My name is Tim Brewer and I am 31 years old. I currently live in Charlotte, NC with my wife and two daughters. I work for a regional insurance brokerage and while I do not have to do much flying anymore I still have lots of long meetings and with UC that can be a little scary.
Some more about Tim:
I am from Atlanta, GA and we moved up to Charlotte, NC in 2009. I am a huge college football fan and attended the University of Georgia. Although, I skipped going to games this past season out of fear of having a UC attack. I also am an avid reader and huge history buff, which are two hobbies that I can take part in even while in the bathroom so that works out well. I have two daughters one of which is still in diapers and at my lowest point considering borrowing some just to get through the day.
I am currently in the best place I have been in since being diagnosed with UC in February 2013. My frequency over the last month has been 3-4 times a day. My BM’s have been solid and the bathroom process is under control as opposed to resembling an Olympic sprint. Also, all of my lower back pain due to underlying inflammation is completely gone.
Tim’s Story “The Best is Yet to Come”
I have always had what I thought was some form of IBS since college. This forced me to have a rather clean diet as greasy meals always left me with a day or two of diarrhea. However, starting in the Summer of 2012 my diarrhea became chronic and simply wouldn’t go away. It would occasionally get better for a day or two only to come back and then blood started to form in my stool which prompted me to go to the doctor. At first, I was diagnosed with hemorrhoids, but when the Proctofoam did not work they scheduled a colonoscopy in February 2013. This confirmed my UC diagnosis and I was prescribed an enema which the doctor thought would knock it out. This did nothing other than cost me about $200. After a couple more months of going through different enemas I finally got frustrated and went to a non-traditional doctor who thought going Gluten and Lactose Free would cure my problems. I tried this diet for 3 months and saw a slight reduc tion in my BMs, which were up to 10 -12 times a day with at least one accident a day, but this was probably just because I didn’t eat very much. However, my overall inflammation continued to get worse as I started having severe back pain. It got to the point that I could no longer sit up in bed in the morning, but had to roll out of bed and get ready for work on the floor. Usually after a long round of stretching I could finally get loose enough to get going.
At this point, I found the top rated GI doctor in my area and decided to give the GI route one more shot. He put me on Colazol and after approximately one month I definitely saw an improvement in control and a reduction in frequency. After doing more research I felt like while diet might not cause UC I definitely felt like something needed to change to get me out of my flare.
I tried the SCD and saw an improvement after a couple months, but still was hovering in the 5-7 BMs per day, albeit with even more improved control. All of a sudden in November my flare came back as strong as can be and I tie this to a very stressful work related situation. At this point my doctor put me on a cycle of Budesonide which seemed to get me back on the 5-7 track, but I still felt like this was far from optimal. After another round of extensive research I decided to try the BLAND Diet. Within a week my BMs reduced to 3-4 times per day and I now average 3 solid BMS a day with no back pain.
The one thing I discovered through the process is that I think Caffeine may be the enemy of many of us that can’t seem to figure out why we can’t get out of a flare. I was always a big coffee drinker until getting on the BLAND diet and I think that my caffeine intake might have sabotaged all of the other diets I tried. Therefore, if you are in a flare and are currently drinking caffeine. I encourage you to get off of it and see if it makes a difference.
Good luck to all of you and I truly believe the best is yet to come.
P.S. I would love to encourage people to post at the bottom of these to post the funniest places you have gone to the bathroom while in a flare. If we have to go through it, we might as well laugh about it. For me if was shutting my office door right after a conference call and using the trash can. Better to stink up the office that ruin a suit. I then smuggled out the evidence as quickly as possible and grabbed some febreeze from the janitor. When you have to go, you have to go.
Medications / Supplements:
Colazol: 3 pills, 3 x per day
Budesonide: currently in a 3-month cycle
submitted in the colitis venting area