The Longest 7 Months Ever

playing basketball comic with colitisIntroduction:

I’m 24 years old. College student, was supposed to graduate in May but was to sick to finish school. Played 4 years of college basketball. Diagnosed with UC in December 2011.

What My Symptoms are Like:

once in awhile i have bloody stools, cramps.

My Story:

Like i said in my introduction, i was a college athlete and a very active college student. I was entering my final semester and was due to start student teaching in February. I found out i had Ulcerative Colitis in mid December. Prior to that, i was about as healthy as one can be. I was put on prednisone and apriso and did okay for about a month. I was still able to workout and be active. However, when February came around i noticed my symptoms were getting worse. I found myself leaving my classroom more often to use the restroom. I had less and less energy as the days went on. Things got bad enough that I was unable to lay down to sleep at night or go to school during the day. I called my GI and he decided to put me on Remicade. After the first two Remicade treatments my symptoms did not improve. I had gone from a basketball playing athlete weighing 215 pounds to a person hardly able to move and weighing 180, all in 3 months. I started having breathing problems towards the end of March, and an emergency room visit had me finding out that i had a large amount of good sized blood clots in my lungs in addition to being anemic. That had me flown out to another hospital where i was kept for 2 weeks. The doctors there determined that my UC had gotten bad enough that it caused my blood to coagulate, and due to my inactivity, they got stuck in my lungs. Obviously, hearing that was scary to me as it would be to anyone. I lost so much strength that I am now having to go to physical therapy 3 days a week. My doctor has talked about getting me to speak with a nutritionist about finding a UC favorable diet that will help me gain strength back as well. I am on about every medication you can take for UC (prednisone, asacol, remicade, imuran. all that in addition to warfarin and Iron.). It has been a long 7 months. It is just hard for me to understand how i could go from beeing in such good shape to such bad condition in that short amount of time.

basketball player with colitis

Thank goodness i found this site! It is good to know that I am not alone.

Where I’d like to be in 1 year:

I would like to be back in the shape i was before i was sick. I want to be able to travel places with my friends and family without having to worry about my next trip to the bathroom. In other words, I want to feel normal again.

Colitis Medications I’m taking:

I take Prednisone, Asacol, Imuran, and receive Remicade infusions. While I still have bad days once in awhile, i think they have all helped because i feel way better compared to 5 months ago. The problems I deal with now are beeing on the toilet for an hour every morning straining which tends to drain my energy. Usually that is the only time i have a BM. Then I will have some days where it seems like I can’t stay out of the bathroom. All in all, I say the medicine is working, but who knows?

written by Damon

submitted in the colitis venting area

4 thoughts on “The Longest 7 Months Ever”

  1. Hey Damon,

    It’s got to be almost unbelievable right, to see yourself so fit and healthy and competing in college level sports, and then to get slammed on by UC.

    For sure, it makes no sense. Not sure if you have any family history of IBD or anything like that, but especially for the people who have no family history of this stuff that they’re aware of, its like this mystery ailment that comes out of nowhere.

    But check this out.

    One thing I’ve learned in my experience, which is nearing my 4 year anniversary since being diagnosed, is that the human body is more amazing than just about anything else on this planet. OK…a King Burger with Egg and Cheese from FatBurger is maybe more amazing, but only after an all nighter in the casinos in Vegas when you leave up a couple hundred bucks.(And that don’t happen much, for me at least)

    So first things first is, you’re body is not through. You’re not finished. The game sure ain’t over. You’re a very long way from that.

    You’re gonna figure this thing out like so many other people do. Whether or not you get back to 215 pounds of muscle or not, nobody knows that yet. But I think that once you get your symptoms under control, you’ll realize that you can still do just about whatever you want with the rest of your life. Teach, get married, have kids, travel the world, run for president. Whatever, you’ll be back in control again.

    Keep us posted with what you come up with in terms of dieting. I’ve got about 3 years under my belt now with treating my UC with diet and its been great.

    One final word to the wise, and I’m not just saying this since you’re of the college age… but, if you by any crazy chance are a hard core party type, and getting wasted with the alcohol or other extra circulars, I think it is safe to say that toning that stuff down, or cutting it out will only help you get back into remission and on your way to a faster recovery. It was tough to do, but I’m pretty much free of all that stuff for 3 years now and it was a great decision… Not preaching here, just saying…



  2. I was thinking recently how for 30 years my health could be fine and than suddenly be hit with UC. It’s like diabetic or another health issue were people are ok and than get it, why? It must be activated by lifestyle. And so, I feel a change for the better could help your health. Sometimes when we are young we feel immortal. I still feel immortal, and in feeling so I dream I can live symptom free forever – but my GI said I should expect a flare up, I plan not to have one as I believe I can get rid of UC. I did say I was a dreamer, but dreams can come true!

  3. I understand what you guys are saying about the lifestyle change. I was an average college kid so obviously there was some partying involved. However, i quit all of that immediately after I was diagnosed. I agree with you that it is just not worth feeling like hell over. As far as the family history goes, I am the first one that has had this happen. I am due to meet with a nutritionist here next week so hopefully i can get on a diet that has been working for you guys. Recently I had someone tell me that I was the healthiest person they had ever known. I would like to get back to that status someday.

  4. You will…that is if you want and choose to. :)

    To me it sounds like your medications are kicking your butt…no pun intended. Not that they aren’t helping some, but they are also causing negative side effects. Like the hour on the john every morning/straining/etc. I would suggest checked out the SCD diet/getting Breaking the Vicious Cycle at your local bookstore. There is also the raw diet which you may want to look at. David Klein has a great book concerning it—a UC suffer himself—, Self Healing Colitis and Crohn’s. I prefer his book and have been raw but I am strapped for cash so traveling out of my way each week to get organic produce is difficult…so I am giving SCD a go. So far things have been well. Unlike lots of people here, I am not on medications so I get to see how the lifestyle choices affect me without any outside influence so that probably helps.

    Either way, glad to hear you have stopped the partying. If you get to a point where you are medicine free, you may be able to have a drink with friends from time to time. Myself being around the same age have never noticed an issue with a drink or two—talking whiskey, vodka—because it is absorbed in the stomach and never makes it to my colon. The alcohol also naturally relaxes the body, thus slowing down the processes us UCers go through. But I generally keep the count low and I make sure to only have those things. No soda mixed in. No beer…not hard for me as I never cared for the stuff. Hope you keep us posted and thanks for sharing your story Damon! Steve

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.