Fight the Good Fight – Never Surrender!

Recent picture of Travis (thanks for sharing this picture! (Adam))

A little intro about Travis:

I’m a Southern California native, I like motorcycle riding, off-roading, hunting and doing road trips with my wife and my kids. My wife and I own an automotive repair business and we home school our kids.

Current Symptoms:

At the moment my stools are solid and the blood is almost nonexistent but I definitely have got pain and some gut noises.

Travis and His Story Begin Below:

I have been through a roller coaster the last 30 days of my life and I owe it all to UC!

I have been reading on this site for hours and hours researching and studying trying to understand what is going on with me and my insides. First of all I’m very thankful for this site because it has brought me a lot of peace and understanding and it is helping me tremendously!

Travis with his family

About nine months ago I went to my doctor and told him I had an uncomfortable feeling in the right side of my lower abdomen . At that time he dismissed it as gas and I excepted his answer and continued with my life. However I had an extremely stressful summer with my business and some rentals I have and ended up feeling pretty poor at the end of August. In addition to the stress I was constantly aware of the feeling again in my abdomen. It takes 30 days to get into see my doctor so I said forget it I’m going to the ER which is what I did September 3.

At the ER they did a CAT scan and they informed me that my colon and my anus was inflamed the doctor looked at me and said you’re constipated and I said really because I go everyday, and she said sir you are full of s**t! My wife was with me and got a kick out of that but I was concerned so the doctor gave me a prescription for MiraLAX Cipro and Flagyl. Off I went back home and fill my prescriptions and began to take medication.

The following week on the fifth I was able to get in with my primary care doctor to do a follow-up from the ER . He wasn’t helpful, he said I don’t know anything I don’t have the reports, which I had brought with me so that was very irritating! I felt like he felt I was a nuisance and I think he could tell because he seemed very nervous and I told him I want, angry I just needed help.  He then agreed to have the blood test done for Crohn’s on me because my dad has Crohn’s.

Meanwhile I was using the laxative for three or four days and taking the antibiotics. By the end of the week, the 8th and the 9th the blood had began to appear in the diarrhea I was now having.I started to feel absolutely terrible from around the eighth through the 18th when I had my colonoscopy. the diarrhea was bad it had blood in it had white pinkish pieces of meat or mucus or something in it. I had my initial consultation with my G.I. on the 12th and I told her then I really didn’t want to finish antibiotics because I felt like they were doing the damage along with the laxatives but she instantly said no no no you have to finish those don’t start taking them so I finished the antibiotic’s.

The colonoscopy again was on the 18th so I took the prep on the 17th which again was absolutely awful . I had now gone from having diarrhea for a week and 1/2 and being pumped full of the these antibiotic’s to just drinking this liquid that turned my gut inside out literally.

When I woke up from the colonoscopy the G.I. doctor who did the procedure which who was not the original doctor that I met with said to me while I was still extremely loaded from the sedative that I had ulcerative colitis but they were gonna give me some medication to get it under control. That was it the procedure was done and my wife took me home . I still wasn’t feeling very good but I dropped the prescription off at the pharmacy and went home to try and eat something.

That Pharmacy called me later on to tell me they couldn’t fill the script because they couldn’t read the quantity correctly, when I asked them what it was they told me it was 180 pills for one month and my jaw dropped. That was For the sulfasalazine . The other prescription was for prednisone .

I begin to look up ulcerative colitis and read all of the stories including horror stories about medications and stories about people improving themselves with diet. I made a decision not to take the drugs and change my diet drastically. The diet I’m following is somewhat similar to the SCD diet. Within three days of being home from the colonoscopy on the new diet I had a virtual regular bowel movement albeit small around in size. I have been on the diet now for almost 3 weeks and aside from the stomach cramps the blood seems to be continually diminishing and my stools are gaining size and consistency . At first some of them were hard but I drink more water and I feel things are getting better.

I have tried hard to read as much as I can before asking questions, but I do have a few questions that I would be very thankful if someone can help me with answers. I had a follow up with my doctor and she asked how the medication was doing and as soon as I told her I wasn’t taking it she got very upset and didn’t even want to go over the results of the biopsies of my colonoscopy. she told me that I had to take this medication for the rest of my life or the information will never go away and I’m gonna be at risk for cancer . So at this point what I believe I have learned is that there are three main symptoms to be aware of number one stomach pain and/or fatigue number two diarrhea and/or bloody diarrhea and third number of times that you have to use the restroom a day or urgency……. am I correct? Aside from the laxative and the colonoscopy prep I haven’t ever had any urgency even to this day.I try to go as soon as I feel that I have to go because I don’t want to hold it in I don’t think that’s healthy if you don’t have to. I also wanted to ask you guys what exactly is a flair can someone define it? Last but not least obviously we cannot see our colons so how does one know if the information is going down aside from a colonoscopy? I believe my inflanation is currently causing some of my discomfort in my gut do you guys contribute the discomfort to inflammation also or is my thinking wrong here?

