Ulcerative Colitis Tips


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My Kids Have a Broken Mommy

Meet Kelly:

I was just officially diagnosed 3 days ago with UC via flex sig but apparently I’ve been in a severe flare for almost 6 months. This is my first flare and man does it suck. At this point were not sure how much of my lovely colon is affected because my inflammation and ulceration went beyond the reach of the scope.

Some more about me:

Hey I’m Kelly and I’m 27 yrs old. I live in the Big Puddle (aka W. Washington). I’m a stay at home mom of 2 amazing little girls, one is 5 and in preschool, the other is a wee devil at 19 months. I love being outside, camping, hiking, playing disc golf, puddle jumping with the kids, spending lazy summer days at the lake or heading to the mountains to find snow. I was in the Army when I was younger and got to do a lot of awesome stuff and go to some really cool places. I have an awesome and supportive family and some great friends so I guess you could say I’ve got it pretty good.

My Colitis Symptoms RIGHT NOW

Ugh! Rectal bleeding, urgency, severe abdominal pain and cramping. In the bathroom 20 to 30 times a day. “Hold on honey, mommy’s going potty again”! Gas, super sensitive gag reflex and vomiting (is that normal?), awful lower back pain, diarrhea, weight loss, tender and distended stomach.

Am I A Broken Mommy From Colitis?

My symptoms started back in early September 2012 shortly after I quit smoking.

Correlation?

It started with a bit of bleeding and I thought nothing of it since I had experience with internal hemorrhoids that occasionally bled. Flash forward to November. The bleeding was getting worse and accompanied by some nasty, foul smelling gas, increasing abdominal discomfort, and my poo started changing from normal and formed to soft and squishy and about 3-4 times a day.

By mid December I was in pain pretty much all the time. It felt like I had a big gas bubble in my tummy or gut and I was running to the bathroom about 15 times a day. I hadn’t gone to the doctor yet because I didn’t have insurance (still don’t) and I kept hoping the issue would resolve itself. Obviously that wasn’t happening.

Once January hit I had quit drinking coffee, was only eating bland soft foods and life pretty much sucked for me. I haven’t slept for a whole night in months, I was in the bathroom 20-30 times a day, if I wasn’t near a bathroom I would have accidents, it hurt to pick up my youngest because it would press on my tummy, I was scared to pick up the neighbor boy and drive him and my oldest to preschool 10 min away, my house was getting neglected and I was so exhausted I couldn’t keep up with everyday chores like laundry and dishes and I couldn’t remember the last time I had a normal poo.

Finally went to the doctor 2 weeks ago, got referred to the GI, had a consult then came back for my flex sig the other day. And here we are – ulcerative colitis!

My family has banded together and pretty much relieved me of all parental duties and housewifely duties and right now I’m stuck between my bed, my couch and the porcelain god. So my doctor is really great! She’s been really patient with me and explained everything and is really nice and I think I got lucky with her. Instantly she prescribed me medications, went over everything in detail, called me later that first night just to check on me, called me again yesterday to see how I was feeling and how I was reacting to the meds. Fortunately I haven’t gotten anemic yet or had to go into the hospital but my doctor did warn me that if I wasn’t improving by my 2 week follow up she is going to admit me. Lets hope that doesn’t happen.

Colitis Medications

I’m currently on Prednisone taper starting at 40 mg, Flagyl 3 times a day at 500 mg, Ciprofloxacn 2 times a day at 500 mg, Tramadol 50 mg as needed, Vicodin 5 mg as needed and OTC Tylenol 650 mg as needed.

written by Kelly

submitted in the colitis venting area




15 Responses to My Kids Have a Broken Mommy

  1. Heather MacAnanny February 11, 2013 at 4:34 am #

    I know exactly how you feel. I also am 27 years old and have a 15 month old little girl. I have had UC since 2008 and have been battling it ever since. I flared so bad during pregnancy I lost 30 lbs and had a lot of issues. I work full time so I’m always so tired between being a mom, working and dealing with this. It is a daily struggle but I always try to tell myself it could be worse. It could be my daughter going through it and that would be so much worse. I hope things work out for you. Find me on facebook and maybe we can keep in contact. God Bless.

