My name is Bethany and I’m a 22 year old paramedic from Virginia. I have what I consider the best job in the world and up until recently I was a very active person. I love to run and work out and spend time with my fiancee.
Bloody and frequent bowel movements, consistent nausea, fatigue, weakness, cramping abdominal pain
My UC Story:
So, my whole story started approx 6 weeks ago. I started having some odd abdominal cramping that progressed into pretty severe pain and then very loose diarrhea that was coming 10+ times a day. I went to my PCP thinking maybe it was food poisoning because I had just eaten at a new restaurant and they put me on Cipro and Bentyl. I started to feel a little better by the second week but nothing had truly slowed and I still felt miserable. I let it go but by the end of that second week I was so tired and worn out I couldn’t stand in the shower or function normally at home and I had started to spike fevers. I had taken a week off from work thought things would improve but to no avail.
By that Monday, my fiancee made me go back to my PCP. My abdominal pain had gotten so bad and my stomach had become distended. I couldn’t stand to be touched or rolled because everything made it worse. My primary sent me to the Emergency Room to have a stat CT scan and blood work. My blood pressure had plummeted and my heart rate was in the 140’s. After what seemed like endless hours and enough drugs to knock out a horse they decided to admit me and said I had a form of colitis but I would follow up with the GI doctors when I was upstairs.
I spend a week in the hospital and fought every problem I could. My potassium was low, my albumin was low, my blood pressure wouldn’t stay up, my fevers were all over the place. I was put on round the clock antibiotics, fluids, Bicarb, Dilaudid, Zofran, Solumedrol, potassium supplements, and whatever host of nonsense else I was on. Day 4 in the hospital they sent me for a flexible sigmoidoscopy where they officially diagnosed me with Ulcerative Colitis. I had no idea what I was dealing with or what this meant for my future. Was it permanent? Would I get better? Could I function on a normal lifestyle again? I mean, I’m a paramedic, my life is crazy. I can’t always be wondering where the closest bathroom is.
I am now a week and a half out of the hospital and still feel like garbage. Nights seem to be the worst for me (bad, because I work nights). I’m taking the meds like I’m supposed to and trying to watch my diet but from what I’ve read it’s all a game of guess and check. I’m still worn out and constantly tired and lost 10lbs in less than a month. I’m just ready to feel normal again and I can feel myself getting depressed by it.
Where I’d like to be in 1 year:
Symptom-free or mostly and less medications.
written by Bethany P
submitted in the colitis venting area