My name is Cheryl and I was diagnosed with UC In October 2022. UC (lower end of bowel only) I also have diverticulitis, Acid reflux and Central Nervous System Vasculitis, which is another autoimmune condition that I was diagnosed with in 1999 after two strokes. I took high dose of prednisone for a year, another 6 months to taper off, 2 intravenous Cytoxan treatments, and four years of Imuran to go into remission. I still have cognitive and fatigue issues, poor fine motor control with my left hand from the strokes and some left side weakness. But I didn’t die, which so many people do with this condition so that’s a win!
I have lived in Florida for 16 years with my husband Pete. We have been married 36 years. We have two kids, who both still live here in Florida, but in their own places which is awesome in many ways because they are supporting themselves and living happy lives. We are usually in daily contact but I sometimes miss us all living together as a family. My mom also moved to Florida and lives 5 miles from us. Then three of my brothers trickled down, leaving one still in Connecticut. Pete’s two sisters live here as well and two nieces and a nephew. I have worked from home full time for a pharmacy benefit manager for six years. I am currently a Senior Resolution Specialist. When people call for help with their pharmacy benefit, and say “I want to speak to your manager” they get me. Which means my job can be super stressful due to angry frustrated people. My favorite part of my job is getting calls from other pharmacies looking for overrides because usually they are not angry and I love placing overrides and working to get a paid claim. My job is constantly different day by day, with the hundreds of different health plans, Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid, there are always changes and new things daily. I have discovered over the years that once I learn the ins and out of a position, I get bored and want to quit. I never get bored with this job and if I do there are so many other positions to move to that I hope to stay here until I retire.
Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms:
I started SCD January 2023 and since then my symptoms have been very mild. I had a 5 week stretch with no issues, but have just had a bad week due to trying pantoprazole sod dr 40 mg, caused bleeding and cramps for three days. Plus was major stressed out due to 82 year old mom ending up in the hospital for double pneumonia and sepsis for two weeks, between running back and forth to the hospital, trying to work AND I found a place for my mom to move to in her same 55 community because her landlord want to sell her current place, negotiating the new lease, oh and her two cats got fleas infesting her whole place because she was not feeling well and forgot to feed them their flea meds, AND two of my brothers are living with her right now, one is an Oscar Madison, the other is Felix Unger and they drive me crazy. Stress hurts my UC, and right now I have too much but today no bleeding, no cramps so I’m happy.
My UC Story:
Around August 2022 started noticing mucus on my poop and I had cramping. Then some blood. I passed the blood off as maybe hemorrhoids because I was going to the bathroom a lot. Then I could barely make it to the bathroom, and when I had to go I had to GO! A few times I did not make it in time, which was really gross. It started affecting my job, its difficult holding it in until you can get off a call. I felt like I could not eat if I had plans to go anywhere. I started feeling like my life revolved around the bathroom.
I started Googling my symptoms. Colitis came up. my #3 brother Scott had been diagnosed with UC in 2020 during Covid. He had a bad case. Ended up in the the hospital for a while. He is currently on his 4th medication and still on prednisone. I did not want to follow his path.
I called and made an appointment with a Gastroenterology doctor. Saw the doctor, he set me up for a Colonoscopy. I had one in 2017 when I turned 50 and it was fine showing only the diverticulitis.
The doctor found Diverticulosis, Hemorrhoids, and Diffuse moderate inflammation was found in the mid sigmoid colon secondary to proctosigmoid colitis. Dr said I had UC (lower end of bowel only) UC. I started Googling after starting treatment when I did not feel better. I found Ihave UC. purchased Adam’s book and read it. Started researching SCD, read Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet. Found Adam’s iHaveUC Facebook group, the Facebook group Breaking the Vicious Cycle SCD Community. I started SCD in January 2023. I think the main reason I have had success with the diet is my husband and I did strict no cheat Keto for a a full year a couple years ago. Our eating had already changed to non Gmo, rarely eating processed foods, rarely eating out except for pizza or Chick Filet like once a week. I have been struggling to lose the last 50 pounds put on while I was sick back in 1999. I had gone up to 280 whole on all the medication and not a lot pf physical activity, I could not walk after my strokes and it took a long time to get back on my feet without canes or braces.
At the start of treatment I was using the HDROCORTISONE 100 MG/60 ML ENEMA along with the MESALAMINE but only could use it weekends because of application issues, I only used a box and after starting the diet stopped using them.
I take MESALAMINE (5-AMINOSALICYLIC ACID) DELAYED-REL TABS IN CAP- form 400 mg two pills 3 times a day (6 pills a day). I also take a Prevagen regular strength supplement, helps my cognitive issues. take 300 mg Gabapentin twice a day for joint and neuropathic pain. I take 150 mg of Wellbutrin once a day for depression. I try to take the Freeda SCD B Complex w/ Vitamin C & Zinc – 100 Capsules every other day. I take Chlorpheniramine Maleate Extended Release, 12 Mg , twice a day for my reflux chronic cough and Allegra during allergy seasons.
I have been strict SCD since January 2023. I truly believe the diet combined with the Mesalamine has stopped the bleeding and cramping. I hope I can stop taking the pills some day
written by Cheryl C
submitted in the colitis venting area
My name is Cheryl and I was diagnosed with UC In October 2022. UC (lower end of bowel only)
Wishing you the very best with continued success, and with reaching all your health related goals in the future. Seems you have got a positive attitude and support from within your family, and that is key! Keep it up and thx again for sharing!, Adam