I was diagnosed with UC in April of 2009, but my gastro commented that my inflammation was so bad that it had to have been this way for years. I finally went to a doctor on my grandmother’s recommendation– my grandfather had UC and had his intestine removed, and because I was frequently using the restroom for years, she thought I should be checked. I honestly thought I had IBS because I didn’t have the bloody diarrhea that many people with UC tend to have. In fact, my lack of that symptom was the reason I tried to treat myself– I thought for sure that I didn’t have UC. My doctor did a number of tests before the colonoscopy and could not definitively tell if I had UC, IBS, or something else. That test finally gave my symptoms a name, and I began treatments. I’ve yet to go into remission, but I’m currently on Colazal and Rowasa, as well as fish oil and probiotics. It’s certainly a long road to wellness.
The first medication I was put on was Lialda, and it honestly did nothing for me. I took it for 7 months with no improvement, so my doctor put my on my current meds: Colazal (the generic version) and Rowasa suppositories. When I am consistent and take my 9 pills a day and do my nightly suppositories, I tend to feel better, though never 100% better. I have not gone into remission yet, but this combo of meds seems to make me feel well, although I admit I fall off the wagon sometimes (sometimes out of frustration and feeling like I’ll never get better).
I’m wondering if anyone else is on this combination of meds and has gone into remission. Actually– since I haven’t felt well for at least 7 years, what is remission LIKE? How do you know if you’re in remission? Are your symptoms completely gone? And how do other people cope with UC? I basically tell everyone in my life that I have this disease so they understand when I need to cancel plans and be home, or why I don’t like going places where there’s no restroom. I find that when people know, they’re always sympathetic and understanding, which takes a lot of stress off me. When I’m worried about getting sick and I know the people I’m with don’t know I have UC, I get anxious and that can actually trigger an attack. I also try to drink a lot of water and do yoga to stay relaxed, but man… it’s tough. Especially when you feel like you’ll never be normal again.