  2. Kara February 11, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    wow Kelly,

    I am amazed that you are not anemic yet. Do you remember what your Hemoglobin was? That tells you how many red blood cells are in in your body. Normal is around 12. When my daughter was first diagnosed at 13 (March 2012) she had been in a flare for about 6 months too. She had lost so much blood and was sooo tired. She was at a 5.1 hemoglobin. The Hemotologist explained that most people would be unconscious and getting a blood transfusion as such a low number, but that she had lost small amounts over a long period of time and her body kept adjusting to the lower amount of blood. Knowing her Hemoglobing score every time that she has had a flare has been one number that I could understand and use to measure how she was doing. It always helps me to compare her new H with the previous one to know if she is doing better or not. It is sometimes hard to gage how much blood you are really losing.

    ITs been a year now and our daughter stopped responding to Prednisone. It worked amazing the first 2 times. We just finished FLagyl over Christmas break. That stuff is rough on the gut. Here are a few tips that we have learned:

    1. eat yogurt and/or take probiotics while you are on any antibiotic (it helps!)
    2. Cut out all flour based food. I know Dr. says it has nothing to do with food “that they know of”, but there are too many people who have been healed through diet. After 50+ days of bleeding and no relief from any meds or antibiotics we cut out Gluten (all flour) and dairy. We saw a difference immediately within one day. ANd now, 7 days later, she is feeling great and pooping logs (still soft but formed!!!)

    ps. Here is a great pod cast by Dr. OZ (featured on Fox news) who has helped people with UC and other immune systems disorders to be put in remission through diet.

    • Kelly February 11, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

      Hey Kara. I am so sorry for your daughter! I couldn’t imagine having this disease on top of being a teenager! I don’t know what my hemoglobin was when they checked, just that I wasn’t anemic yet. I’ve been playing around with my diet and I agree that even though drs says it doesn’t affect it, it does. I’ve cut out most not all, gluten as well as processed and refined stuff. Dairy has never bothered me so I haven’t eliminated it yet, just reduced my intake. I do eat greek yogurt daily and started taking Culturelle per drs orders. This is the first time I’ve taken the Pred and while I feel soo much better I’ve noticed that each week as I taper down by 10 mg the bleeding is still there and differs from day to day as more or less so I’m not sure if its working 100% for me. I talked to my dr about it last week at my 2 wk follow up and she said to wait and see until I’ve tapered off the pred completely and let her know if the bleeding persists. So we’ll see how things go. Thank you for the advice and I wish your daughter the best. I’m glad to hear she’s starting to feel better.

  3. bev February 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Correlation! Yep, probably! If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard about quitting smoking and then UC popping up…well, I’d be a billionaire…I’m yet another nickel…

    I see that you are on the typical drug cocktail…the sad thing is that no med seems to work for very long. Meds are just not the way to treat this condition…but you will learn that as time goes by. You are new to this ‘wonderful’ thing called UC. You will gain knowledge over the years, and hopefully find what works for you. We all seem to be SO different in our respective conditions, so no one thind works for everybody. Bummer! I know!

    One thing I can recommend is a good probiotic…not just one for anybody, but one for people who have severe bowel disprders, like UC. Go to your local vitamin/supplement store, and they can tell you what a good one is for you.

    Cheers
    :)

    • Kelly February 11, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

      Bev, you know the more I read about this disease and other peoples personal stories it almost makes me want to go back to smoking lol.with both my pregnancies I would quit smoking and would have rectal bleeding and slight abdominal discomfort which my drs would attribute to internal hemmies and I even went to a general surgeon and had them banded during my 2nd pregnancy but the bleeding continued. After I would deliver and once I stopped breast feeding I would go back to smoking and the bleeding would stop. Mmm, makes me wonder if my colitis started earlier than sept of 2012… Thank you for the advice!

      • bev February 12, 2013 at 8:00 am #

        I know Kelly! I’ve been tempted to smoke again…it’s just so bad in so many ways…and it only makes me look older!

