. How ever you wish to send it, know that I received it – eternally grateful, with arms (and heart) wide open.
Of course, loads of love right back to you all!
** One day I might come back and share more details of my diagnosis, and my health. But there is plenty of time for that. In the meantime if you know anyone who is doing a fabulous job researching/treating/ educating about colitis and inflammatory bowel disease, please share their details with me. I would love to check them out.
Have a fabulous day, and thanks for being here xx