I was diagnosed with mild ulcerative colitis back in 2011, and it took about 7 months to get it under control (or so I thought). Then in the summer of 2012 my symptoms came back (because of a poor GI doctor), more violently than before and after a colonoscopy, I was diagnosed with severe UC. Now, a year later, I am still fighting to get my life back and I have seen much progress since.
Some more about me:
I am 21 years old from Apple Valley, CA and currently attending Cal State Northridge studying film (more specifically screenwriting). I love movies and the major reason I want to work in Hollywood is because of the film I grew up on “Jurassic Park”. I am also a sports nut. I watch sports everyday (Go Colts, Suns, LA Galaxy, Arsenal, University of Hawaii!) and I even play sports as often as I can (football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, etc.) I also like to chill with friends, collecting sports/movie memorabilia, going to the movies/concerts, playing guitar and video games, and writing in my spare time.
Currently, I am having formed stools with little to no blood once (maybe twice) a day, which is comforting because that means my colon is working. It’s weird but it seems like I can feel them moving through my colon. However, there are many times when I have a painful urge to push (feels like I’m pushing out my organs through my rear end) but little to nothing except some blood comes out. I am really underweight so I get sore muscles/joint pain and get tired pretty easily. Everywhere I go I have to know where the nearest bathroom is for fear of having an accident (which does happen sometimes). I think that the majority of my inflammation and blood may be coming from the rectum, since the majority of my formed stools have minimal blood.
The Last Hill Is Always The Steepest
Having UC is a huge shock for me being that I am so young. Growing up I never worried about what I ate or how much I stressed. Now I am having extreme difficulty trying to accept this condition and trying to keep it under wraps and try to act “normal” even though I don’t feel that way. I have 4 different doctors but my new GI doctor seems to be just pushing medication which is frustrating but sometimes necessary.
My family have been very supportive in helping me with my UC. They have been telling me to keep positive and reduce stress (even though when you don’t feel good this is REALLY hard to do). Some days I feel like a 90 year old man in a nursing home and they are great at helping me out physically.
I have a bunch of questions I would like to ask fellow UCers because it seems like I have tried almost everything short of removing my colon, which I will not do.
- I am stuck at 120-130 pounds and exercise frequently. How do you gain weight?
- What are effective ways to handle stress?
- If there are any college students out there, how do you manage your UC while going to school/working at the same time?
- I tried the SCD diet but after being on it for about 6 weeks, I felt that it wasn’t working for me. I have tried introducing some foods back into my diet (and keeping a food journal) in hopes of gaining some more weight. Is this a good idea and if not, any suggestions?
- It is very tough for me to keep a positive attitude, especially when I am not feeling well. I know that one’s mental state relates to their UC. How do you keep a positive mindset?
Medications and Supplements I’m Taking:
Asacol-(6) 800 mg tablets a day (not doing much)
Prednisone- currently taking 15 mg a day (very helpful if your body can tolerate it, but also gives nasty side effects especially when tapering down on it)
Protonix- 40 mg once a day (for stomach acid)
“Jarrow” L-Glutamine pills- 2 a day (heals mucosa lining in colon)
Olive leaf pills-2 a day (help boost immune system)
Glucosamine pills-2 a day (help with joint pain)
“Hammer Nutrition” Endurolytes- 2 pills a day (help boost electrolytes)
“Men’s Health” daily Vitamins- 1 pill a day
Omega 3 fish oil pills- 1000 mg 2 a day (boost immune system, digestive health)
“Soloray” Crandopholis Probiotic- 4 pills a day (good bacteria is a MUST!)
SCD Yogurt- 5 spoonfuls twice a day (good bacteria, boost immune system, tastes better than store yogurt!)
Humira-40 mg injection every other week (this has REALLY helped me sort of get back on track but trying to get off ASAP because of side effects)
written by Sean M
submitted in the colitis venting area