My name is Laura. I am 25 and was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in October 2012. I love cats and have two of them who have kindly spent many hours cuddling with me while I was sick and trying to figure out just what was wrong with me.
Some More About Who I Am:
I am from the small town of Kemptville, ON, Canada. I have a diploma in Business-Marketing from Algonquin College, as well as a degree in Communication from the University of Ottawa. I currently work in a bank.
My hobbies include: cardio (boxing and kick boxing), as well as reading and writing. Recently I have spent a lot of my time researching colitis, as well as what to eat/avoid. Does that count as a hobby?
Currently my symptoms have subsided, as I am on a course of medication that includes prednisone and asacol.
Symptoms included: cramping, weight loss, weakness, general fatigue, passing LOTS of blood in not very (if ever) solid poo.
Last summer I noticed some oddities in my poop. To put it simply: there was a bit of blood and tissue-like-matter laced in otherwise normal poo. I had no pain, just bizarre fecal matter. My mom has Crohn’s disease, so I thought I might be dealing with something much the same. I was proactive, and got a colonoscopy right away… only to be given a clean bill of health. I knew that couldn’t be right, but who was I to question the doctor and his findings. After all, the scope can’t lie…
I continued life as per normal; a little bit of blood in my poop wasn’t enough to slow me down… it even went away for a while.
This summer, however; things started to get worse. More blood. More tissue, and mucus. A lot of embarrassing sounds coming from my stomach. I definitely knew something was wrong. I was finally able to book an appointment with my specialist in September, and coincidentally, that’s about the time everything crashed.
I was tired all the time and very nauseous. I had debilitating cramps that inhibited me from doing the things I loved, like jogging, kickboxing and of course socializing. When I went to the washroom, it was essentially bloody diarrhea. I wasn’t myself, as hard as I tried, I just couldn’t be.
I went to the ER at my mother’s insistence, and was prescribed a drug called ‘teva ketorolac’ to curb the pain, but this drug only induced MORE blood in my fecal matter… in fact, it was essentially JUST blood I was passing. I had no energy, lost weight and felt very depressed.
I tried to go to work, but could not make it through full days without having to leave due to weakness, general nausea, and of course many trips to the bathroom. I thought maybe I had a bug or flu. I didn’t think that Crohn’s could induce such illness. (My mom has been in remission for years and leads a normal and healthy life.)
Because of a lot of bad timing, it took a while for my colonoscopy to be booked, and I finally had it on October 11th, after my specialist returned from holidays. He instantly diagnosed me with pancolitis, and told me I would be put on a course of prednisone and asacol. Of course, hearing ‘prednisone’ scared me; I had only heard negative things about this drug. I was sad to be diagnosed with colitis. But I was relieved that I now knew what was wrong with me. My biggest fear was to get ANOTHER colonoscopy and have the doctor find nothing, when I knew something was 100% wrong this time.
I have been taking prednisone and asacol for over a month now, and instantly I felt better. My poops are solid, and far less frequent. I have my energy back. I feel a lot better. My family is very supportive, and my job has been very understanding. Like I said, my mother has Crohn’s, and my younger brother was just diagnosed with colitis a few weeks ago, so I have people who understand what I am going through.
I know I am still in the early stages of all of this. I don’t know what to expect when I am off the drugs, but right now I feel great. My biggest concern is that I will have to rely on drugs, like prednisone, forever or that I will never go into a long lasting remission.
I meet with my doctor every few weeks, and I guess only time will tell how my body will react, but I am hoping for a long and happy remission.
The Medications I’m Taking:
I have been taking prednisone for about a month now, beginning at 50 mg, and tapering down every two weeks. Currently I am at 30 mg. I have not gained weight, and have only slightly begun noticing a “moon” face. I have a harder time getting to sleep, and staying asleep at night.
I am also taking 5-ASA. No side effects with this drug. Hard to say if it is working, because the prednisone obviously overpowers asacol.
I take multi vitamins, vitamin D and B-12. I have try to eat yogurt with probiotics, because I heard it is very helpful!
written by Laura (from Kemptville)
submitted in the colitis venting area