I have been diagnosed with UC (Ulcerative Colitis) since 2008 but may have had symptoms since childhood (the 70s). The most empowering moment of my life was when the doctor explained to me what this illness was, what most likely (there is never a singular cause) is happening to me, and how to make my life easier even during the flareups.
Let me share how UC has shaped my life (for the better) as it seems my flareups are chronic and have been so prevalent this entire year.
1. I changed my attitude towards UC to choosing the motto “I don’t live with UC; UC lives with me.” I have acknowledged it being a part of my life but yet it is not powering over me no matter how bad the flareups become.
2. I have learned to be resilient. I have accepted that each day of my life is going to be different as the flareups come and go and its extent also varies. My toughest time during a very bad flareup was when we experienced the March 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami and being in fear of a tsunami while I was burning up with a fever and bleeding. After this ordeal, I knew there was nothing I couldn’t get through and this only made me stronger.
3. My zest for life only improved. I have learned that I can be successful, I can continue to learn my education in spite of having UC. If anything, it made my learning experience and being able to sit in a classroom without the need to lay down or use the bathroom so much more compelling. My professors were aware of my illness so that helped me relax a bit in class and knew once it was over and I find a good private restroom; my symptoms seemed to cease for a bit.
Hope this inspires you to never give up on life but continue what you are doing or wish to do even more. We are all in this together and nothing, not even UC can deter us from our dreams and successes. This only enhances it!