My name is TJ, I am 24 years old and recently finished my masters program in education. I hope to find a job soon as a special education teacher. My passion is to help children with disabilities reach their full potential and live life to the fullest. This passion is very personal to me because in addition to getting diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, I also grew up with Cerebral Palsy. This affects my left side and mostly affected my left arm. However despite my struggles , I have overcome my disability and live a happy and full life. I hope to pass this attitude onto my students one day so they can also live life to the fullest.
Some more background:
I am from Long Island NY and enjoy doing things outdoors. Living so close to the water, I grew up going to the beach, going on boats and fishing as well as going swimming. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends.
I experience stomach cramping that varies in intensity. My stools are also often loose and sometimes contain mucus and blood.
Another Challenge : UC Will Not Stop Me !
I was officially diagnosed with UC in March of 2015 after a colonoscopy . However, my symptoms started in December of 2012 while I was in college. It started out as loose and frequent bowel movements. Within a few days there was blood present. Since I never experienced this before, I was scared and went to the school’s health clinic. Here I was told that it was most likely a virus that would pass. Within the next week, I stopped eating and was feeling horrible. I was forced to call my parents to pick me up from school and by that night was in my local emergency room. Here i discovered I had lost 22 pounds since my symptoms began and that I had some type of colitis that may have been caused by something I ate or some type of virus. After a course of medications, I was on the road to recovery! After a colonoscopy 2 months later, I was told that I had a case of nonspecific colitis and that I was healing. However, there were no signs of ulceration’s or new bleeding.
Despite feeling good with no symptoms for almost 2 years, In November of 2014 i began to have intense stomach pains, loose bowel movements and a significant amount of blood. Knowing the seriousness of these symptoms from my previous flare, I immediately contacted my GI doctor to get treated. I was put on Delzicol and told to keep in contact for any improvements or worsening of my symptoms. Within a week, I was back in the doctors office. This time they prescribed Prednisone. This worked within the next few days. Since this time, I have only been totally off Prednisone for 2 weeks !! A week after I stopped taking the last dose of 5 mg, my symptoms returned. The next week, I had my colonoscopy where my doctor discovered ulceration’s in my colon mainly on the left side. The doctor informed me that it was UC and that treatments would be discussed at a later date. Until then it was back to the Prednisone !!
Currently I am being treated with Remicade infusions. These seem to help. However, I still feel that my symptoms are still lingering to a point. I am hoping that the Remicade will work and eliminate symptoms after my third infusion next week. I have learned how to cope with my pain and symptoms , but I would love to wake up and not worry about making it through work today or going to a place with an accessible bathroom. However, just as with my Cerebral Palsy mentioned earlier, it is just another challenge on my road to living a happy and full life. I overcame Cerebral Palsy, I believe that I can overcome UC !!!
Delzicol, Prednisone, Remicade.
written by TJ
submitted in the colitis venting area