Curse or Blessing?

Canadian Eric ColitisMeet “Canadian Eric”

Hi, my name is Eric and I’m 35 years old. I was just recently diagnosed late spring/early summer 2012. I’m not very good at remembering specific dates so that will have to do. I currently work for a Medical Technology company and the show “Ancient Aliens” has obliterated my mind.

Some more about me:

Being Canadian, I love hockey. And beer. And whiskey. But since being diagnosed I now only love hockey. Born and raised just outside Toronto, Canada, not only have I recently been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis but have also seemed to discovered I’m suffering from a case of Yuppism! So many changes. Needless to say, my University Hippie self is quite upset. I guess that means I’ll have to stop playing video games soon too. Oh and btw, Battlestar Galactica best show ever!

Current Colitis Symptoms:

Currently my symptoms are quite mild. I’ve been very good with my eating habits (I am now eating pretty much anything but have yet to venture down the spicy aisle and the two times I’ve attempted to drink alcohol, well not worth it). But hey, if it means one hard poop a day…”show me the toilet!!!” (in my best Cuba Gooding, Jr. voice impersonation…not sure if it works). I do get that “blocked” up feeling and the tenderness and the burning I hate the burning, why is there burning?!?! Oh and some bleeding. Love that part too.

Curse or Blessing

My story – Well it began almost 15 years ago when I suspect UC first initialized itself within my large intestine in the form of an intestinal parasite. Working in a kitchen during my University days, I was told this wasn’t common yet not uncommon for someone of my job description. I was given some pills to take, a quite heavy poison and told for the next 7 years I would continue to suffer from my symptoms until my body fully healed itself from the medication.

The symptoms you ask? One of them included a sharp pain in my lower intestine signaling to me an approximate 30 second window to find a toilet fast. Life was stressful. I didn’t make it on a few occasions. Yup nothing more embarrassing then being on a date and having to cut it short because well you just had an accident. Just 7 years of this, no problem right? Well 7 years went by and then 10 and so on. The condition has simply become white noise in my life. Until last summer.

I was dealing with a lot of stress. To make things worse, I’ve also been diagnosed with Narcolepsy and Bipolar II so life was being very awkward, I didn’t have a good grasp and my health was deteriorating physically not to mention emotionally. I started to lose weight and was having issues eating. I would often feel nausea and at one point was throwing up 3-4 times a day…while at work. I’m still not sure how no one caught on!

Finally I woke one day feeling literally “grey”. Not green, or blue or purple but grey. I went to work debating making the drive to the hospital instead. About half hour into my shift, I knew this wasn’t going to work out. When I told my boss I needed to leave, the expression on his face told me everything I needed to know. I should’ve went to the hospital instead! So I went.

Looking back at my experience being diagnosed at the hospital, I now have to laugh. But I’ll save that story for another time. To say the least, UC has changed my life drastically even when I wasn’t aware. Some may see such a diagnose as a curse but for me it has been a blessing. Living with the symptoms for years not knowing I had UC was one thing. Now that I know what the symptoms are and why I have them, well I probably feel better today than I ever have simply because I can now manage them!

Ultimately I had to sit myself down one day and make a choice based on my perception. I could either see this diagnose as a ball and chain tied around my ankle, weighing me down and holding me back from what I want to do. Or I could see this diagnose as a stepping stone to a level of greater knowledge and from that point of view I’ve been able to find success and just be happier. In fact I’m grateful for this diagnose because at the end of the day it makes me a better person! It makes me try harder and helps me realize how lucky I am. How weird is that?

Current Colitis Medications:

I take Salofalk (Mesalazine) both oral and suppository. And I hate the suppository :/

written by Eric

submitted in the colitis venting area

9 thoughts on “Curse or Blessing?”

  1. Hey fellow Canadian !
    I am also from Canada near Montreal and have family in Toronto ! Way to go on your perception of the disease ! It is also how I see it ! I have been DX with UC in 2007 and learned so much about myself and my own strength ! Wishing you well !!

  2. Hey Eric,

    Not sure if I would call this a blessing but wouldn’t call it a curse either. I have UC for 14 years and just got over a bad flare a couple of months ago. Just went off the steroids in middle of November and so far knock on wood doing well with just the Ascal. I have about 30 pounds to loose but at least I can eat. Honestly I look at this disease as just something you have to deal with. I will not let this control my life. I also soak in epsom salt baths and do a lot of mediation helps with the stress.I have always thought someone out there always has it worse then you. So whenever you are at your lowest just think of someone else out there is going through something worse then you.


  3. i’ve definitely never looked at this disease as a blessing, that’s for sure! it is a complete curse for me- totally took away so much of what i had- my health, jobs, friends/family, freedom. i’d easily give it to another person and be done with it forever.

    i am glad you have found a sense of reason with this disease. i hope i can one day feel like that.

  4. Nice going dude! I am healthier than all of my friends and more fit because i’m more conscious of what I eat with this disease! Crohn’s colitis for the win!

  5. Hey, Eric. Good story, you sound like an upbeat guy. I’ve looked at this disease as a curse, a “why me” sort of thing but I’ve also looked at it as a huge challenge. I’ve had bad side effects from almost all the meds so I’ve turned to natural healing and therein lies the challenge. It took me 9 months to get out of my last flare. My gastro gave up on me and made me feel bad, the bitch, sorry but the way she treated me was unfair, she didn’t believe me when I told her I can’t take the prescriptions she prescribed. She definitely didn’t believe in natural cures. I can’t tolerate many types of meds, not even for the arthritis I have so I take supplements that help both. The only one I can really tolerate is Canasa, the suppository, when I’m not flaring too bad and it really helps. I’ve been out of a flare since Sept. now and can drink some green tea, a little wine but I choose not to hardly ever imbibe. I’m even taking a knitting class for 2 hours once week without having to worry about running to the bathroom! Diet is key!! Good luck, Eric!

  6. Hello Eric, my fellow Canuck!!

    Thank goodness for Hockey Night In Canada this Saturday, huh? I thought I wasn’t going to make it through this winter, but alas, all is well now that hockey is back…but I digress…

    Yes, knowing what we have is much better than not knowing! It ain’t great having UC, but I hear what you’re saying about a ‘blessing’. That it can be for sure!

    Great post! Welcome to the site. It’s a fab one!……GO CANUCKS!! I’m sure you have a different team…actually the long suffering Leafs are still my boys, but I live in BC these days, so the Canucks are second…I was born and raised in T.O. too! Coburg, actually!


  7. Chris from Massachusetts
    Christopher from Mass

    Hi Eric =)

    Thanks for the inspiration. You are a fellow UC brother. This disease is so serious and not knowing you had it for so long – that is some tough stuff.

    Glad to see they were finally able to diagnose it for you.

  8. Hey Eric,

    You have a really great attitude about having the disease. I cant even to imagine going through what UC puts you through not knowing that was what was causing your problems. Glad you got diagnosed and are able to deal with it better now that you know.

    I am totally with you about do you let this be your ball & chain or do you just find better ways to cope with it?

    It def changes your life… but like you said it depends if you make it a bad change or a good one (if I can even say that UC could make your life better)

    I just know personally that I refused to let it get in my way of making it through college. May 5th cant come fast enough. =)

    I do however LOVE this site and LOVE reading people’s stories like yours who wont let this put a damper on your spirit.
    I wish you the best dealing with UC…. your not alone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.