My name is Amanda. I will be 27 this year. I have been healthy my entire life and have always eaten freely without consequence. I was diagnosed with mild pancolitis two weeks ago. I had my first colonoscopy three weeks ago.
Some more about me:
I graduated Arizona State University with a Bachelors of Science specializing in Marketing.
I studied abroad in Florence, Italy.
I now own and operate a food truck in San Francisco, which sells Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas. We operate 7-days-a-week in a semi-permanent location in Fisherman’s Wharf, so technically we consider ourselves an outdoor cafe. I not only run the business, but I am the head pizza chef. It is a very physically demanding job. While I am working I am constantly moving and on my feet. While the job can be at times stressful, like any other kitchen job, it gives me great satisfaction to see the reactions of my guests. This job has required many long hours, almost everyday. It has been very difficult to make the necessary adjustments to my work-life after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. We currently have one of the highest rated pizzerias in San Francisco. I have two spoiled chihuahua mix dogs, Rollo and Peanut. And I am engaged to be married to my live-in boyfriend, AJ.
Approximately 6 months ago I saw my first symptoms of blood in my stool. It was very infrequent, so while it disturbed me, I didn’t address the issue.
Two months ago my symptoms became worse and worse. I had finally made appointments to see professionals (family doctors, Colorectal specialist, GI…), but had to wait a week or so in between appointments. By the time I made it to the GI doctor, I was in full flare, I was having 10-15 bloody diarrhea stools a day with horrible cramping and urgency.
He prescribed Mesalamine (3x 500mg per day), which was filled with Pentasa. I had also researched the GAPS diet and SCD. At the same time I started taking the Pentasa (except only 1 500mg pill per day instead of the 3 prescribed), I also started making home made broth. I was feeling exceptionally better that week. Almost every symptom had subsided. Even the blood had stopped for a couple of days.
Then I had the colonoscopy. The prep was pretty terrible considering the light diet I was already on. The hospital was great. The procedure went smoothly. There were a few biopsies taken.
About a week later the doctor informed me that I had mild pancolitis.
Ever since the colonoscopy I have not seen the blood stop. Many of the other symptoms have subsided; I did not have diarrhea, almost no cramping, urgency was no longer an issue. But, everyday I bleed, some days more than others. I have started taking the full prescribed dosage, no change. I started suppository medications, and I have yet to stop bleeding. I felt that I was constipated after taking the suppository. (i.e. When I go it is just blood and mucus, no fecal matter.) I chose to stop the strict diet because I did not feel it was making a difference after the first week. I am light to begin with, so the strict diet made me constantly fatigued and made running my business extremely difficult. I am supposed to go back to the GI doctor on July 1st. He told me that my next resort is steroids. I really do not want to get any worse, or have to try steroids. I just want to be normal again.
Food Truck Businesswoman with Colitis
UC has made me more solitary and less happy. Although I sleep about 9-10 hours every night, I do not have time for the rest that many others have the liberty of taking. I must run my business everyday. And even when I have help, I am stressed that they are not doing the job the way that I would. UC has helped me slow down to enjoy the little moments.
I am just anxious to see the blood stop.
I am curious about other’s stories of diagnosis and how quickly people have gotten to remission and how. I feel much better with the medicine, but seeing blood on a daily basis has really taken a toll on me. It is depressing and I feel helpless at times. Having a bowel movement now, almost puts me into a bad mood. I don’t even want to tell my fiancé anymore that I am seeing blood. I have only had my butt probed twice now, once while fully awake, it was just the finger, and was extremely uncomfortable, but it ended quickly; second time was the colonoscopy and I was very out of it and didn’t mind the procedure, but the after-effects are still present. I felt the day or so afterward that the biopsies were what caused some mild discomfort afterward. I wonder if this has contributed to the bleeding I am still experiencing. My family is as supportive as they can be from another state. My grandmother has suffered with IBS her whole life and apparently she is symptomatic because she is worried about me. I am most concerned about the blood at this point. I know this is so unhealthy to be bleeding tablespoons at a time for three weeks now (and counting). How do I make the bleeding stop?
Started with oral 500 mg / day Pentasa (Mesalamine), then upped to 1500 mg / day.
Added rectal suppository of Mesalamine daily.
Tried and gave up GAPS and SCD without any change in symptoms.
I used to drink a ton of milk, I am thinking I might need a Vitamin D supplement.
written by Amanda
submitted in the colitis venting area