I’m a 37 year old female, born in Scotland to English born parents, although my fathers lineage is Austrian Jewish. I am currently studying in my 3rd year of a degree in Civil Engineering.
Some more about me:
I am a rock climber, mainly indoors due to proximity to good outdoor stuff and having young children and limited spare time! Climbing helps me free the mind and keep my body strong. If I’m feeling low my spirits can always be lifted by a climbing session. The best thing about climbing indoors at my local wall is the close proximity of a toilet and the friendly faces.
My symptoms are so bad at the moment that I have to wear faecal incontinence pants whenever I leave the house to mitigate any embarrassing accidents. Admitting I needed them and asking for them at the doctors was probably the hardest thing, related to this illness, that I have had to do to date.
About 2 years ago after persistent constipation and rectal bleeding with mucous I was sent for a sigmoidoscopy and then a colonoscopy. My father and aunt have both died from colon cancer and the symptoms were a worry to me. I was diagnosed with Proctitis. Since diagnosis I have had what seems like continuous flares, which are getting progressively more severe. Symptoms now include bloating, mucous, lots of bleeding, cramps, and uncontrollable bowel movements which consist of mainly fluid and a solid motion. I am very anemic and taking a liquid iron supplement available in the UK called Spatone because the iron tablets prescribed here on the NHS make my constipation worse. As well as Proctitis I was diagnosed with a lung disease 6 months ago called Bronchiectasis. Up until these diagnosis I was an incredibly healthy person. I liked to keep fit by running and doing yoga but struggle to do these things now due to unpredictable nature of this dis ease. I find this affects my mental health as well as my physical fitness. I find it hard to run because I am normally so bloated and full of poo and don’t want to have an accident in public.
After two weeks of daily toilet accidents whilst out and about I have reached breaking point and have started taking Pentasa granules, after unsuccessfully having tried to treat it purely with the suppositories and foam enemas.
I believe that I can help my body heal through the correct diet but when I suggest that to my doctors and consultants I am met with skepticism. I find that very frustrating and it makes me question it myself. However, I have taken the bull by the horns and made an appointment with a nutritional therapist in the hope that she can help and support me through the necessary dietary changes I need to make to allow my body to heal.
Medications / Supplements I’m Taking/Taken:
Pentasa suppositories – never quite eliminate the symptoms
Azocol foam enemas – sting like hell due to bad hemorrhoids and impossible to keep in. Although helped clear the systems after diagnosis hasn’t helped since.
FOS, vitamin D and Probiotics – prescribed by my naturopath and provided me with my first ever true remission period where I even started to poo normally. The first time in about 9 years! It didn’t last pond though and after a few months at a really stressful point in my life the most recent and worst flare happened.
written by Hannah F
submitted in the colitis venting area