I’m sorry that this initial post so long but I really was unable to get any information from my doctor all she wanted me to do was take the medication shut up and except the facts. My dad was diagnosed with Crohn’s when he was 24 years old he had his entire large intestine removed to 26 and he just turned 74 this year, and he spent his entire life drinking beer in racing motorcycles in Mexico at the Baja 1000 not that I’m advocating anyone do those things! but my dad’s a fighter and I’m a fighter too and I just don’t want to lay down and play dead. thank you for everyone who takes the time to read this and you can answer any my questions and help me in my journey I’m very thankful for the site and I plan to be on actively to learn more and to help others with this challenging condition .

Medications:

I was prescribed sulfasalazine and prednisone but I chose not to take them and instead I am currently following Dr. Robert Gundrys Plant Paradox diet. I have lost 25 pounds in the last month but I feel better today than I did A few weeks ago and I’ve been on the diet for three weeks.

written by Travis

submitted in the colitis venting area




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17 Responses to Fight the Good Fight – Never Surrender!

  1. Rachel October 29, 2017 at 10:14 am #

    Well a flare up for me is having urgency to use the bathroom to the point I have ran to the bathroom. Blood and mucous in the stool, as well as being extremely weak and exhausted to the point I’m so hungry but I don’t want to get up and go to the kitchen to get food. Also there were times when I didn’t want to eat because I knew I was going to have a bowel Movement because of it. When I am in a fare I can go to the bathroom over 15 times a day and it can be quite painful. Typically during intense flares I will loose weight as well. I think flares can look a little different person to person. I can tell my inflammation has gone down when my stools are normal width. When I have very thin stools that tells me my colon is inflamed. What has helped me about 80% is taking on a plant based diet. I have been plant based for over a year and only had one small flare. I have had a colonoscopy as well and was diagnosed with UC. The last month I noticed that I will get tons of blood and moucous in my stool when I eat lots of bread. I am coming to the conclusion that I may have a gluten intolerance as well. It sounds like you have already jumped on board with changing your diet which is great. I know that they say diet has little effect on UC but for me that doesn’t seem to be the case. I never got into taking medicine as well. I encourage you to consider a plant based diet and see how that works. I’m sure you well know to ensure you are getting a colonoscopy no longer than every two years to keep up on it, especially since your dad has chrons. I’m sorry you had the trouble you did with those doctors. I would tell you to consider going to get your next colonoscopy done by another doctor just to get a second opinion.

  2. Susan October 29, 2017 at 11:17 am #

    Hi, I guess you could say that I don’t have the typical UC symptoms. I have urgency, blood, mucus, thin and/or soft stools, has, bloating, fatigue, but rarely diarrhea and I’ll only go a couple of times a day. When I did have diarrhea multiple times a day, it was accompanied by vomiting and included a trip to the hospital for fluids. I can go days without any obvious blood or mucus, and have completely normal stools, then have a few days of with the symptoms. You can also replace days with weeks. That’s happened to me as well. I don’t respond well to steroids or biologics. I feel they make me more sick. I had an FMT several years ago and was in remission until recently. This flare is mild though, so I’m thankful for that. I use canabis and turmeric, as well as the probiotic VSL#3. I’m also currently taking Llialda, took Uceris for a bit but ended up on Metoprolol to quiet the heart palpitations caused by the steroid. I’ve never been able to control my UC with diet, but that’s most likely due to my lack of sticking to a specific diet for long. This disease wasn’t what I expected it to be after I was diagnosed and read about it in more detail. It really is a different experience for everybody. As an example, I can have soft stools, blood, mucus, bloating, has, gut noises, but my inflammation marker on a blood test can be normal…when obviously things are not normal. It’s trial and error finding out what works for you and that may change from flare to flare. What worked for me before, doesn’t work now, etc…sometimes you need to change things up. The doctors right about cancer risk increasing while not on meds if your inflammation isn’t being controlled some other way, but their are cancer risks caused by taking some of the medications. There is definitely not one cure all med for everyone. If I were you, I’d try to find a doctor more willing to work with you on alternative treatments. Maybe come to a nice compromise (as I do with my doc) vs the all or nothing attitude of your current doc. Good luck to you! I hope you find what works for you sooner rather than later!
    Susan
    (also in So Cal!)