        :)

      • Barb February 12, 2013 at 9:06 am #

        Kel, Don’t do it. You have come this far. If you go back to it and decide to quit again you will have to go through all of this again. This is what keep me going. Good luck and stay strong =)

  4. Tim February 11, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    Kelly
    You need to discuss with your GI Doc about taking a UC management medication containing Mesalamine. You’re taking several antibiotics and a steroid but nothing to manage your symptoms long term.

    • Kelly February 11, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

      Tim, hey so last week at my 2 week follow up my dr did prescibe Asacol that I’m supposed to start taking next week when I drop down to 10 mg of the pred so hopefully by the time I stop taking the pred the asacol will be working for maintainence.lol and I’m not taking the pain meds anymore. I still have them but they make me loopy and drowsy which isn’t what I want when hanging out with a toddler all day lol .

      • Tim February 12, 2013 at 9:16 am #

        Great … Hopefully you’re on the way to remission. GOOD LUCK!

  5. Tim February 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    P.S. Get rid of the pain meds if you can!!

  6. joanna February 11, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    kelly, sounds like you lucked out with a great GI doctor. it’s hard to find one that is so compassionate and understanding. i am on antibiotics right now, too (flagyl and vancomycin) as i’ve been in the hospital for 6 days with c diff. it’s totally miserable and i hope you never have to go through that.

    definitely start on probiotics. i’ve been researching a lot about strains that survive antibiotics and there are only two.

    1. saccharomyces boulardii
    2. lactobacillus GG

    any other probiotic will be a waste of money until you are off the antibiotics.

    • Richard February 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

      I agree Joanna, that a decent probiotic would be very beneficial. Your research is good on those probiotic bacteria for antibiotic use. After the antibiotics Kelly and Joanna, check out the VSL#3 probiotic that has this range of good guys in their probiotic complement:
      Bifidobacterium breve
      Bifidobacterium longum
      Bifidobacterium infantis
      Lactobacillus acidophilus
      Lactobacillus plantarum
      Lactobacillus paracasei
      Lactobacillus bulgaricus
      Streptococcus thermophilus
      It has 450 billion of them per sachet. No other probiotic gets anywhere close to this.
      Cheers, Richard

  7. Barb February 11, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    Hey Kelly,

    Hang in there the steroids will kick in and you will be able to eat anything you want however, I don’t know why you are on Flagyl? Do they test for c diff. The usual treatment when having a flare is the steriods and Ascal or any other type of meds.

    I can tell you this, the reason you flared is because you quit smoking. Yes sounds weird what I am about to tell you but when you do you research you will see that many people that have quit smoking find out they have colitis for some odd reason smoking is good for us UCer’s. I quit over a year ago and went through the same thing which I was prepared for before I have quit several times before and flared which caused me to go back to smoking. Would not allow it this time and I have been flaring for over year hear and there. On steroids for 5 months off in the middle of Nov and just started flaring again in January.

    You might want to eat a bland diet….here are some things you might want to try. Scrambled eggs, bananas, bake potatoes, chicken. seafood, shrimp, fish, clams for sweets try a smoothie these are some things that will get you through the flare.

    Hope this helps.

    Barb

  8. Gina March 1, 2013 at 5:56 am #

    Hi, I am 37 and I was dx over 8 years ago when me and my husband decided to do the healthy thing for us and our child and quit smoking. Then I started getting symptoms. More than 70% of UCers get dx when they quit smoking. The reason….nicotine…….nicotine causes the mucous lining to thicken, therefore damage that might have already been there stays hidden its not a reason to smoke again, some have tried the nicotine patch but again like steroids as soon as you taper, you flare. The steroids might be the cause of your vomiting it gave me extreme nausea myself. I am on remicade and 6mp now but started small on just asacol and Canada. I have been in remission for 8 months now and I’m pretty sure I have not only the meds to thank but my diet. Keep a food journal of things you can tolerate and things you need to avoid. We are all different in that dept. But the similarities if trigger foods are dairy, chocolates, caffeine, spicy foods, and fried fatty foods. Takeout is basically a nono try to get back to nature and eat as naturally and unprocessed as possible. I am also gluten free. Haven’t bled in a year and am completely solid…I do have my cheat days which I do pay for I am human, but staying on track helps a bunch. Do a brat diet for really bad days that’s bananas rice applesauce and toast, good luck and take care

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