Living the Glamorous Life

My name is Paula – I am 39 years old and was diagnosed with Left-side Ulcerative Colitis in Sept of 2011. I started to experience serious symptoms in August of that year and received my diagnosis after my colonoscopy. But – when I think back, it’s been something I’ve always dealt with since my late 20’s. I guess hindsight really is 50/50.

Some more about me:

I am married 10 years and have a very active, beautiful 9-year old daughter. I love running, bowling, reading and spending time with my family.

My husband and I love to eat! It’s our ‘thing’… trying new restaurants, different types of food, drinking good wine and beer. We’ve tried to balance our indulgences with healthier activities such as running, golf and stints at the gym. Golf has become my newest activity when I feel up to doing something. It’s not as taxing as running and it’s a good way to spend time with my husband since eating and drinking has taken a backseat lately.

Current Colitis Symptoms:

I think the holidays are starting to wear me down. That and the crazy amount of bad food I’ve stuffed in my face! I feel the fatigue creeping back, as well as the cramping and the need to visit the bathroom more frequently. I’d say I’m about two weeks from a full blown flare – isn’t it funny how you can start to predict these things?

Since my diagnosis, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “How did my life become so glamorous?”

I was always the healthy one in my family – we seem to be plagued with high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. I couldn’t stop myself from asking, ‘Why me?” After a whole year of feeling sorry for myself, I started to look for answers to that question. And more importantly, tried to find out what I needed to do to make some changes. I am determined to make 2013 my year!

Neither my husband nor I like to cook. We normally eat out about 3-4X a week. And, our kitchen is never really stocked with anything more than Ellios Pizza, Mrs. T’s Pierogies and assorted ‘quick’ pasta dishes – throw some bananas and apples in there too. My cooking skills are limited to boxed items (Hamburger Helper is my favorite!) that include little packets of ‘magic spices’ – that’s what I call them. All processed junk… all not-so-good for you.

I’m thinking that all these years of throwing garbage down my throat has caught up to me. Add a good measure of work stress, my type-A personality, trying to balance work and home life and I’ve got a perfect recipe for one messed up digestive system.

I recently purchased Elaine Godshall’s, Breaking the Vicious Cycle. Man, was this an eye-opener! And, I’ve been preparing the last two weeks – both mentally and physically. I don’t know if it’s possible to remain carb/sugar free for a year. This isn’t only a diet change – it’s a lifestyle change. I’m a bit nervous. No more weekly trips to the local tavern, religious trips to the supermarket, and the task of making sure I have time to prepare my meals…. I hope I’m ready. Any feedback, helpful hints, etc are welcome :)

I’m pretty tired of being tired. I don’t want to sit around anymore. I want my life back! And, I can’t help but think what my body could actually do if I fed it the right foods… I’m excited at the possibilities.

My friends and family are pretty supportive – I’m lucky. More recently, I’ve been able to joke about UC a little more… I was never one for bathroom humor. But, you gotta laugh. There’s nothing like a good enema joke, right?

I wish everyone a healthier 2013!!

Colitis Medications and Supplements:

Asacol 800M 3X daily
500mg Glutamine daily

written by Paula

submitted in the colitis venting area

4 thoughts on “Living the Glamorous Life”

  1. hey paula! i wish you luck on this diet. i am on it now and it was tough at first- really tough. i won’t lie haha the intro diet is VERY low carb and i had the worst brain fog, headaches, dizziness. uhh just felt horrible. i am making the SCD yogurt this week so we’ll see how that goes. definitely make the chicken and bone broth a big part of your diet. the broth is SOO delicious. one of the key ingredients i use is chicken feet. that will make the broth really gelatinous and collagen-rich. i order chicken feet from a farm because i haven’t seen them in stores.

  2. Thanks guys! It’s almost been 1 week since I started…. it hasn’t been too bad. But, I won’t lie – I get very jealous when I see people eating chips and cookies!!! I’m in a bowling league which is tonite (Mondays). I usually slug back a couple glasses of wine. I’m surprised at how much I don’t want that today. I’m pretty focused on getting better. Thank goodness.

    Joanna – I got the same brain fog! It’s the worst… it took me 3x the amount of time to really complete any task. I did find going out for a walk on lunch would snap me out of it. It’s a bit cold here is NJ and that seems to help. I ordered a yogurt maker which should be arriving in the next couple of days. I’m looking forward to some sort of smoothie :) Let me know if you have any good recipies.

    Jen & Bev – Good luck to you as well! I appreciate your support ;)

    Has anyone heard of adrenal fatigue and it’s connections to UC? I’m looking into this and it really looks like the scenario and symptoms fit me. Anyone else?

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