  3. Cassie October 29, 2017 at 4:26 pm #

    Hey, I’ve dealt with this for over a year now, got diagnosed about half a year ago. It’s relieving to know the diagnosis and depressing at the same time, knowing there’s no cure. I tried medication after medication with no such luck. I’m on Remicade now, I’ve learned that if I avoid greasy foods, meats, and broccoli and corn, I feel so much better! Also, drink PLENTY of water and mix prickly pear cactus juice with some juice everyday and it helps with the inflammation. Hope you feel better soon!

  4. Carolyn (also So Cal) October 30, 2017 at 2:31 am #

    My flares come with blood, mucus and constipation. Fortunately, no pain. I take Lialda (3tabs), vitamin D, and a probiotic. Rowasa (Mesalamine enema) worked great for me while having a flare. I’ve also used Prednisone to get out of a flare but I try to avoid that.
    My colitis is mainly left-sided, more rectal.

    I would recommend taking the medicine to get you out of the flare, then taper off if you must. Medicine works for me, but in the end, you need to take care of you, And do what’s best for you.

  5. Cathy Miller October 30, 2017 at 8:41 am #

    On the home page search engine put in Cathy’s Free E book, scroll down that page to find it..31 pages about what I did…I got really bad advice from specialists too with an to biotic and almost died.

  6. Travis H
    Travis Harper October 30, 2017 at 10:35 am #

    Thanks for all the replies!!! I did end up starting the Prednisone and Sulfasalazine after I spoke with a different G.I. doctor who performed and E.G.D. on me a few weeks ago. He was much more patient with me and explained that the first concern was a reduction in the inflammation in my colon and that the steroids and sulfa drugs would help with that. After the results of the biopsies from my stomach came back it was discovered that I have an H Pylori infection in my stomach with gastritis and I have DuoDenitis in the beginning of my small intestines as well!!! I have been placed on an antibiotic bundle of dugs along with a Proton Pump inhibitor and Pepto Bismol to kill the H Pylori. They seem to be upsetting my digestive track a bit but I am making due as I want the bacteria gone from my stomach so it can begin to heal. At this point, I have a light amount of decrease but no blood now for a few weeks and the cramping has been minimal, so overall I am feeling much better.
    I have changed my diet drastically and am following the SCD diet for the most part. I have tried one piece of Pizza which was followed by a terrible morning, the next evening I had some Great White Northern Beans that again was followed by a morning in the bathroom and then I had a Star Bucks Chai Tea Latte which landed me in the bathroom the following morning for about 6 to 8 BM’s followed by 4 hours passed out on the couch from the stomach pain. For the most part, I only use the restroom in the morning and don’t have to go throughout the rest of the day. I am very thankful for this after reading what many of you go through daily.
    I am beginning to see that what I eat has the biggest effect on my bowels for the day. I can’t wait to finish the Medicine for the H Pylori and be back on just the Prednisone and Sulfasalazine. I have an appointment with the friendly G.I. Doc who did my EGD this Friday and am hoping to get an estimate on how soon I can start tapering off of the Prednisone(thankfully I’m only on 20mg a day which seems to be a relatively low dose compared to what some people end up having to take). He was pretty adamant that the Sulfasalazine would need to be continued for a prolonged period of time but I am going to experiment myself eventually with quitting it if He and I cannot reach a mutual agreement.
    I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has and is going to respond to my story as it is all very helpful and encouraging to know that I am not alone. That first few weeks really sucked and was so confusing and scary, but I now feel much better mentally as well as physically!

    • Adam
      Adam November 1, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

      Hey Travis,

      Thanks so much for the update, and I hope you will continue to keep us posted on how things go for you.

      It is pretty incredible to hear yet another person in our tribe finding the deal that food plays a big part in our lives, even more than we can realize I learn more and more myself.

      I wanted to let you know that I have (due to some incredible stories and situations posted here), begun reading a fascinating book myself, called Eat right for your type, and the story that got me into this is on this page written by Jaclyn, here’s that link:

      https://www.ihaveuc.com/jaclyns-ulcerative-colitis-solution-blood-type-based-diet/

      Best of luck to you, and I hope the So Cal life is treating you proper bud,

      Adam

      (and if you get a 1979 Blue Vanagon in your shop that needs a new owner…keep me posted:)

  7. Gail October 30, 2017 at 11:00 am #

    This is not directly related to UC but be VERY careful with antibiotics, some in particular. Cipro is a flouroquinolone and, unfortunately, handed out like candy by doctors. Look up flouroquinolone toxicity or floxie hope website to learn more. Best to be armed with knowledge ahead of time in order to avoid taking very strong, harmful meds. Bad enough dealing with UC let alone piling on other problems caused by prescription drugs.

