Struggling to Get Healthy

Introduction:

My name is Ashley, I’m 26 years old and live in Canada. I was diagnosed with UC in December 2010 while pregnant with my first child.

Colitis Symptoms:

Currently in a flare up with:

  • Bloody diarrhea 10x/day
  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite

Struggling to Get Healthy:

It all started in September 2010 when I noticed blood and mucus in my poop. I saw my doctor who referred me for a colonoscopy. It was scheduled for February 2011, so I just waited. I got pregnant in October 2010 and the doctor I was referred to didn’t want to do a colonoscopy while I was pregnant and suggested a sigmoidoscopy instead. I had this done in December 2010 and was told I had Ulcerative Colitis.

Being pregnant I was afraid of receiving treatment. I took a 2 week course of salofalk enemas but once I stopped the bleeding returned. My doctor decided that as long as my hemoglobin levels remained normal that we would not continue treatment while I was pregnant. My symptoms were very mild and didn’t affect my day to day activities.

In July 2011, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

My husband and I were so excited to have her! Life was perfect…until 10 days after having her. I started having diarrhea 10-15 times a day. This was exhausting while also caring for a newborn so I went to the emergency room after 2-3 days. I was told to do a stool sample and that my family doctor would contact me if there was any concerns from the test. So I waited…and kept getting sicker. I was passing straight blood 15-20 times a day, while trying to breastfeed and take care of my daughter. It was exhausting. Two weeks after my first ER visit I was admitted to the hospital with severe anemia and my colon had almost perforated. I was told the doctors considered moving me to a larger center but they didn’t. That made me happy because I wanted to stay close to my daughter. My family would bring her to see me in the hospital, she was only 4 weeks old.

I was in the hospital for 9 days. I had a PICC line put in so I could have TPN and be on bowel rest. That developed a blood clot after 3 days and had to be removed. I was moved to a liquid diet and tolerated that well and was eventually moved to solid food.

I ended up losing 48 lbs

from the day I had my daughter

to the day I was released from hospital,

which was about a month and a week.

Now, almost 8 months later I am battling another flare up, it’s not as bad but it’s tiring. I just went to the doctor today and was given prednisone again. I also currently take Asacol 4x/day (3200 mg total) and 100 mg of Imuran. I really hope this gets under control, I have only felt good for probably a month in total since I had my daughter and I want to be able to get out of the house more with her. This disease makes me feel so isolated.

Colitis Medications:

I know the asacol and imuran are working somewhat because the flare up I’m currently having isn’t as bad as the one I suffered before. I just need to focus on my diet more to stay in remission.

written by Ashley

submitted in the Colitis Venting Area

 




pregnant

2 Responses to Struggling to Get Healthy

  1. Sheila Gresehover February 19, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    Hi Ashley,
    Your story is painfully familiar to me, something like that happened to me after my daughter was born, I lost 80 lbs to diarrhea before my first hospitalization and for two years I cycled on high dose prednisone, every time I tried to wean I landed back in the hospital. I was trying to breastfeed too. I live in Alaska and the closest specialist is 7 hours away by driving. Once I found him he really helped me, I’m on remicade now and it’s working very well (though I might have chron’s so that might be why). I’m pregnant again and hoping that I don’t flare afterwards this time. One thing I will tell you is what I really needed to think when I was going through it.. Just remember it’s not your fault. This is a crappy thing that’s happening to you and it really sucks. I remember the isolation and feel like crying just thinking about it. Your baby is getting to be with you and all your love and I’m sure you’re doing a great job in spite of everything you’re going through right now. Don’t let guilt bring you down. My baby is 4 years old now and I’m well enough to take her to the store by myself, take her to gymnastics class, go blueberry picking (that’s great actually as theres tons of woods to go potty in if needed), and do everything with her that I always wanted. Somehow you will get out of this and get back in remission fully. Thee is hope. I really feel your pain and I’m not just saying this.. I really hope you feel better soon.

    • Ashley Gray July 10, 2012 at 7:01 am #

      Sorry I’m just replying now! Not sure how I missed your post! Thank you for your kind words, it’s nice to know I’m not alone and that I’m not the only person who’s sick and trying to raise a baby. She just turned one last week! You said in your post that you are on remicade and are pregnant again, have you had the baby since then or how far along are you? My husband and I would love to have another baby but I’m worried about taking remicade while pregnant. I’m on asacol, imuran and prednisone (20 mg and tapering) but I know remicade is in the near future. As soon as I come off the steroids I flare again. I would really like to hear about your experience with remicade and your pregnancy if you could talk to me about it!

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