Refusing To Let Ulcerative Colitis Take Control

I’m a 41 year old female recently diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis

My Story:

Last year in September, 2010 after a long stay in the hospital I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.

Up until my very late 30s early 40’s I lead a very healthy normal life.

Years after having my first child I started to suddenly develop irregular symptoms. I drank some bad water sold by a major water company that was contaminated with a cleaning solution and my health plummeted shortly after that. I finally have my colitis under control…although I am in minor flare right now. I have eliminated all the foods that I have been told to eliminate and things are much better! I take medicine on a regular basis, but I don’t take it all the time because I am concerned about all the effects of taking so much medicine. I take it when I feel I need it and that’s been working for me very well.  Of course, I do not recommend that other people stop taking their medicine.

Last year I lost a large amount of my hair. I would say 80-90% of it. I never thought I would have thick hair again. Luckily, it is growing back and thick again…it is just shorter than it used to be. I lost a whole lot of weight, but did a good job at gaining it all back. Actually, I definitely need to lose some weight now :)! Doctors that I meet are surprised I have UC because I am not that skinny. I definitely looked like I had UC after my hospitalization last year.

Having UC has changed life for me.

I don’t eat anything that I am not supposed to. Well, I cannot tell a lie…sometimes I do, but very rarely. I miss coffee. I was a big coffee drinker. Sometimes I ask my friends if I can take a whiff of their coffee because I miss the aroma so badly. What I miss most about coffee is the perk it gave me when I need it. I can’t have a coffee for that extra energy I need throughout the day, so I feel much more lethargic at times than I used to. Just wondering if anyone has come with a good coffee alternative for extra energy that is often needed throughout the day.

Also, I know how bad smoking is for someone. I have been a non-smoker all my life….I now on a very rare occasion puff a cigarette and find that it works wonders. Again, I said occasional cigarette. There was one occasion I was out with a friend while in a major UC flare…I had not yet been diagnosed, but I now know it was UC. In any event, this occasion I needed no medical intervention and things just cleared up on their own. For months I was trying to figure out why going out that particular night resolved my UC. Could it have been the fried pickles I ordered? I thought maybe it was, but I now know it was because I was in a room with second hand smoke. All other times I had not been exposed to second hand cigarette smoke. Cigarettes seems to lessen the symptoms with flares. Have any of you experimented with cigarette smoking during a flare? Just curious. Again, I only smoke occasionally as nicotine is extremely addicting and I do not want to become a smoker.
Well, I am in a very minor flare at the moment. I am taking my medicine regularly. I don’t want to go back on steroids after hearing all the horror stories. I can’t wait until things get back to normally. Hopefully, they will on their own and without steroids. In any event, I am happy with the state of events right now….”going” once or twice a day is great instead of 20-30 times a day. Every day is a new day for me!

I have taken control of my life by learning what I can eat and what I can’t. By keeping it simple, I am living a basically healthy life now. I keep an optimistic attitude and will do everything to keep the ulcerative colitis at bay.

I am a full-time freelance writer now. I am going to be working from home for the rest of my life I am sure.

I wish you all a healthy and happy life. I’d love to communicate with others who suffer with this horrible disease.

My current medications: Mesalamine

Submitted by: “I’m in Charge Now”

I’m in Charge Now’s story is now entered into the 2011 Ulcerative Colitis Writing Contest!!!

You Can Join too, click here for details

3 thoughts on “Refusing To Let Ulcerative Colitis Take Control”

  1. I am curious as to what food you stay away from. I haven’t quite figured out what sets me off, it seems like food in general, lol! I do avoid coffee though. Switched it for green tea, or peppermint tea. It’s just not the same though.

  2. Hi Heather! My suggestion is keep your eating as simple as possible. Pick 4-5 things that you can eat and then stick with those things. I know it is boring, but boring is actually good. I have been eating very methodically…the one day I deviated from the norm was the first day I got sick…I decided to drink a seltzer/soda type drink and I got very sick that night…Now, I will never have seltzer/soda again b/c I know I can’t have it…Before u/c I drank soda each and every day…I accept that I can’t drink soda (although some ginger ale helped :) a little the other day))

    Commit yourself to limiting your diet to what you can eat and never sway away from it and I bet you’ll be flare free…when I get back to normal again I will never deviate from my “normal” diet no matter how boring it is b/c I like being healthy. :)

    I hope that helps. Send me your thoughts!

  3. Nicotine can help with flares as I’ve just been reading this year about it. You can also get the nicotine patches to help you so you don’t expose yourself to the smoke.

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