…Ulcerative Colitis pulls the rug out from under you…
Hi. I’m Rick. I’m 60 years old and live in Toronto, Canada. After many years of dealing with weight gain, fluctuations between episodes of diarria and constipation (mixed in with some normal times), I decided that I was going to get healthy and begin eating properly. I began to watch portion size as well a eat healthier foods. This went well for about 6 months. The weight was coming down slowly and I was feeling much better. In May 2011 I began to experience the constant need to go to the bathroom along with constant bleeding. The bleeding I chalked up to hemorrhoids, which I have experienced over the years. After trying traditional Hemorrhoidal treatment, it became obvious that this was not the case. After visiting my Doctor and getting a referral to a specialist, I was diagnosed with UC in June of 2011. I have lived a roller-coaster ride with some good times and many flare-ups. I work for a major International Non-Government/not for profit Organization in a high stress position with frequent travel in North America and around the world, not to mention personal stress. Looking to share information and receive support from others who deal with UC.
Frequent need to visit the bathroom. Some bleeding periodically. Physical pain from an ulcer in the colon. Frequent problems with pressure from gas. Bathroom visits usually produce gas and mucus.
My day is planned around bathroom visits. When I am out, I have to know where the nearest bathroom is located. There is a constant desire to stay at home where it is safe. And I am heading toward depression if I don’t do something to change the course of my life.
Before UC, I was more free and happy. Now I live with uncertainty which is centered around where the next bathroom is and will I be able to hold until I reach it. Tasks that I try to perform keep getting interrupted by frequent trips to the toilet. I have lost control and if I don’t do something to get that control back, I am afraid to think of the dark path that it will lead me down emotionally. I want to do things but I am afraid to leave the house. I have been known to procrastinate, but now it is getting absolutely ridiculous. Tasks that I need to do I don’t do because of my physical and mental state.
My specialist has been supportive, but I think that a second professional opinion on my condition would be helpful.
For the most part, my family and friends are trying to understand, but until you have experienced it, you cannot fully understand. I am in the beginning stages of the SCD with mixed results, and my family and friends are supporting me in that, some with a little skepticism.
My biggest concern is that if I don’t get this under control soon, I will be forced to graduate to stronger medications with bad side effects or even on to surgery. I want to avoid those choices if possible.
For a 60 year old, I think I look great, having slimmed down. But this is not the way to do it. I lost 30 LBs in a two week period, battling a particularly intense flair-up.
I am confused by the conflicting write-ups I see on-line in reference to diet. Writers seem to have conflicting views as to what a UC survivor can and cannot eat. All of my favourite foods now seem to be on the “do not eat” list. How have others coped with this?
Where I’d like to be in 1 year:
In one year I would like to be symptom free and eating healthy. I would like to be able to focus on other things in life and be able to have a new normal and not have my days controlled by UC. I realize that I will never be able to eat the way I used to, but occasionally be able to sample some of my old favorites, (within reason of course).
written by Rick S
submitted in the Colitis Venting Area