My name is Tammy, I am 41 yrs old, from Syracuse, NY. I was first diagnosed 2000, and I am fairly certain how this happened to me.
I am not in a flare at this moment, but I tend to be alternately gassy and/or crampy most times.
Ok, well, here it goes. I hate talking about this…I worked in a crime lab in 2000, and, as I always do and have done, I drank a lot of water. I would fill up a large bottle and drink throughout the day. Long story short, we found out we were drinking water contaminated with shocking amounts of bacteria. No coincidence this is when my symptoms manifested. So began the journey.
I was officially diagnosed about a year later. I was in my 20’s. Of course, I can offer no proof to this theory. I just know in my gut it’s the reason. And yes, that was a bad pun. Of course this has changed my life, in all the usual ways. And yes, I have cycled through all the usual patterns and behaviors associated with a chronic disease. It has been difficult to accept. I am a police officer, and it’s my job to help others, not be helped. I have missed a lot of work, and to this day I have struggled significantly with the psychological effects. I am stubborn, and don’t give in to anything easily, but I am older now, and growing weary.
I should say, my disease appears to be active in my rectum only, although my doc said tissue further up the road is indicative of UC. So, I understand there are many who suffer more severe symptoms. That having been said, this has been decidedly unpleasant…
My biggest concerns and fears:
- That my disease will progress from proctitis.
- Cancer and other related illnesses (have had a few weird things already).
I don’t tolerate drugs well, and I am single, so I fear that as I get older, this will result in the inevitable surgery, and I will be alone. I tried to convince my doc to remove it all now while I’m fit, but he will not. FYI marathon training threw me into flares, but I am very physically fit. This is all very isolating. Has anyone elected to have surgery before they had no choice? Every drug I have tried has been largely unsuccessful. Fortunately, suppositories seem to keep me from bursting at the seams.
Thanks for everyone who has contributed to this site, it has been helpful.
Where I’d like to be in 1 year:
As far away from crime scenes as possible, able to eat and drink like a normal person…one can dream!
My longest flare was a year, and after trying all the usual suspects, with negative results/effects, my doctor told me to stop everything. So I did. As of this writing, I only use Canasa suppositories at night. I don’t always remember though.
written by Tammy
submitted in the colitis venting area