Saturday, May 9, 2009

Shitty: The Quick Version of My Battle With Ulcerative Colitis

Had a crazy week, two different cousins from two different sides of the family were in town; one on military leave from the Army and one on vacation who got here just in time to spend a whole week with her dad in the hospital. Lots of fun and lots of turmoil.
I'm not here to talk about that though; I'm here to talk about shittyness. My Ulcerative Colitis has been acting up the last few days and I don't know if it's because of the stress of the week long balancing act and not getting any exercise all week or just due to nature being a bitch. I think it's more just nature. And maybe that plate of Mexican food I took down at Garcias II (35th Ave & Thomas) that was absolutely smothered in cheese cheese cheese. Cheese is sometimes my enemy. Lots of dairy products. I can get away with cheese in moderation, but not a whole plate full of cheese. I love the stuff though. And speaking of dairy products, I still have an entire half gallon of Gold Medal Ribbon ice cream from Baskin Robbins in my freezer that I haven't been able to touch because I don't want to make the situation worse.
I have to be on high alert when I start having symptoms. I never ever want to feel the way I did about two years ago when the UC was at its worst. I tried every thing and since this is MY place to share MY life, I will tell all about it, even the embarrassing stuff.
I went to a GI doctor because I was having major issues; after explaining my problems, I had to get a colonoscopy. The day prior to the "surgery" I wasn't allowed to eat anything. I was given a gallon jug that had a little powder in the bottom I added water to, then I drank the whole disgusting gallon and got rid of everything in my intestines. I was on the verge of puking the stuff up every swallow.
The following day, I had a family member drive me to the surgery center where I went under anesthesia and had a camera go through my whole lower intestinal region and take photos. After coming out of it, in my groggy waking-from-anesthesia state he told me I had Ulcerative Colitis. I couldn't even remember what he said I had as I was leaving and it wasn't until our next visit that I etched it in my mind. Two words that would haunt me through the worst of it.
The doctor then started me on Meslamine rectal enemas and I had to take one every fucking night. They worked for a long while, but I hated having to do that every single night and near the end of my taking them, they weren't as effective. I was switched to a rectal suppository, which was easier and, turns out, even less effective. I started flaring up again. Then I was switched to Colozal, an oral pill and was taking up to nine pills a day at one point, three with every meal; nothing was working. I quit going to the Gastrointestinal doctor.
I then went holistic and was drinking an awful shake as a meal supplement and it didn't do a WHOLE lot, but I think it was the catalyst to my getting as well as I am today. At that time, I was ready to remove my colon and live with a colostomy bag for the rest of my life. It was either that or I wanted to just die and get it over with. I'm not the suicidal type, but I truly wouldn't have objected if I knew I'd walk out of the house that day and get into a car accident or something quick. It drained me. Made me depressed. I wasn't myself. I was just this thing that walked around in extreme pain all day and, if I wasn't at home, extreme embarrassment and fear. Every day it seems like the only words in my mind flashing in this huge red marquee scroll were ULCERATIVE COLITIS. ULCERATIVE COLITIS. ULCERATIVE COLITIS. I lived and breathed those words with every thought, in every action.
The remission was gradual and slowly I started introducing myself to social situations and trips and LIFE again. Life is sort of off limits when you're not in remission. I will have this forever, but I can still do what I can to keep things in check if I see some signs. Right now all I take is a couple supplements, fish oil and calcium, and an over the counter pill once a day called Digestive Advantage for Crohns and Colitis, which is really just probiotics (good bacteria).
Sometimes I wish girls were more like guys with the whole talking about poop thing. It would make my life so much easier. I want to be able to walk into a circle of friends and be like "man, I gotta take a major dump" and them being alright with it. I want to go into a public rest room and drop a deuce without having the fear of people giving me the crazy eye when I walk out of the stall. Having Ulcerative Colitis has really dulled down my awkwardness about the nature of my southern hemisphere, but the society stigma still remains, and still sucks. Why can't girls be just as gross as boys? I need that little break.

3 comments:

  1. That stinks! (pun) I am glad you are doing better. It was cool hanging out the other day.

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  2. Hello there - sounds like we're travelling a similar road UC-wise. God, I love cheese too... Interested to know how you find those pro-biotic tabs. I do the yoghurts, but, franky, I'm not convinced...
    Great blog!

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