I am a college student from Oklahoma, and I was diagnosed with UC my junior year of high school. It took six months of bloody stool and racing to the bathroom before I could convince my mother that something was wrong–she said it was just “stress”, and that it would pass. These days, there’s a beautiful facility that takes care of my medicine, at no cost. My friends are incredibly supportive, and I am determined to not let Colitis control my life. It’s so wonderful to discover other people going through the same thing, reading their stories and understanding. It’s like being among family.
Some more about me:
I’m a bookworm! Ha! You’ll never catch me without a couple novels in my purse. More than anything in this world, I want to be a writer, and recently I was fortunate enough to win a full-ride scholarship–doing the best I can to achieve this goal. I also enjoy sketching, painting, spending time with friends/family, and volunteering at the local and animal shelter (though I’m always tempted to come home with a dozen new pets!)…..I don’t know what else to say! Hmmm….I have a deathly fear of insects, I’m never without my headphones, and you should never leave a jar of Nutella unattended around me!
The sores have gone away (hurray!), though I’ve had several attacks recently, with bleeding and stomach pain. You guys know the drill, every time you start to begin to feel a little better, tell yourself, “Hey! This isn’t so bad. Maybe I could eat something! Or, y’know, try that ‘standing up’ thing all the kids are talking about these days”, your colitis jumps up and shrieks, “GOTCHA!”–like a redneck uncle at a child’s birthday party.
There are Four types of Colitis Pain, as best as I can measure:
1. The Daily Pain–That soreness you carry always, like a headache in your tummy. It’s been there for so long you stop noticing it, toughen up and carry on with your day. This pain elbows you subtly in a crowd and says, “Hey-hey, you. Yes, you. With the face. Howsitgoin? By the way, yes that shirt does make you look fat.”
2. The Machete Pain– The hurt we all know, that sudden stabbing that tells you, “Get to the bathroom. Get to the bathroom **right now**, or something very embarrassing is going to happen.” It’s like getting hit in the stomach with a baseball bat
….Yes, yes, I know I already called it a *stabbing* pain, but maybe its…erm…a baseball bat with a machete attached. Some sort of hybrid for the super hardcore sports fans….
3. The Exhausting Pain– This one follows #2 (See what I did there? ‘#2’?? Get it? Huh? Huh?!) and #4. It’s the hurt that feels like swimming, with the waves crashing over your head. Laying in bed, drained, staring at the wall until that next attack sends you sprinting to the toilet.
4. The Boss Level–I have no joke about this one (not that my others were particularly good). That horrible tug inside you, that wrenching and twisting when there’s nothing left to come out but blood. The one that makes you bite your fist to choke a scream, cry if you’re not a crier, pray even if you’re not religious.
I’ve never described this to anyone. I’ve never complained about my Ulcerative Colitis without joking, without that mantra of, “I’m fine.” I hate seeming weak, melodramatic. But I take comfort in this reassuringly blank, nonjudgmental screen, and knowing that I’m not alone.
written by Lyndsey
submitted in the colitis venting area