I had my first Ulcerative Colitis symptom when I was 14 years old.
I noticed that there was blood in on the toilet paper one evening, concerned, I informed my father who replied
“you’ll be fine, it will go away.”
After the symptoms got worse over the next few months I had to have a colonoscopy, and was diagnosed with UC. I began the Asacol, and Rowasa enema regimen and was symptom free in a matter of weeks. After a while I was able to successfully wean myself off of all medications by the age of 16, and lived a healthy UC free life. After high school I enlisted in the Navy, and at the age of 21 I experienced another flare up of UC symptoms. I was stationed oversea’s in Italy at the time, and had to be MEDEVACED to the Naval Hospital in Naples Italy. Fortunately I got to the hospital on a Friday, and was able to see a GI doctor who once again prescribed me Asacol and Rowasa enemas. I started the medicines that Friday, (I remember not having a bowel movement all weekend) and by the time I had my next bowel movement on Monday I was symptom free.
They followed up with another colonoscopy a few months later to ensure that I was UC free. Again, I was able to wean myself off of the medications again and enjoyed life UC free. Two years later I was stationed in Washington State and had a follow up appointment with a new GI doctor, who was opposed to the idea of not taking a maintenance dosage of Asacol. The doctor prescribed me twice the dosage that I was taking when I was experiencing UC symptoms, which I questioned heavily. I took the medicine one day, the very next day I was experiencing a flare up, I stopped taking the medicine and the symptoms cleared themselves. Between 2007 and 2010 I experienced two minor flare ups that were treated well with medicine and cleared up.
In 2011, I have been experiencing signs of UC, for the most part they have been moderate and controlled. Around July the urgency to go to the bathroom and the quantity of blood I was losing was too much for me to just write off as minor UC symptoms so I went to the doctors…. Here is where my UC roller coaster ride has begun… I was prescribed Rowasa enemas, Canasa suppositories, Asacol, a 6 day dose pack of Prednisone, and a few other drugs I have never been on before. Having the great turn around from past flare ups I was optimistic about my recovery. Initially I had signs of improvement that eventually got worse as I weaned myself off the Prednisone. I finally got my referral through to see a GI doctor a few weeks after seeing my primary care physician. The GI doctor prescribed me steroid enemas, and increased my dosage of Asacol. I started this new medication regimen a few days before going on a trip to Virginia to complete my annual training for the Navy. Initially there were signs of improvement, however, after the first week the symptoms once again took a turn for the worse. Thankfully my chain of command was understanding with my condition and I was able to sit out the last week of my training so I could be within a reasonable distance to a toilet.
With my symptoms progressively getting worse I went back to the GI the first day I was back in town (which was also my first day of my fall semester). The GI doctor prescribed me a larger dosage of prednisone with a 6 week taper period. This helped me out for the first week, and as my daily dosage is getting smaller the symptoms are once again progressively getting worse. Right now I am at the point where I have to wake up 2-2.5 hours before I have to leave for classes just to make sure I have enough time on the toilet. On Thursday I am scheduled for a short scope test to see how bad my UC currently is. I am hoping that I will be able to get over this flare up soon.
Thank you Adam for the website, and UC network you have created.
Lastly, I would like to thank my wonderful wife Emmy for being there for me as I have struggled with my worse UC symptoms ever, all while during our time as newly weds. I love you.
Submitted by “Colin” in the Colitis Venting Area
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