Bill’s Journey So Far – Diagnosed with Colitis in Mid Seventies


My name is Bill and I live in Perth Australia, I was diagnosed with UC in the mid-seventies, and like a lot of people I was first diagnosed with piles, however it was only a matter of weeks before I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. Also my symptoms seemed to coincide with me giving up cigarettes. In some ways I am luckier than others in that my UC has only ever affected the lower 150 to 200mm of my colon, albeit it has been a nuisance over the years. I have had long periods when I have been symptom free and have been able to play football and have a good social life. I am now 65 and my symptom free periods are much less and 4 years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I am not looking for sympathy this is all part of life and your just have to get on with it. My wife and I still go out dancing (jive and Northern Soul) and I still work full time.

Some more about me:

I have been quite active for most of my life despite the UC, my main love of life is football (I am a Manchster City supporter), we love going out dancing and going to shows, We are going to see Cliff Richard next month at a winery near Perth, or should I say my wife is going to see Cliff Richard and I am going along under protest.

Current Symptoms:

My current symptoms are the classic UC stuff, passing mucus and blood, crampy stomach ache, tired and listless. I have tried all sorts of diets over the years and all sorts of medications, the ones that work for me are sulphalazine and colifoam. I have colonoscopies every 12 months.

My Story:

We came to Australia in 1971 as immigrants and it cost us 10 pounds each (commonly known in Australia as 10 pound POMS) we arrived in Brisbane on St Valentine’s day and I can remember that Journey like it happened yesterday. We flew on a Boeing 707 and I think every time the pilot saw lights it landed, it took us 36 hours and when we got off the plane it was like walking into a sauna.

To cut a long story short my wife hated the place and I loved it and after 8 years we went back home to Manchester, England. After 2 years in a small place north of Manchester called Rochdale we decided to go back to Australia.. We decided that Brisbane was not the place for us and we chose Perth, then a set of events happened which seemed to reinforce our choice.

First we put our house up for sale and it sold within 2 weeks for cash, then I saw an advert in the paper for a job in Perth, I applied and got the job, so two of the largest hurdles had been overcome. We still had entry visas in our passports so there was no problem getting back into Australia. We arrived back in Australia on 14 October 1981 and I can’t remember anything of the flight back except that we had to spend several hours in Kuala Lumpur waiting for the next plane.
We were met at the airport by my new Boss who was a big bloke from Chicago, well actually his wife Jean met us because my boss was still drinking in the bar (it was 3.00am). My boss used to always have a cigar in his mouth which he never lit he just used to chew it.

I could go on with all the experiences we have had but needless to say Perth has been very good to us, we have a very close family around us which include Australians, South Africans, English and Russians, and a couple of grand children for good measure.

written by “Fantom”

submitted in the colitis venting area

5 thoughts on “Bill’s Journey So Far – Diagnosed with Colitis in Mid Seventies”

  1. This correlation between giving up smoking and getting UC is undeniable. Case after case…including my own. It seems silly that quitting something so bad for our health could bring on symptoms of a troublesome condition, like ulcerative colitis, It never ceases to amaze me…

    Bill, it ceratinly sounds like you have a great sttitude toward life. You’re wuite right…we just have to get on with it don’t we? I remember being first diagnosed in my mid 30s and thinking, OMG, my life is over already? I had a bit of a pity party, but I had to pull out of that, for my own, and everyone elses’ sake. Well, it wasn’t the end of my life…and 15 years later I deal with it wonderfully too, just like you! Keep smiling…and dancing with your wife. We all only go around once…that we can remember, anyway!

    By the way…Man City ROCKS!!

    Cheers, and welcome to the site…it’a a good ‘un!

    1. Hi Bev,
      Glad to see we have another Man City supporter amongst our group.
      We went dancing last Friday, a friend of ours runs a dance night at a pub not far from where we live and last Friday he played 60’s, 70’s and 80’s music we had a great time but the next day I was as stiff as an old boot, my wife’s Gran used to call it “old age and dry rot”, I’ve got 2 weeks to get back in shape.
      I hope we only go round once!!!
      Take it easy Bev

      1. Hahahaha!!…or is it LOL in computer speak…

        Yes, I am so sore with my arthritis sometimes, I certainly don’t want to RE-LIVE it again either!!


  2. Welcome to our “Crappy colon community” Bill!! Ha!
    I loved reading your story! Sounds like you haven’t let UC get the best of you and your adventurous life. That’s wonderful! I too only have colitis in the lower part of my colon. My symptoms are horrendous and I cannot remember the last time I was totally flare free. I was diagnosed in ’03, at the age of 24…I now 34 and just hit the 10 yr mark of my “official” diagnosis . I’ve tried most of the meds out there and I cannot seem to get into remission. I was just wondering, what medications or lifestyle / diet changes do you think worked for you? I struggle not only with the colon symptoms and severe fatigue but also with severe arthritis and chronic inflammation and pain all related to the UC according to my doctors.
    You are a true inspiration, having lived with this illness for so long and all while keeping an active lifestyle and positive outlook in life!
    Thanks for sharing!
    – Angie

  3. Hi Angie,

    I have tried all manner of drugs and lifestyle changes but at the end of the day I have found that Sulphursalazine and Colifoam have given me the best results. As far as diet goes I followed the advice of my specialist for many years, Bernard Lawrence, he told me that as far as he was concerned by the time any food had passed through my intestines and colon there was not much left to cause any problems so he encouraged me to eat a normal diet but everything in moderation. I don’t dink beer or spirits but I do enjoy a glass of white wine with meals. I did find along the way that certain foods did not agree with me, the first thing to get a red flag was beer, I had suspected that beer was a problem albeit I didn’t drink very much, maybe one or two cans at a party(I had my last beer in a hotel in Accra in 1992 and I have not had one since), the other things to get a red flag were chilli and Curry. Sorting out all this took time and effort and there were times when I was very ill and took to my bed and as I’m sure you have experienced you feel pretty low and miserable and you wonder if you will ever feel well again. When you feel like that you have to get up kick it in the bum and start again
    I have been very lucky along the way, my wife of 43 years is always telling me that it is her TLC (tender loving care) that has got me this far, I feel that it is more likely her bullying (she is 44kg dripping wet and I am 85kg) which can be very persausive.
    Hang in there Angie and you will find your path.

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