Hi all! My name is Ashley, currently living in Boston, MA originally from upstate New York.
I was diagnosed with UC at the age of 19 I am now 24 yrs old.
My Colitis Experience:
Stumbled upon this site a couple of days ago and was truly inspired by everyone’s stories and support towards one another. Thought I would join the community and share my tale about my tail…
Diagnosed with UC at 19, I am now 24yrs old and OH how I’ve changed. At first, my biggest challenge was telling someone what was going on! I’m pretty sure I had UC for about a year before sharing my problems with anyone and being diagnosed. I was very embarrassed to talk with anyone even family about the symptoms I was experiencing and thought maybe this would just go away on its own. As we all know, it does not! I was in my second year of college when I finally got help and was diagnosed with UC, but still I was very young and naive and unfortunately didn’t take any of this seriously. During that time I never monitored what I ate, drank alcohol (heavily) every week, and didn’t follow up with my doctor during flare-ups. Actually my life then was basically one big flare-up due to my lack of concern, I began eating less and less to try and stifle the symptoms (wrong solution!) really it just added more symptoms on to the list, such as shortness of breath , fast and irregular heart rate etc… I learned the hard way and ended up being hospitalized and needing a blood transfusion. That was one of the scariest days of my life and definitely a turning point for me.
After that night I went on the roller coaster ride called “which meds to take” I did the whole prednisone nightmare, moon face and all. That is truly a test of your character and it is very easy to forget who you are during that time, as I myself did. Insecurity, depression, mood swings, not wanting to leave the house, SO important to remember everything can be temporary! I had a great support system and my entire outlook changed, the worst thing you can do is keep everything to yourself express how you’re feeling and take reassurance wherever you can find it!
Currently, my tail side has never been better!
I have been off prednisone for a year,
now taking lialda and azathioprine.
My will power has been ehhh for a strict diet, plus I am continuously on the “Ramen noodle budget” but everyone’s stories about the SCD really gets me motivated to try it out. I try and stay stress free and positive no matter what, yoga really helps! Biggest message I can send is to never be afraid to talk about what’s going on, it’s better to get the help you need right away, it may seem embarrassing but hey…Everybody poops!
Also, want to give thanks to Adam for making this site, if I had such an outlet like this when I was first diagnosed it could have truly made a difference! Very inspiring that you are med free as well definitely something I aim for! So again THANK YOU!
Cheers to all
written by Ashley
submitted in the Colitis Venting Area