Introduction to Caroline:
I’m 37, married, and love to eat, laugh, workout, and hang with my hubby and our pets! I never get sick and so this whole thing has really thrown me for a loop. I am looking forward to feeling better soon.
Some more about me:
I love anything fitness related – CrossFit, yoga, running, dancing. I have always loved food and that has been one of the hardest things about this thing for me – I am looking forward to being able to enjoy my meals again without sprinting to the restroom. I am married to an amazing man – we have a houseful of rescue animals.
Current Colitis Symptoms:
Constant bloody diarrhea, tenesmus (I am so sorry I have had to learn what that is), fevers, not able to get any sleep due to getting up every 45 minutes. This little situation I have cooked up has also blessed me with some lovely hemorrhoids.
37 Years Old and Just Diagnosed
So, my stomach has always been fussy. If I get nervous, if I eat something weird, if I get stressed out, life changes – all of those things have always caused me a little distress and at this point, I am used to it. At the end of last summer, things got a little weird – usually I tend towards D if anything, but I kind of felt constipated and crampy. I also was passing a little blood and mucus. About 10 years ago I was diagnosed with internal hemorrhoids, so I figured that was it and it would clear up with a little better attention to my diet. By the way, I have been on the Paleo diet for the past year – probably about 80-20. I do so much better without grains, dairy and sugar, but every once in a while would enjoy a little something. Or a little glass of wine. :) I changed jobs and also figured maybe that was part of it too. The pain and cramping got worst, and so in December I saw my primary care doc. She figured I was constipated too, and pu t me on a regime of fiber, stool softeners, and hydrocortisone suppositories in case there were internal hemorrhoids. Well, this did nothing – but I still wasn’t that motivated to do much about it.
The weekend before Christmas, we were leaving to go visit my family about an hour away, and I was in so much pain that morning I almost couldn’t stand. I couldn’t go 10 minutes without having diarrhea, and it was bloody. I knew at that point something was really wrong, so that Monday I made an appointment with a GI doc. It wasn’t until after New Years, so I spent my holidays in the bathroom. My appetite disappeared and I started losing weight rapidly (I am 5’1, usually 114 pounds, and currently am 101). I was shocked when the doctor told me after talking to me for 5 minutes that I had UC. I actually got kind of pissed and was like, well, I think it’s just a hemorrhoid. He pretty much laughed at me and sent me off with a colonoscopy appointment and a prescription for Canasa. Which, I’m sure is a lovely medication if I could keep it in. When I got home, I read the UC packet he gave me and started crying because I KNEW I had it and he was right. Al l I could think about was how I would look with a bag. Exercise is my therapy and I haven’t been able to do it in a month, so that isn’t helping. My hubby read over the info and brought me back to earth -he has been a lifesaver. I found this site at that point and it’s been really helpful. I am also so thankful that my manager is letting me work from home – being at home is so much more comfortable to me. I get so worried and irritated when I go into the restroom at work and there are people in there brushing their teeth. OMG, GET OUT!! :)
So, my colonoscopy was this morning. My heart rate was super high, which I attributed to nerves, and I was running a fever of 101. The nurses were a little concerned I might have the flu, but my doc says I am so inflamed it’s becoming systemic. The procedure was a snap and he came back in to show me pictures. I had convinced myself it was just going to be rectal, but again I was wrong. It showed severe ulceration throughout, unfortunately. He put me on Cipro and Flagyl just to take care of any lurking bacterial issues, and started me on Prednisone – 40mg a day this week, then step down by 5 each week. I am nervous about side effects but hopefully 2 months won’t be too bad. I am glad everyone says you feel better so quickly – I am really ready for that. We go on vacation in a few weeks and I am hoping to be more fit to travel. I am determined to stay strict on diet to prevent this from happening again.
I love the stories here that give me hope – my mind is a scary, fearful place to be these days and I think the more I can stay positive the better! Any words of wisdom are welcomed – thank you to Adam for creating this site!
Canasa – the nights I can keep it in it seems to help, but those are few and far between!
Prednisone – just started.
I have also tried acupuncture (which definitely has calmed down things for a day or so after, plus it just feels good). I also met with a naturopath last week who believes that my lifelong “fussy stomach” is actually leaky gut. Which seems so weird to me since I have been Paleo for a year, but it does make sense. He has me on a diet very similar to SCD and I am taking a gut repair supplement calle Repairvite, as well as a probiotic. Crossing my fingers – I am not a big western medicine girl but think this Prednisone is necessary.
written by Caroline
submitted in the colitis venting area