My name is Don and I’m 56 years old. I am a design engineer in plastics and a musician. I have been married to the love of my life for 36 years and have 7 grandchildren.
Some more about me:
I live in Erie,PA and released my own CD under the name Dee Girard in 2006. The next year I got sick. My musical career had been put on hold but I still play every day and I love to sing and play the harp (harmonica).
Still experiencing some bleeding, gassiness, wetness, and urgency. I gained some weight this year after losing over 40 lbs. around Christmas 2011.
I am 56 years old, a husband married to a wonderful woman for 36 years, a grandfather of 7 children, an engineer and a musician and I was living a carefree life until 2007 when I began to experience digestive problems. I had just released my first CD of original music under the name Dee Girard and was planning to do some shows in support of this disc.
Over the course of a few years I noticed that I was going to the bathroom more and that my stools were less formed. Early in the summer of 2007 I started to see blood in the toilet. My wife and I had planned a vacation to Savannah so I didn’t say anything to her. I assumed I would be dying soon of cancer so I might as well enjoy this one last vacation! Later in the summer the bleeding increased until it was dripping out. At that point I called my family doctor who made an appointment for me in approximately 2 weeks. I thought I might be dead by then and was surprised that they we so nonchalant about it. After seeing this doctor they made an appointment for me to see a GI doctor in about a month! Was nobody taking this seriously? My appointment was actually with a nurse practitioner and the main thing we talked about was getting a colonoscopy. This would be my first. Several weeks later my diarrhea had gotten much worse and I was losing a lot of weight. I started ou t at about 220 lbs and now was at around 180. Preparing for the colonoscopy was a nightmare. The pain was excruciating and inducing diarrhea seemed like a bad idea. I already had diarrhea! While waiting for the results of the colonoscopy I continued to get worse and my GI doctor was of no help. I saw a holistic doctor who performed acupuncture on me and sold me some Chinese herbs and vegetable mixes at a cost of almost $300. At this point I could no longer work. I spent the next couple weeks taking the drinks and eating the foods that the holistic doctor had sold me but saw no improvement whatsoever. Finally when I could hardly stand on my own I had my wife take me to the ER. I was admitted immediately and a barrage of tests was done. I was given pain medication, Prednisone, and other medications and hospitalized in intensive care for a week. It took me another 2 months to return to work.
At this point I thought the problem was solved and I could go back to living my life. Wrong! In the summer of 2008 I started having diarrhea again and soon after the bleeding started again. I had another colonoscopy and it was determined that I had ulcerative colitis. I was put on Asacol which did nothing. I was once again declining and terrified of the drugs that they were offering, Remicade, Humira, and Imuran. That’s when I found Elaine Gottschalls’ book Breaking the Vicious Cycle. I August 2008 I started the intro diet and saw major improvement over 2 weeks. I knew I was on to something. I continued on the diet and gained weight and steadily improved to the point that I thought I was cured. 2 years later in September of 2010 I experimented with a taco from Taco Bell. No problems. I then had bread. No problem. Next was pasta and still no change. I was giving myself a week between trying new things. Finally at Halloween I had some candy. Caramel filled chocol ates that my son in law made. They were delicious but shortly after eating a couple of those I was seeing a reaction. I immediately went back on the diet but it was too late. The sugar caused the bacteria to explode inside causing severe diarrhea and soon bleeding. A couple weeks later I was back in the ER and spent 5 days there recuperating. I told the doctors that it was because I went off the diet but they didn’t believe it.
Since then I had been trying to get off Prednisone but every time I would wean off I would start having problems. The last time I weaned very, very slowly and used the SCD Lifestyles phases of the SCD diet from Jordan and Steve. Previously I was diving into all the different SCD legal foods that I could eat before. That was a mistake. This time I pureed and cooked all my food very well. That made all the difference in the world. I hope to be writing music and performing again soon!
Asacol didn’t work, Prednisone helped get me out of nasty flares but is hard to get off of.
written by Don
submitted in the colitis venting area