Lacey was diagnosed the same week as her 18th birthday at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She’s determined to keep living the life she wants, without UC stopping her.
Some more about Lacey:
I am a ballet dancer training to become a professional. This past summer I spent 5 weeks dancing in Nashville, TN and for the next 4 years I will be majoring in dance at Mercyhurst University. My last performance at my home studio was performed during my initial flare(and I wasn’t diagnosed at that point). I can’t even describe the amount of pain I was in but hey, the show must go on! Let me just say that despite my illness I ROCKED ‘Flames of Paris’.
Symptoms Right Now:
I am not fully in remission yet but I am well on my way. I haven’t bled since my hospital visit but I’m still slightly anemic. My bathroom visits have become less frequent and a little more pleasant.
Dancer in Distress
Before my diagnosis I experienced about a month and a half of bleeding and frequent bathroom visits and before that most of my senior year of high school was spent being sick with colds and stomach bugs. I’ve also had Acid Re flux since I was about 10, and come to think of it probably passed off some of the pain from the UC as just another re flux flare. Once the bleeding began I figured it was something more serious. I went through countless visits to the ER and was sent away every time, even though I was still in an incredible amount of pain and bleeding a lot. At that time I was in the middle of rehearsals for a ballet performance and holding your tummy muscles in while dancing was very difficult and probably the most painful thing I have ever felt. I consider myself a little lucky, I went to the GI doctor to see if he could shed some light on my situation and he hospitalized me immediately and within 5 days I finally had a diagnosis and medications to help me get better. It was such a relief to finally know what was going on with my body and an even greater relief to find out that my colitis is only mild( I can only imagine how horrible it must be to have a severe case). UC has definitely added to the obstacles that were already in place in my journey to becoming a professional ballet dancer but I’m a tough cookie and i firmly believe that anything is possible. My family is incredibly supportive and very helpful, especially with two pharmacists in the family. My doctor is very knowledgeable and cares a great deal about how I feel. The only thing that concerns me is that he doesn’t seem very open to the idea that food can effect UC. Personally, I think it does and from reading other people’s stories it seems like that’s the case.
Medications / Treatments Currently:
So, right now I am taking balsalazide disodium(3 pills 3 times a day) and also calcium + D, a multivitamin, iron supplements, and a probiotic. So far the maintenance meds seem to be helping a lot, and especially the probiotic. Right after I was released from the hospital I was put on a steroid taper that lasted two months. Prednisone sucks. I gained weight all over(which was very noticeable in a leotard and tights), and I had a lot of trouble with acne. And when it came to mood swings I went from being sweet and fun to the incredible hulk:/ I plan on trying as hard as I can to hopefully never need Prednisone again. I’ve also noticed that certain foods can effect UC. I typically feel better if my meal includes a decent serving of meat, especially steak or chicken. I haven’t had any issues with bread so far but i don’t feel very well after I eat crackers. Things that are overly sweet, like super sugary cake icing, seem to be a big no no with me and so do too many apples. I’m still new at this though but I’m trying! Any advice would be extremely appreciated!
written by Lacey
submitted in the colitis venting area