Hello everyone. This was me not too long ago.
I’m a mere one of approximately 700,000, according to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, Americans suffering from an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) called ulcerative colitis.
In brief, colitis affects the large intestine (the colon) and the rectum–contrary to a similar IBD called Crohn’s disease, which can affect any part of the digestive system, from the tongue to the rectum–which causes inflammation and some pretty unpleasant symptoms.
These symptoms include diarrhea, urgency to defecate, abdominal cramping, rectal pain, bloody stool, fatigue–among others–ranging from mild to severe.
I was diagnosed with colitis in 2013. My gastroenterologist (GI) originally said it was ulcerative proctitis; in other words, it only infected my rectum. Not bad, right?
Many failed medicines, hospital trips and three surgeries later, in 2015, I have no colon, but, instead, I have what is called a “j” or ileal pouch. Because of this transition, I had an ileostomy from November, 2014, to September, 2015.
The purpose of this blog is not to drown in my sorrow or lament my current condition; rather, I’m choosing to accept it and try to use my experiences for the greater good. It is simply to explain my story, how I got here and how I’m dealing with the transition to a colon-free life.
Hopefully, along the way, I can help those trudging through a similar path as I–or, in the very least, educate and/or entertain somebody along the way.
Let’s be honest. IBDs aren’t a topic people are comfortable talking about and, quite frankly, can be pretty depressing. When family comes over for the holidays, relatives usually don’t ask, “How’s pooping going?”
But if you find someone that you can connect with–one of those family members, a close friend or, in this blog’s case, a complete stranger–and you’re comfortable discussing these issues together, I feel it can go a long way in helping cope with this condition.
In other words, I’m here for you!