First week with diagnosed UC

*DISCLAIMER – I talk bout shitting a lot, that’s my life atm so if you’re uncomfortable with it probably don’t read on.

Those who know me know I like to bottle shit up. (Well, not literally at the moment but psychologically.)

The past week I’ve been up, down, here, there and every which way you could imagine, you might not of pick up on it – that’s okay I’m a pro bottler.

So after my UC diagnosis, which I made very public, I was taken back. The amount of love and support, yes that was bloody amazing! But more so the amount of people going through a similar situation. It’s insane! What was crazier was that EVERY situation was different. This tells me my journey will also be different. I was over whelmed with ideas on how to ‘fix’ what I have; it was all beautifully thoughtful yet slightly drowning.

I know everyone means well I do truly appreciate it but when people tell me I just need to eat healthy or say ‘I wouldn’t mind having what you have to drop a couple KG’s’ it really throws me off. Eating healthy doesn’t cut it and I wouldn’t wish this shit on ANYONE but more about that later.

SO WTF is Ulcerative Colitis? Long boring dramatic story short let’s do a simple google search…

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers (sores) in your digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis affects the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. The cause is unknown. UC is a chronic condition aka I’m stuck with this bad boy.

Symptoms I have include:
Abdominal pain
Bloody stools
Diarrhea (I’m preying for the day a see a solid poop seriously!)
Weight Loss
Malnutrition
Fatigue

So 48 hours after being told I have UC I went through a whirlwind of emotions I was in denial which lead to chocolate and donuts which lead to horrible toilet trips, I was motivated to prove I can fight this by watching documentaries and researching, I was depressed thinking, fuck will I seriously be stuck with this forever? I was happy knowing I had the same symptoms as cancer so I was drawn the less aggressive outcome, I was numb trying to keep as busy as possible so I don’t even get a change to think about it – resulting in me disassembling our mantel piece and hanging 3 hallway lights. Each emotion was lucky to last for a day before the next came in – I hadn’t just stopped to think. (Maybe that denial again settling in)

I hadn’t had a chance, the world stops for no one.

Until I had my follow up appointment with my Gastroenterologist.

Previous to this appointment I also had one with Nat my Naturopath.

There views couldn’t be any more different.

Seeing Nat first I felt feeling super positive, she asked me to cut dairy and to take a couple different caps as well as some liquid herbs – each having it’s special role to either help reduce my inflammation, reduce ulcer or just to get my gut in a good way. She said dairy will irritate my intestine and will make the healing process harder. She has dealt with people that have had UC and was super confident in getting me to a state where I can live normally again. I see her again in 2 weeks.

It resonated with me after seeing Nat and watching docos and researching it is SO diet related. I started to pay attention to my gut and what it was saying when I ate. After listening to it I’ve also cut red meat (hard on my body to digest), caffeine and seeds/grain (these are high in fiber, which can have an adverse effects for now and can also get stuck in my ulcers.) I reduced the amount of toilet trips to 3-ish. Unless I eat something my body doesn’t agree with then it goes back up – when that happens I need to take a step back and think what was in that food that triggered me? It’s a process of elimination. It’s different, interesting and I’m already learning so much and so happy with 3 loose stools a day compared to 7+. This is 110% the approach I want to take – listen to my body and feed it what it needs.
Wednesday came around – the day of my specialist appointment. I wasn’t scared because I knew a) he was just going to confirm what I have b) he was going to tell me medical is the way to go.

And boy did he ever.

Firstly he explained I wasn’t the worst case he had seen but he was also very surprised I didn’t end up in hospital due to blood loss and malnutrition. He thinks my UC has been there longer then the 3-months I had been having symptoms – maybe 6 months. I told him my diet approach and how it seemed to be making a difference. He bluntly told me ‘Changing your diet will NOT work.’ And that by the sounds of it I’m reducing too many foods and it will leave me will lack of nutrients and deprived. (I’m still eating all meals and I’m not starving myself!!) it was very safe to say that from 5 minutes into the appointment we were butting heads. He explained the seriousness of my condition and that the ONLY way to treat it is via medication.

