I am 21 years old, attending Saint Louis University in Missouri. I am a undergrad in the Occupational Therapy program there. I’ve had Ulcerative Colitis for about 3 years, and it’s been a roller coaster ride. I absolutely love to travel! I’ve actually been called a gypsy on more than one account. I love to go camping, horseback riding, fishing, wake-boarding and anything involved with the outdoors. I do find doing the things I love as a challenge due to my UC. At one point I felt as though I had completely given up a normal lifestyle and who I was due to UC. I went about six months of having the disease and undergoing tests until I finally was given a name to what was going on. I was misdiagnosed four times until they figured out it was UC. I was diagnosed in the summer of 2010. I finally got REAL treatment in 2011, my GI basically let me go for a year until they gave me anything to treat the symptoms. But by that time my UC spread all the way up my Large Intestine and beginning into my Small intestine. Thus I have a hard time trusting Doctors.
ABDOMINAL PAIN, fits of constipation with only mucus or bloody diarrhea. Depression and unbearable joint pain located mostly in my hands. Sporadic weight loss and gain, I basically fluctuate about 30lbs. I used to spend HOURS in the bathroom.
UC has changed my life so much. I am just now starting to feel like going out to clubs and bars things like that. I still have flare-ups all the time, and hate feeling like the first thing I need find where I go somewhere new is the location of the bathroom. It is so embarrassing to stay in a hotel room or be at someone else’s apartment or house and be freaking out if they are going to hear me in the bathroom. It has been a huge struggle for me to move in with my boyfriend of three years. He has been so supportive throughout this whole thing, it makes me even more appreciative to have found someone like him.
My whole diet has changed as well, I no longer eat fatty red meat or spicy foods. I eat chicken, turkey, fish and deer for my meat products. Now that I am 21 I know I am not supposed to be drinking alcohol. But, I find that a hard request to be made of me. I stay away from beer because that seems to upset me the most. But, I will drink red wine or Margaritas things like that. Does anyone have any comments on things like that? I also have been hearing things about UC complications and pregnancy? It is not in my plan to become pregnant any time soon, but I am nervous about the thought of having any children at all and passing the illness on to them? Or even if I could become pregnant because of decreased fertility? I’ve been having a hard time with dealing with my stress as well. My doctor told me to try and avoid stress, because it was adding to my amount of flare ups. I just laughed when she told me that. I am a college student… stress is a huge component of college. But, If anyone has any suggestions for lowering stress that would be great, it is really starting to affect my academic performance due to these flares.
Where I’d Like to be in 1 Year:
In a year I would like to be done with undergrad, and beginning my professional student years in the Occupational Therapy program at SLU. I would like to not be taking so MANY PILLS! I would like to be in somewhat stable weight and not be experiencing so many flare ups.
written by Meghan Christine