I am 49 years old, the mother of two college students, and a math teacher to many others. My husband and I are empty-nesters (empty being a relative term) who are enjoying life in Florida. In August 2007 I was diagnosed with UC.
My Colitis Story:
My story is probably like many others. I was diagnosed with UC about a month after I first started having symptoms. I went to my primary care physician when I saw blood in my stool. A month later, I was sitting in a recovery room filled with people. The gastroenterologist gave me my diagnosis in front of everyone. It wasn’t very private and there was no time for actually asking questions. She just told me I had ulcerative colitis, gave me 3 prescriptions to fill, and sent me on my way. “See you in three weeks”, she said.
During those three weeks I read everything I could about UC. My husband bought me 6 books which I devoured. There was not actually much else to do since I had to stay near a bathroom and was afraid to leave the house for fear of public accidents. Most of what I read was not very reassuring and some of it was just plain scary. Realizing that I was getting obsessive about the disease, I had to purposefully stop reading about UC; not an easy thing for me.
Ever notice that during the storms in our lives that we grow the most and become stronger. I decided at this point to stop reading about the disease and concentrate on living. I started a journal of what I was learning about life and the ways I was growing through this experience. Every now and then I still add entries, but most were written during the months of the initial flare up.
It took five months and loads of medication to finally reach remission. That’s when I realized that remission didn’t mean the disease goes away. Elaine Gottschall’s book caught my attention, and I started the SCD diet a few months later and have been on it ever since. I still have symptoms here and there, but have remained in remission to this day. When I do get pain, loose stools… I have learned that the symptoms come on slowly with signs that let me know they’re coming, such as a headache. I am learning to recognize the signs and slow down to head off any worse symptoms from appearing.
Today I still read about living with UC, but not obsessively. My current struggle deals with creativity in the kitchen. I am sorry so say that I have allowed the SCD diet to become mundane. If anyone has exciting ideas in this area I would love to hear them. Thank you, Adam, for uniting those of us that contend with UC in a way that we can not only gain, but we can also give back.
written by Brenda
submitted in the Colitis Venting Area