I turned 21 in August 2003. I was still in remission at that point. I always had my colitis in the back of my mind after I thought it was gone but didn’t really think about it all of the time.
December 2003 came. I remember going to the bathroom one night and seeing blood in my stool. I thought, “hmmm, any “normal” person that has never dealt with any sort of GI problems wouldn’t be concerned.” But I was. I scheduled an appointment with my regular doctor. Told him what was going on and he referred me to a GI doctor.
Now, if I had known then what was going to happen to my life, I would have asked for a different GI doctor. Out of what little respect I now have for the man, I will not use his real name or give the name of his practice. He shall be known as Dr. Evil. Although, that’s kind of insulting the character of Dr. Evil from Austin Powers; my apologies to Mike Myers.
I scheduled my first appointment with Dr. Evil. My mother went with me. We talked, I told him my past, and whatnot. He scheduled me for a colonoscopy. I hadn’t had one in 10 years or so, so understandably, I was nervous. When the results came back, they showed my colitis had returned. But this time, it was Ulcerative colitis.
And so my Hell started.
Dr. Evil first put me on Asacol. I don’t remember the dosage but I do remember that at first, I was taking it wrong. I was sick non-stop so I called Dr. Evil and his nurse said, “oh, you’re supposed to take it this way, not that way.” I was like, “duh, my own fault” so I started taking it the correct way. I was still getting sick. I was in the bathroom 24/7 – I would eat my meals in there, take my laptop in there, etc. because I was ALWAYS in there. I would wake up in the middle of the night on the toilet, not remembering how long I had been in there. I had called Dr. Evil numerous times and each time I was told, “just bear with it, it has to get in your system. Give it time.” Well, I was tired of giving it time. I was stuck at home, afraid to go anywhere because what if they didn’t have a bathroom and I had to go? I basically couldn’t go anywhere – anytime I thought about stepping foot out of the door, I had to go to the bathroom. And going to the bathroom wasn’t pleasant. My stool was always loose and contained blood. I was paler than normal (I’m Irish-Scotish so I was never “tan” to begin with) and losing weight. Finally, after a month and a half, I had my scheduled appointment with Dr. Evil. My mom and I went in there ready to fight. I broke out into tears and told Dr. Evil how I was always in the bathroom, hadn’t left my house for a month or so – the farthest I had gone was to the mailbox. I begged and pleaded to be taken off the Asacol and he finally agreed. He put me on Prednisone for a month to try and get my innerds back to somewhat normal.
After a month on Prednisone, I went back for an appointment. This time he put me on Colazal. I thought MAYBE this medicine will work. Nope. It was like Asacol all over again. It was like wash, rinse, repeat – just like with the Asacol, he told me to give it time, to let it get in my system, and it will work. Once again, I had to beg to get taken off the Colazal. He took me off and back on Prednisone.
I told him I wanted to stay on the Prednisone for a while. My best friends wedding was coming up soon and I wanted to be there. I didn’t want to miss my BFF’s wedding because my butt was glued to a toilet seat. I told him the Prednisone was the only thing that was working right now, let’s see how it does. And for once, he really listened to me. Of course, my threatening him could have had something to do with it.
My BFF’s wedding came and went. I was still kinda sick during that time but at least I wasn’t on the toilet for her wedding! I looked horrible tho. Paler than a vampire and a big ol’ moonface. Too bad there is photograph evidence of this. (Note: red is not my original hair color, if you couldn’t tell, so it didn’t add to pale-ness).
After the wedding, I went back to Dr. Evil. And honestly, I can’t remember what medicine he put me on next. I have chosen to block some parts out while some parts have been erased (the explanation for that come later in the story.) But, the results were the same as the Asacol & Colazal – bathroom 24/7, not leaving the house, etc. So back to Prednisone I went. I stayed on the Prednisone for a long time. When I was on it, I wasn’t sick. I started a new job (I had been unemployed the whole time I had been sick, thankfully.)
August of 2004, I started my new job. Little did I know, December 2004 would land me in Hell for the first time.
The beginning of December in 2004, Dr. Evil put me on another medicine (all I remember was it started with an L) along with the Prednisone. And guess what? I was allergic to it too! Then, as if I didn’t think it could get any worse, it did.
The Prednisone stopped working. I was sicker than I had even been before.
Christmas Eve 2004 – I prayed for a new GI tract (mainly large intestine) and for me to stop being in pain.
Christmas Day 2004 – was spent either in the bathroom, crying or in the bed, crying, while trying to sleep. I missed Christmas with my family. I begged and pleaded to my parents to take me to the hospital that night but they said let’s see what you feel like tomorrow morning.
Little did I know, the next day, I would go to the hospital and be there for a month. And the whole time I was there, I would be fighting for my life.