What is Ulcerative Colitis….?

Alot of you may not even know what Ulcerative Colitis is. There have been many times where I have had to explain the ‘medical’ definition of UC. This can sometimes be difficult…..toilet humour is not appreciated by all!

As far as the medical profession are concerned it is a auto-immune disease which inflames the intestines and bowel (UC and Crohn’s disease collectively know as Irritable Bowel Disease affect different areas) and causes diarrhoea and rectal bleeding along with many other symptoms, all of which don’t really have any medical explanation to them…

This brilliant organisation has much more information – http://crohnsandcolitis.org.uk

From the point of view of someone who has lived with this disease it is much more…..

The inflamation of my bowel left me with a hugely bloated stomach. I was left with no confidence in my body or the way I looked. I should imagine that this is the same for both men and women but as a teenage girl this was a particularly difficult symptom of the condition to overcome. Also, extreme weight loss may sound like a brilliant thing, but losing around 3 stone in 6 weeks is not healthy or attractive – take it from somebody who knows!

My stomach cramps were unlike anything I had ever felt before, leading me to be doubled over in extreme pain at times and unable to even leave my bed at others. There were days when I felt so debilitated and weak that I was genuinely not sure if I could carry on….it wasn’t that I didn’t want to live, it was that I didn’t want to live with the pain any more. The thought of being in hospital and being looked after was so much easier than having to fight through each day. I was not able to physically do the things that I wanted to do, having to rely on my family to do the regular daily things like cooking and cleaning in order to make sure I could go to work and just survive each day.

There were times during the two years that I suffered with severe UC, when I was having to go to the toilet 15 or more times a day. My mind became completely distracted by where the next toilet was, or where the next toilet would be. How long would I have to go without knowing where the next toilet was? What if I had an urge to go in between now and knowing where the next toilet was? It was literally an on going cycle that never stopped.  There were a few times where I was nearly caught out in public places. These are the times when your faith in humanity is restored! After thinking like this for so long it took a long time to train my brain away from these obsessive thoughts.

The symptoms that make up this condition are not just an illness, they take over and become your life. In my experience when you are in the depths of all of the above you are completely absorbed in it and have no space for anything else. Surviving becomes the main aim for each day……….