He wants to put me on prednisolone ‘short term’ – aka 3 months. Side effects of this drug include: weight gain, increase body hair, insomnia, depression, diabetes and the list goes on.

I straight up told him I wasn’t keen on that option.

After the short-term treatment I would need to be put on medication for life – an anti-inflam called Mesalamine. I asked him if I could potentially wean off the medication to which the answer was no. BUT he did say this way you can still eat whatever without getting the symptoms. (My body is denying certain foods for a reason Mr.)

So this medication obliviously doesn’t help treat the issue but rather cover it up.

I questioned it all – he didn’t like it. I get that; he wouldn’t be in the medical industry if he didn’t believe medicine worked! He got the better me – I left feeling deflated and defeated – he has totally put down my beliefs as complete nonsense, after feeling so good about it all I left feeling extremely down. I got home to research more and I just felt this overwhelming pressure – I have to get better, everyone keeps saying how positive I am, how strong I am, I can’t be weak. The lid on this bottle was about to burst I felt tears coming up. Instead of crying I sucked it up and took a nap (tired as usual). Waking from the 30-minute nap with the same overwhelming feeling of what if I don’t get better? The negative feelings started to flood through – the lid had sprung open and once the tears started they weren’t stopping. I didn’t go into work, I couldn’t – if someone were to ask me how I was it would start all over again the endless amounts of tears.

The denial is finally over.

I’m now fully aware of the seriousness of this illness; I’ve come to terms with it and full accept it and a part of that is feeling the emotions that come with it, especially when it is all so new.

I’ll probably cry again, I’ll probably cry lots but I’ll also smile double the amount more and appreciate the love and support I’m surrounded with daily.

I’m still going to stick to my guns and refuse medical treatment. My body is screaming help me and I will in the healthiest, natural way possible.

I’ll trial this for 3 months and re-access after that.

I’ve been asked if I’ll blog my journey, yes I will but I’ll have them saved in a separate tab on my website – it is more for my sanity, it’s what I do and just putting all this into words has made me feel so much better. If you get something out of it then I’m glad but I won’t be flooding your news feeds with poor me or letting you know when my next UC blog is up – so feel free to check in any time, I’ll be here….

Sticking it to the world.

Stay Strong & Stretch,
Tel X

When it’s NOT okay, not to be okay…

So you know the famous saying ‘it’s okay not to be okay’ this is one of those circumstances where I believe the opposite.

This is a pretty personal story here but I feel like I need to get the message out so others don’t get stuck where I am.

Since the end of October 2016 I have some terrible gut issues. It involved me rushing to the bathroom multiple times a day, intense stomach-aches and a loss of appetite.

Thinking I had some sort of bug I let it ride out for a week but when the symptoms got no better I then deicide to visit my local bulk billing GP.

I explained my symptoms and what was going on and how long for.

She orders me to get a blood test and a breath test.

I did both of these things the very next day, a week later results came in and I had a ‘mild’ stomach infection – travellers diarrhoea – the doctor suggested from my recent trip to Bali which was a month prior to any symptoms occurring but she said sometimes the virus takes a little bit to kick in. She then said I seemed to be at the end of it and just to let it run its course.

A month later after Matt’s plea I went back – I was no better. I had started to notice blood in my stools so if anything (and after a lot of Google searching) I was getting worse.

Back to the same Dr I went, seeing as she now had my history and we can eliminate certain things. She ordered me to do a stool sample.

Again I did this pretty much as soon as I got home and had the results back two weeks later. The receptionist called and said the doctor wants to see me as soon as possible.

This made me nervous.

So I booked in that day.

The doctor called my name and I went into her office where we both sat down me expecting the worse and she just gave me a blank ‘what do you want’ look – she didn’t even remember who I was or what I was in for.

She was confused as to why I had come back and why I still had symptoms as my sample came back fine – she again put it down to traveller’s diarrhoea – and suggest a take some antibiotics that ‘should’ clear it up – again – mind you this is after 2 months of loose stools. I refused to take that as an answer. I had enough I wasn’t okay and she was passing me off as if I was. It’s not okay.

I demanded to be referred to a gastroenterologist.

She faxed through the referral and said they will give me a call. 3 days later I still didn’t have a call – luckily I had a copy of the referral so was able to call the specialist office directly.