  8. Ana November 4, 2017 at 10:29 am #

    Hi Travis,
    I was really inspired by a book of Don Makowski “The Doctor said What” about his miraculous experience with fecal transplantation, in fact, I’m searching for a hospital in Europe where I could try it out. I’ve heard it’s very common in USA, how about giving it a chance. It makes a lot of sence that our immune system depends on how much good bacteria we have in our guts, hence healthy human bacteria might do a better job than all medications together.

    • Travis H
      Travis November 9, 2017 at 8:28 am #

      Hi Ana, I actually did read Don’s book to. I am not opposed to any kind of treatment that may produce good results. The procedure is noted in my mind and depending on my abilities to have success in maintaining my symptoms, may be an option in the future if needed! An open mind has been the strongest weapon I have wielded in my battle thus far! Have a great day!

  9. Csthy November 4, 2017 at 10:51 pm #

    Search book from home page Cathy’s Free E book..you can do them at home…let me know if you need help finding my book on this site. Fecal implants and diet healed me.

  10. Travis H
    Travis November 9, 2017 at 8:24 am #

    Hello everyone! I met with my GI doctor for the follow up from my EGD, and he went over the results with me. The biopsies of my stomach and Duodenum(the beginning of your small intestine) both have inflammation going on. He changed my diagnosis from Ulcerative Colitis to Crohn’s Disease. When I told him my dad has Crohn’s he laughed and said well the apple didn’t fall far from the tree! I do like my new doctor, he listens to me and has a lighter view of things than my previous GI doctor. So now I find myself in a different diagnosis and my first thoughts were to come ask you guys if I should Continue to post here in the I have UC website and Facebook or look into transitioning to another resource that is more Crohn’s specific? What do you guys think?

    In all my reading it is obvious that there are many similarities between these diseases, including the SCD diet as a means of addressing them. I have purchased and read through the book and am on the diet. I am happy to report that I have not passed any blood in a few weeks now. I just finished the antibiotics to kill the H Pylori bacterial infection in my stomach Tuesday. I’m excited about that and I’m hoping that my stools will begin to be even more formed and solid. Right now they are fluffy and formed for the most part but I figured the antibiotics could be affecting them so I have been satisfied with the no blood aspect up top this point. I am however looking forward to an even greater improvement in my stools.

    I start my prednisone taper down on Saturday morning, currently on 20mg, going to 10 then 5, then 2.5. I’m trying not to be overly anxious about that as I battle the fear that things will take a turn for the worse in the process. I see there are a few new people who have posted since I was diagnosed in October, how frustrating these diseases are! But I am so thankful to all of you who have responded to me! Thank you so much, for in your responses and in this website and the SCD book, I have found strength and direction and I am in a much better place than I WAS, AND I AM OH SO THANKFUL! SO THANKFUL! I look forward to Your replies and I pray that everyone will find answers tailored to there needs through their diligent searching! Hope everyone has a great day!

  11. Cathy Miller November 14, 2017 at 10:51 am #

    Maybe I’m missing something but my question is…if you have no blood no diarrhea and no pain…why are you being medicated and taking prednisone?

    Drugs are very harmful and if you don’t really need them stay away.
    I took Prednisone for 2 years until I learned how to deal with this condition drug free.
    Prednisone has left me with other conditions which I am working on sans drugs.

    My feeling is most doctors, all I have had…12 specialists, know very little about how to cure Colitis or Chron’s. They actually do much harm to their patients. I see it every day.
    One day I would like to start a class action suit against all who have done unnecessary operations and addicted their patients to drugs and actually enabled their patients to pass on. Yes this angers me. I wish they would say it does have to do with diet. One must take drugs if you are critical from excessive bleeding. Why can’t they finish their statement which starts with “We have no idea what causes this condition” (disease) which It really isn’t…it is a condition.,,, and refer patients to a Functional Medicine doctor or naturapath and start helping their patients…instead of killing them.
    Sorry for the rant but I’m losing another acquaintance who is only 17 cause her mom felt she should listen and do what the doctors told them to do.

    • Travis H
      Travis Harper November 14, 2017 at 11:29 am #

      Hi Cathy, thanks for replying to my post. To answer your first question as to why I’m taking the medication – currently, I have no blood in my stool, as far as diarrhea goes, my stool is mostly formed but depending on what I eat, it seems to be semi-digested sometimes. I have very minimal pain- I would call it more discomfort, and generally feel like crap off and on, like I’m fatigued. Evry day is different. I am on the medication because my current GI doctor told me that I need to be. This whole thing from the start has been nothing but confusing to me and has been very frustrating. When they tell you that they don’t know what causes it, diet doesn’t affect it and you have to take medication it gives you a pretty bad feeling.

