A little over two years ago I was diagnosed with an irritable bowel disease called, Ulcerative Colitis. Since I’ve had this disease I’ve had to adjust my lifestyle, and need to take medication twice a day. I am currently in remission, meaning I haven’t had any serious flare ups since I was first diagnosed. To make a long story short, I spent two weeks in the hospital waiting for the doctors to give me a diagnosis and during that time my intestines were completely inflamed and I could barely make it to the bathroom. On that note, the whole experience was very humbling and even though I was suffering I couldn’t help but laugh at my situation. I just feel really blessed that my mom was able to stay with me throughout my stay, and how kind the nurses were to us both. God transformed a traumatic experience into an opportunity to bring my family closer together, and I soon gained such a passion for cooking health supportive foods.
I titled this entry as “dealing with a bad day with UC” because I’m not feeling too hot right now. How I’m feeling is kind of hard to explain but I will try my best for you. I feel weak, spacey and today there has been a bit of “bubblies” swaying through my stomach back and forth. I’m not entirely sure if it’s something I’ve eaten or if I’m just having an off day. It could very well be a mixture of both! These days I don’t usually have an appetite and settle for the gentler options like soups, tuna, avocado, toast, rice, sweet potatoes and bananas. It sounds boring but nothing compares to the days when I was first diagnosed with UC, I couldn’t even eat beans, nuts or vegetables. All things fiber was a negative the first month out of the hospital and those were some hard times for a health-seeking person.
One thing I can say is that irritable bowel diseases are no joke! They are not only uncomfortable but are frustrating and can be emotionally draining. I remember all the times I had to back out of plans because I wasn’t feeling well and I used to worry about offending people by refusing to eat their food. And I’m not even sure if it was the medication or the disease that has caused me to become allergic to eggs and cow dairy. I know you’re probably thinking “quit your whining” and fortunately I’ve learned to deal with the small but annoying inconveniences I have to live with on a daily basis. It took me a few months but I accept my illness and know that there’s no reason to fear what people will think of it. Through time I’ve learned how much my faith in Christ, the support from people, eating healthy and just getting enough sleep have made this disease more manageable.
I could give anyone who suffers from this disease (or any auto-immune disease for that matter) advice it would be to make sure you’re getting enough sleep, be open to new foods and educate people about your disease. You’d be surprised by how many people would be willing to accommodate you if you just told them about it. So be outspoken about your needs and let people know what you’re feeling, but most importantly appreciate the body that God has given you!
UPDATE: Good news! I started writing this entry in the morning and am now feeling a lot better after resting and eating carefully throughout the day. That’s what I’m talking about ;)