I’m a 36 year old wife and mother of 2 boys. I was diagnosed with UC when I was 26 and tried numerous medications and diets. Blessed that I was considered mild to moderate and never went to the hospital for my disease, except for one blood transfusion when pregnant. I had all the typical symptoms, bloating, diarrhea, blood and mucus. I refer to UC in the past tense because I recently had my colon removed and I couldn’t be happier!
Some more about me:
I’m an easy going, fun loving person who enjoys spending time with family and friends. Southern to the core and love the outdoors! I love to travel but Georgia will always be my home.
None! I’m UC free baby! My colon was removed in January 2013 and I was glad to see it go!
Proud to be Colon Free
Hello to everyone on this amazing site! I discovered the site a couple of years ago and have enjoyed reading everyone’s stories about UC. It helps to know so many people have the same problems with UC but it’s also sad to see this disease reek havoc in so many lives. I’ve always said I’d like to share my story so it can help someone else and being the procrastinator that I am, here it goes, now that I’m UC free!
I was diagnosed at the age of 26. Newly married, commuting, working long days, and renovating an old house created the perfect storm in my body and UC reared it’s ugly self. My symptoms were not that bad in the beginning; just loose stools with blood and mucus occasionally. I was in denial that it was something that would chronically plague me. I went along on mesalamine drugs and occasional enemas when problems would arise until I got pregnant. The pregnancy sent me into a full blown horrific flare.
Months of bloody mucus filled diarrhea around the clock did a number on me. This was the first time the Drs pumped me full of prednisone to stop a flare. During this time I was always exhausted, weak and my heart felt like it was racing a lot. This was because my iron was dangerously low. A trip to the hospital for a blood transfusion and the prednisone did the trick that time. The rest of my pregnancy was great and I had a healthy baby boy in 2005. My second pregnancy went fairly well with only one minor flare in my second trimester and I had another healthy baby boy in 2007. We are a very active family, always outdoors fishing, playing, swimming,etc. I usually worked out at least 3 times a week when I wasn’t in a major flare.
Since then I typically flared every 6 to 8 months. I have taken Asacol, Lialda, and other mesalamine drugs at different times. I’ve also taken lots of prednisone, enemas and Remicade. I did the SCD diet and have eliminated numerous things from my diet to try to control UC. None of these things controlled the UC for too long. I asked my gastroenterologist about surgery 2 years ago, before taking Remicade. He wanted me to try it so I gave it a try even though I wasn’t crazy about the idea. Remicade seemed to do a good job after the first few infusions but I flared 7 months into treatment. That was it for me. I stayed on Remicade for 14 months while I researched and consulted with surgeons to get jpouch surgery.
I took the plunge on January 22, 2013 and had the first surgery. I had an excellent surgeon in Atlanta who took out my large intestines, formed the jpouch and created the loop ileostomy. I went into surgery healthy and prednisone free, it helped me recover well and have the process completed in the 2 surgery process. Recovery was difficult. I was extremely tired and weak for a month after surgery. After 6 weeks I finally started feeling like myself again. I got used to the ileostomy fairly quick but was always glad to know it was temporary. Ten weeks after surgery I felt great! I had more energy than I’ve had in many years and was so happy I decided to have surgery.
On April 25, 2013 I had the second surgery to close the ileostomy so the jpouch could start doing its thing. I was so excited to be done with surgery. After a couple of days in the hospital my intestines starting working again and the track race to the toilet began. Thanks to all the helpful people on this site I was prepared for this; soft TP, flushable wet wipes, and Calmoseptine ointment were my friends the first 2 weeks. I’m 3 1/2 weeks post surgery and doing great. I can eat anything I want and the trips to the bathroom are diminishing. During the night i was getting up every 2 hours the first week or so, now I get up once around 5 am! Things will improve for up to 18 months so I couldn’t be happier with the results.
I know this is a long post but I wanted to share an overview of the whole experience. UC was a major pain in the rear. An enormous weight has been lifted from me and i want others to know that UC doesn’t have to define you. It is a challenge, do your research and don’t be afraid to make tough decisions. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Adam and all of you who contribute to this site!
Medications I Tried:
written by Heather
submitted in the colitis venting area