I was 19 years old when I had my first Colonoscopy. Yes, you read that right, 19. Most people dread their 50th birthday for this procedure. But me? I was a sophomore in college, attempting to get into the Nursing program and trying to pass exams.
What started as occasional abdominal pain turned into severe weight loss, constant nausea and pain so severe I would crumble to the ground in pain- no matter where I was. I would lay in bed for days at a time, only getting up to crawl to the bathroom.
By the time I received medical attention I had lost 15lbs, couldn’t stand longer than 10 minutes due to weakness and was anemic due to the blood loss.
The day I was diagnosed was one of the best and disappointing days of my life. To finally be able to justify what was happening to me and put a name to the illness was such a relief. But the next thing the doctor said was “incurable.” This was something I would have to deal with; for life.
One of the most frustrating struggles of this illness is that there are no immediate outward symptoms, so when you miss work/school/events because you physically cannot move from pain, people don’t take it as seriously. When I am frantically searching for a restroom in public people tend to laugh, rather than realize the embarrassment and pain I am feeling.
For those of you who are unaware Ulcerative Colitis is an Autoimmune disorder that targets your colon. Your own cells attack your colon and create inflammation and ulcers.
- Abdominal pain/discomfort
- Blood or pus in stool
- Weight loss
- Frequent, recurring diarrhea
- Reduced appetite
- Tenesmus: A sudden and constant feeling that you have to move your bowels
There is no definitive cause of Ulcerative colitis, therefore making it incurable, but manageable. Remission can be managed with medications and a balanced diet. I managed to remain in remission for 2 years until recently.
I relapsed this January requiring adjustments in medications, less than desirable treatments and time off from work (hence my absence from the blogging world.)
I appreciate you taking the time to read this not so interesting, but informative post on one of my struggles. I encourage all of you to do your research when people confide their struggles in you, so you can support them in ways they need.
With that I say Good Night and may you have a wonderful day filled with Coffee, Cats and Cusswords