Hi, I am 20 years old and I was diagnosed with UC in November 2008 but I had symptoms for 6 months before that. So overall I have had UC for about 3 years now! I first started getting symptoms when I was doing my first year of A levels, in the end I was diagnosed with UC in my sigmoid colon. (after having numerous tests, sigmoidoscopies, colonoscopies and ultrasound scans!)
Asacol tablets and Pentasa foam enemas were given to me. The Asacol tablets would come out undigested in my stool and it wasn’t helping so I decided to take a trip to India to try some herbal medicine, and sure enough I came back in August 2009 feeling a lot better and I finally went into remission in September 2009.
I was then in remission for 2 years until July 2011 when I had another flare up which I am still currently fighting.
My Colitis Story:
So when I was getting my symptoms whilst doing my A levels, I remember so many people looked at me as if I was lying, the teachers eventually believed me but it was so embarrassing dealing with attending school when you had to run to the toilet every second! I had resorted to wearing ‘Ladies protective underwear’ which is basically adult nappies lol.
I remember when I was out and about with my friends and I needed the toilet I had to use public toilets at restaurants and shops, and its amazing how some of them won’t let you use them! I eventually stopped meeting up with my friends and going out because I just couldn’t face going to the toilet every second when we were at a place where there weren’t any toilets, it just used to make me so anxious. It was even worse doing my exams because I was in constant pain and under a lot of stress which made my UC worse. It looked suspicious that I was going to the loo every 5 minutes! Luckily I managed to get a doctors letter for my second year when I had my final exams.
So when I went to India, I had a lot of treatment done including using Ayurvedic medicine, changing my diet, having specific massages and reflexology done. It definitely helped me into remission and I honestly wouldn’t have done it without my parents and my amazing boyfriend supporting me.
When I came back from India, it was a struggle getting into complete remission and it meant I had to be on a strict diet and not drink any alcohol for the first semester of Uni!
I remember being at home and having to run to the toilet, and I would just panic when somebody else used the toilet because I had to bang on the door for them to get out so I could go in, sometimes it was too late lol
When in my flare ups people used to tell me they wish they had my disease because it makes you lose weight so quickly and I just used to think why in the world would you put yourself through this much pain just to lose weight! Obviously they had no idea what I was going through and did not understand the disease!
Its been 3 years now and my flare up this time is pretty bad again, but it is a little easier to cope with because I have been through it before, my family and friends are now used to me needing the toilet every minute and we just have a laugh about it. It still can be depressing at times when I can’t go out with my friends and family as much as I’d like to. It’s even difficult to take my nieces to the park, which I would love to do more often!
The only thing that gets me through it is where I am today, if I look back and see I have been strong enough to get good grades for my A levels, got myself into University to study Physiotherapy and I have been through my placements whilst in a flare up which was the most difficult thing I could have done. Now I am about to enter my 3rd final year, and I have worked so hard I DO NOT want to miss out just because I am in a flare up. I start my first placement in October and I have to treat real patients, if I am in a flare up I can’t do it because it physically makes me weak and they won’t allow me to do a placement in that condition.
So I am trying to stay strong and positive and doing everything I can to get into remission before my placement starts. I am embracing the pain and using it to fuel my journey to becoming a qualified Physiotherapist, and I will do whatever it takes to get there.
We all know there is no point being upset about having UC, so the way i see it, this disease helps us to appreciate life more, and makes us incredibly strong people to be able to get through life with it.
I just want to say Thanks to Adam for starting this page because I only found it a few weeks ago and it has helped so much already, I finally don’t feel alone! :-)
Asacol tablets – I was given this first, they didn’t work because they would come out undigested
Pentasa Foam enemas – I am not sure if these worked because once i put it in, i couldn’t hold it in for the time i was supposed to, so i don’t think it worked.
Pentasa 1g granules – These were given to me to help with the digestion of the medicine, however still to this day even when i am remission they come out undigested so i stopped taking them.
I take no medicine at the moment, i manage my UC with my diet, reflexology, massages, and Ayurvedic (herbal) medicine. I also eat alot of home made yoghurt and other foods which can be medicinal like Turmeric powder.
Submitted by “Nanda” from London, UK in the Colitis Venting Area