They hadn’t received anything.

Unsurprised I continued on and made a booking.

What annoys me is if GP wasn’t sure on what I had why didn’t she refer me straight away? Why guess what I have not once but multiple times offering my medications? I’m seriously sick and she’s over here guessing that it’s traveller’s diarrhoea.

Since late October I have had ONE solid stool no joke ONE! That’s 3 months. I have lost 7kgs – put a couple back on over chrissy thank goodness. I’m not hungry. I’m tired. I can’t train properly. I need to go the toilet 5-7+ times a day sometimes more. Some days are worse then others where there is literally only blood – this makes me so nervous. I get anxious when having to leave the house, worried I might have an episode and need the toilet asap. I’ve had two ‘incidents’ and social events I haven’t been able to attend because I was too nervous there won’t be a toilet! I experience extremely intense stomach-aches that have me kneeling over. I’m really just fucking sick and not myself.

So back early November when I was told my symptoms were getting better I shouldn’t of just brushed it off. I knew my body wasn’t okay – we know our bodies better then anyone. If your gut (literally) is telling you to seek help do so and I in no means recommend going to a f*cking bulk billing doctor.
UPDATE: I had my colonoscopy today – a procedure where they put you under and take a look inside your digestive system.

I have a bowel disease.

Not traveller’s diarrhoea.

A bowel disease called Ulcerative Colitis.

Once the specialist told me this, my first words were ‘okay and how do I go about curing it?’

‘There is no cure’ he follows.

‘There is medications which can help the symptoms but no cure as such’ – he must have been picking up on my stunned face. ‘Book in for a follow up appointment and we can talk about your options when you’re feeling better and we have the biopsy report back’ he says filling in a long silence.

Fasted forward a few hours later and here we are after 3 long months I have answers – I feel no emotion, kind of numb about the whole thing. I don’t want to be on medications for the rest of my life especially if they have side effects – I’ll research into a more natural approach and hope I can get back into living life properly!

If you are to take something away from this girls I want it to be this: Be kind to your body, listen to it, trust it, embrace it – It’s more powerful then you’ll ever know.

Stay Strong & Stretch,
Tel X

Body not changing? Here is the real reason why….

A lot of us look in the mirror while getting ready first thing in the morning…

What do we see?

What do we tell ourselves?

‘Wow I look great, check out my ass’ ?

OR

‘God I’m disgusting, look how fat my ….. is’ ?

For many of us we start our day by allowing ourselves to say something negative about our bodies – we welcome bad thoughts without even realising we are doing it.

If your partner were to whisper into your ear first thing every morning saying ‘good morning honey, your thighs are looking mighty big not to mention all that cellulite’..

Would you allow it?

HELL NO!

So why is it okay for you to be telling yourself these things

EVERY.F*CKING.MORNING?!

Did you know mental and emotional stress causes a chemical in your brain to react and your body goes into protection mode.

Cortisol is the bodies ‘stress’ hormone. It is released in response to fear or stress by the adrenal glands dumping sugar into the blood stream – if you are constantly feeling fear or stress this hormone will be constantly realised into the blood stream.

Pffft as if a tiny little hormone can effect my body that much.

High cortisol levels have been proven to interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, INCREASED WEIGHT GAIN, blood pressure and heart disease.

It also increases your risk of depression and mental illness.

Do I have your attention yet?

SO if you’re eating the best diet in the world and STILL not getting results you should look at the environment you are living in and what you are saying to yourself.

Things you can do to help metabolise cortisol:

-Deep Sleep – not getting your 8 hours? This could be leaving a huge indent. Try meditation.

-Exercise – also metabolises cortisol and also releases the feel good chemical dopamine so can also help depression. Exercise doesn’t always have to be intense it might just be a walk in the fresh air to help clear your mind.

-Laughter – is also another good one to help combat cortisol. You know when you really, REALLY laugh your jaw gets sore and you cant breathe – how good do you feel.

So all in all to keep off weight you must love.

Love yourself and those around you.

Love is safety and loving yourself is key to it all.

Happy New Year Y’all

Can’t wait to bring you another year of TalkingWithTel

Stay Strong & Stretch,
Tel X