*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:
Diarrhea (I’m preying for the day a see a solid poop seriously!)
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,