      I have been reading much on my own trying to gain understanding and insight into what the heck is happening to me. After my diagnosis was switched from Colitis to Chrohn, then I was even more confused and frustrated as now I have something that affects me from my mouth to my anus instead of only the Large intestine. In my heart, I am hoping that after I am off the Prednisone my stools will return to normal with the help of the SCD diet. I would like to stop taking the Sulfasalazine also but plan on staying on it for a while in hopes it will help me to heal. I would love to be able to control this condition with a diet, but half the people with it say that’s not possible and the other half say it is!!!!!!!!!! At least that’s what it seems like.

      I am doing the best I can to reason through all this. From the get-go I feel as though I was given no information that was helpful, just statements were made by my doctors. Statements that a normal person doesn’t understand until you spend hours researching to learn what is going on. I appreciate your stance on the matter, concerning the treatment methods and your opinions of doctors. I would love to chat sometime if you are willing, I hope you are doing well! Thanks, Cathy, Travis.

  12. Bev November 14, 2017 at 11:42 am #

    Cathy, I must chime in and agree.

    I hear and see so many people who have been convinced by doctors that drugs are necessary for this condition, not only when in a flare, but also for ‘prevention’, when one is not flaring, but normal and healthy.

    Many have been sold a bill of goods…that if they do not take medication permanently and constantly, that they will end up with cancer.

    I too, cry bullshit on this fallacy. It is often about money (for the drug companies and the profit sharing with doctors themselves). Also doctors seemingly having to go ‘by the book’, thus, often giving no natural healthy viable alternatives to their patients. How tragic.

    I have seen and heard of numerous people that do not die ‘from having UC and other bowel conditions’, but rather, they die from the years of ingesting poisonous medications.

    It pains me when I read of sufferers of bowel conditions taking medications.

    Just my two cents. Let’s not be afraid to speak up about this.

    • Cathy Miller November 15, 2017 at 10:55 am #

      Thank you Bev. I was afraid I would be getting a rant on how nuts I am for saying what I said.

      I can truly relate to your views on doctors and pharmaceuticals of which you so aptly described and I so totally agree.

      If I had taken the specialist’s advice I would have had 40 feet of bowel removed as large and small intestine were a mess(after they gave me 2 anti-biotics for 7 days in hospital). Starting them at booking in the Emergency Room because the hospital had an outbreak of C-Diff (without even asking me or a physician what my diagnoses would be….and the doctor continued them as I got worse and worse).

      I, like everyone here, at the time, knew nothing about Colitis or Chron’s. I am lucky to be alive and well, learning to never let that happen again. I was hospitalized for over a month and a half and then checked myself out. I started reading in hospital about alternative therapies and decided I would try a fecal implant before I had my entire bowel removed(as written in my book on Adam’s site Cathy’s Free E Book).
      I found out how to do this at home as I was desperate to find another way.

      If I had known at that time of SCD I would have done much better I’m sure without the implant, although, I find very occasionally, I feel I want to do one if blood shows up for more than a day or two.

      My experience tells me now that if I always and continually omit all sugars ( sugar substitutes, sugar in any form and all wheat products and rice and potatoes I am generally thriving…in the best health of my life. You must read and re-read labels as you know so well. My issue now is fruit in an amount that is just too much for my genome ( I find a pear or a banana is the perfect amount …or not at all for awhile if I see blood.)

      I know, I know so much more than any mainstream doctor about this condition because I did the work…they know very little about what causes what in our bodies. Surgery for state of the art operations on hearts of unborn babies and all the wonderful help that comes from science regarding complex surgeries is where the medical profession shines. They have no idea why we bleed, why we have pain, why we are suffering with their so called “diseases”. They take no nutrition courses and no nothing about our health.

      The so very sad thing is so many listen to their doctors for fear of doing the wrong thing.
      What we have done sounds radical to mom’s with children who are beside themselves with fear.

      My heart goes out to all of us.
      I will continue to do what I can.

      ….and yes Travis learn learn learn.

      Thanks Bev for hearing me….hopefully through Adam we can make the difference.

      • Bev November 15, 2017 at 12:13 pm #

        Oh, Cathy…I hear you alright.

        I SO hope that all who suffer these conditions do the research and don’t buy into a lifetime on medications.

        So tragic.

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