I have been lurking
on the site reading your stories and I thought it may be good to introduce my story.
I developed ulcerative colitis right before my senior year at….UC (University of Cincinnati) in 2001.
I was about to begin my final year of architecture school, which is the most stressful and time consuming year of the six year degree. After a couple weeks of diarrhea I went to my family doctor, who started running test, all while being convinced that I must have taken a trip to Mexico that I did not know about.
By the time school started I was losing lots of weight and using the bathroom at least once an hour. I spoke with my professors before class began and was left with the option to give it a go or tend to my health and begin my thesis at a later quarter. I was still not diagnosed and not willing to give into the unknown, so I began my thesis on time with my classmates. About six weeks after school started I finally got into a GI and a colonoscopy was scheduled. At this point I had gone from an athletic build ( I played rugby for the university) to a skeleton, in my eyes. I dropped from 205 to somewhere between 150 and 160. I had no muscle and no energy.
I was able to stay strong enough to complete my first quarter, although only able to stay in studio and awake for about twelve hours max, while most of my classmates where there for eighteen to twenty hours a day.
In November I was diagnosed and began my road to recovery. By the end of thesis in June of 2002, I was back to some levels of normal with the help of Sulfasalazine and steroids. I had started to put some weight back on. I made it through thesis on my first attempt, thanks to understanding professors and the support of my classmates…plus I am a kick ass designer (at least I think).
Spring forward to 2008, until this point I had zero flare ups and the Sulfasalazine was working great. In the midst of the “Great Recession” I thought it would be a good time to start my own architecture practice in Florida with another architect. These last three years have been a fight, but we are still hanging on.
In 2009 I started to have flare ups off and on, which I have contributed a lot of to the stresses of running a business. I have tried a couple of different daily medicines and currently take Asacol HD, which i like. I have gone through enema treatments to get one flare under control and more recently Entocort. My last flare, before the one I am currently fighting, coincided with the birth of my son (first born). By the time he was ready to come home I was back to going once a day. Now I am having a minor flare up , which hasn’t been too bad beyond some bouts of joint pain. Hopefully I get a handle on it soon, otherwise back to the doctor to say hi, pay my deductible and get some steroids.
I found this site while searching for stories of getting insurance, I am on my wife’s plan and they are charging us an arm and a leg, but it is better than none at all. I have always considered my colitis to be on the light side, reading some of your stories makes me realize how bad this disease can really be. All of you fighting this disease, in your individual ways, are true inspirations. I have been in low places a various times, not there now, but I am glad I have discovered this site! Thank you all for being part of this and thank you to Adam for starting this. I have learned a lot this week and your stories have given me a lot to think about.
Thank you all.
medications: Asacol HD
I developed UC right before my senior year at College back in 2001.