I’m a 17 year old female who has been suffering with Ulcerative Colitis since I was about 13 but diagnosed at the age of 15, and I am currently 9 months through a 12 month youth exchange in Denmark.
My Ulcerative Colitis:
I am an exchange student! oh.. and I have UC. I remember at the age of 13 that something wasn’t right when I went to the bathroom, I never thought it was a big deal until I was in Japan on a school trip and constantly wondering where the bathroom was. A week after arriving home i told my mum i had ‘the runs’ since i had arrived back from the trip so we went to the local doctors and they suggested a blood test and stool sample, only thinking it could be a bug from travelling. The next day being a Saturday my mum got an urgent phone call from my doctor telling her to take me to the emergency room most probably for a blood transfusion, i was scared and worried about why this was all happening.
After a 6 hour wait and many blood test and .. examinations i was finally taken up and given a bed. I never realized this would be where i would stay for 2 weeks being that girl who was so anemic she should be dead but nobody knew why. First things first, the doctors got my anemia under control with a iron infusion and 2 iron tablets twice a day. My levels began to rise and they began to think about what could have made me so anemic. I understood nothing.
A week later i was booked in for a endoscopy and a colonoscopy, the prep was disgusting, i couldn’t down the whole 1.5 liters so i got one of those nose tubes to help. Next thing i know the doctor is telling me I have UC when i’m half out of it must say.. I never expected it to be something i would have to live with forever. Instantly the medications begun with a high dose of prednisone which helped me to gain 10 kg and get a pretty moon face :) I did need to gain the weight though as i had never been over 40 kg this was all by may 2010. My UC had been under control for the rest of the year. Next thing i know its 2011 and i’m an exchange student in Denmark living life as a normal teenager having the most amazing time of my life. I hadn’t had to worry about bathroom’s and telling everyone why i take medication, it was almost as if i didn’t have UC. Living in someone else’s house it is a new routine all the time that you constantly have to re-adjust to and your mind is on everything new and different. I begun to get out of routine with taking my medication twice a day. In may I went on a euro-tour for 18 days on a bus with 52 other exchange students i had once again got distracted and found it hard to take my medication everyday. but i managed just fine i could even manage to sit on the but 12 hours only going 1 time when we stop. I must say i did feel lucky i could feel ‘free’ during my tour. Once i got back to Denmark symptoms started and i had moved into a new host family. I find it embarrassing enough going to the toilet over 3 times just while i get ready for school in the morning’s let alone when it’s not even my home or family.
As time went it wasn’t really getting worse but i know for a fact it wasn’t getting better. I was ‘disappearing’ over 10 times a day and begun to stay home from school because just the walk to the bus stop would make me worry i wouldn’t make it to school without going. Then my mum had came to visit me and once again i found myself travelling around Europe going places i know nothing about just hoping there is a bathroom at the next stop. We traveled for a week and i told her i was feeling sick again, i completely lost my appetite and was going every hour or so, i couldn’t sleep without needing to go and the first thing i did when i woke up was.. GO TO THE TOILET! at the end of the week i got on a plane and flew back to good ol’ Denmark where i only got worse, i had yet again moved to a new host family and embarrassing enough the bathroom requires me to walk past everyone so everybody always know where i’m heading. It’s bad enough staying in there 10 minutes.. but when there is gas.. well that’s awkward. i finally got a blood test and they told me to up my medication and have iron tablets again. fingers crossed this works cause I’m really and sick of shitting in someone else’s toilet.
Ulcerative Colitis Medications:
m on 4 tablets 2 times a day of Mesalazine
and 100mg of azathioprine per day,
also 2 iron tablets a day
Submitted by “Sarah’s Adventures” in the Colitis Venting Area