Back From Holiday..:(


I am 57 years old and have had ulcerative colitis for 12 years. I went into remission, almost completely free of symptoms, for the first time about six months ago but the UC recently returned. I live in New Zealand, luckily a fairly relaxed lifestyle, but financially and emotionally I need to work and the return of the UC was, to put it mildly, depressing as it makes work difficult. I research as much information as possible, but so much of it is contradictory!

My Colitis Symptoms:

I have the usual symptoms, bleeding, constipation, and some abdominal pain. At the reappearance of my UC the symptom I noticed first was depression, oddly enough. Socially I find UC very restrictive and embarrassing. I also find that my family tries to be sympathetic, they often forget that I need a bit of support to do things like grocery shopping.

My UC Story:

I would love to get more practical support from family members but don’t want to come across as an invalid, which after all, I am not. How do other people communicate their symptoms to others, I find this particularly difficult because sometimes I need help and sometimes don’t and I can’t always predict when I will need someone’s assistance. The family is better now that I’ve had this illness for some time, but I still find it frustrating. I am wondering also about exercise – I do as much as possible but at the time of a flare-up I find I get tired very easily, how do you get around that? I walk the dog, (don’t laugh but he also has colitis) cycle, walk (I don’t have a car so no choice really). Sometimes I find it difficult to drag myself out of bed, let alone bike or walk anywhere. I have never explained my symptoms to an employer as generally it does not affect my ability to work – just makes it damn difficult and potentially embarrassing. I have a good friend who had a more severe form of UC than me and she was wonderful to talk thing over with but she now lives in another city. We are still in contact but it is not quite the same thing. Do other people find support groups useful? I think there is one in my area but I’m not sure. I have a great specialist (the most cheerful man I’ve ever met!) so get very good (free too) medical care. I was very optimistic that after years of struggling with this illness that my recent remission might continue for some time. I was devastated when this turned out to not be the case. I felt I had been let out of prison only to be recaptured and thrown into solitary for an indefinite period.

Where I’d Like to be in 1 year:

Symptoms-free to a large extent and traveling – my favourite occupation of yore!

Colitis Medications:

Pentasa has worked in the past, not working so well now. A mix of mashed banana, probiotic yoghurt, kiwifruit and flax seeds alleviates the constipation.

written by Wendy

submitted in the colitis venting area

7 thoughts on “Back From Holiday..:(”

  1. Hi Wendy, i’ve just read through your story and thought it may interest you to approach colitus in a different way. You mention excercise; why don’t you try yoga, its a relaxing method to keeping your body calm and centered. A while ago i read a buddha book that was my aunts (i’m not into buddhism but was interested) and found it very fascinating to read. It helped enlighten the way i look at things. I’ve had colitus for 4 years now and also can’t work but i have always found myself busy with writing and doing art work. the book helps you realize to focus on today and not tomorrow or next month, and puts you in a understanding of why life is the way that it is. Give it a looking into if this interests you :) i’ve found the web page, its:
    Hope you find what your looking for :)

    1. kia ora Sammy

      Funnily enough I have just started to look at yoga – do you find any particular exercises useful? I will also see if I can find the book you mentioned in our local library, I know I could order it online but it is quite long-winded to do it. Thanks for your reply.

      Kind regards, Wendy

  2. Hi Wendy

    When my Dad was your age, he had surgery, and today have a permanent colostomy bag, i have asked him, if he ever regret doing it, and he said, it was the best thing ever, to be symtom free, was such a relief, he said it was very easy to get use to changing the bag and doing the stuff you need to do. Today he is 68 years old and lives a normal life with no symtoms.

    Have you giving it any thoughts?

    I have UC aswell and it is currently in remission, but as soon as i have a flare up, i have already scheduled to have a J-Pouch surgery, im sick and tired of living with UC and having it control my life, its time for me to get rid of my colon :)

    I hope your UC will go back into remission soon.

    1. Hi there

      Thanks for answering my query and yes, I understand your frustration. A friend of mine has also had the surgery and now has returned to work almost full-time as well as running around after an active toddler (!). She also suggested having the surgery but maybe it’s my unfailing optimism or sheer bloody-mindedness that makes me want to find another solution.I hope it works for you though. It is an option but as I am still fit and active even with colitis, I’m not ready for it just yet.

  3. Hi Wendy…

    Yes, I find THIS support group most helpful! This website is great. Visit it often, and you will feel a whole lot better about having UC! Especially when you are feeling down, like when the UC flares up again.

    Remember…we only live once. Even if we are dealt a ‘crapper’, as they say, I make the best of every day! The alternative ain’t so great, after all.

    I also tell eveyone this now, because it worked for me…take a good probiotic with at least 50 billion good bacteria in it. You will see improvement within two months.


    1. Hi Bev

      Yes you’re right – I was so relieved to find this website and read other people’s stories. It is so easy to feel isolated and “different”.Like I said, my family is quite supportive but does tend to “forget” I have colitis and expects me to do things the same way I have always done. I find it difficult as well not being able to contribute financially as much as I used to, part of my self-esteem was definitely wrapped up in the ability to provide, but I still do what I can. I do feel my situation is comparatively good after reading stories on this site, medical care here is very accessible and affordable ,I have a beautiful park and river area next to the house where I can walk, I am not in continual pain. I do eat probiotic yoghurt but may look for a supplement as well.As you say, this life is the only way we have, best to make the most of it!

  4. Hi Wendy.. Just wanted to wish you well
    after reading all your emails. As a nurse I am
    learning more about this disease than I ever
    knew existed. The food & probiotic info I feel
    is most important for your bio-dome ( gut
    environment) and the calming effects of any
    body work or meditation will also communicate wellness to your colon. K

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