Living in hope with Colitis

It’s Crohns and Colitis Awareness Week, a time when those in the know about IBD try to educate those who aren’t and encourage them to better understand the condition and the people who live with it.

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Yes it does involve bottoms, bowels and poo but living with it is SO much more than that.

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UC and Tequila Slammers

For me and I expect for most people with UC, each morning brings a series of firsts and the nervousness that comes with them.

Let me explain:

  1. The first poo or loo visit – Will it hurt? Will there be blood?
  2. The first few hours of the morning – Will there be cramps? Or bloating? Or urgency?
  3. The first meals of the day – Will there be cramps? Pain or sickness and anxiety?

Not the ‘leap out of bed and sing to the birds through the window’ style of morning which I’m sure we’d all love, but none the less – a day without any of those signals is as good as any.

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Farting in front of the in-laws, parp with pride!

Farting in public isn’t easy, there’s the ever-present dilemma of ‘will it stink?’ ‘Will everyone know it was me?’, and you can never be sure if it’s going to slip silently into the ether, or announce its arrival with a huge lingering trump.

Most people can come home, slip into those slacks and trump till their heart’s content, but when you’re currently living with your in-laws, and also suffer from an IBD which makes your bowels doubly as active – that becomes a whole new challenge.

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UC and ME – bloody nuisance

It just so happens that this week is Crohns and Colitis Awareness Week (1-7th Dec), and it also happens to mark the start of my second ever UC flare…so in this week of awareness, I am suddenly very acutely aware of my illness, and all the delights that come with it. Oh the irony!

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Why I wish I had an illness you’ve actually heard of…

Nobody wants to wish a lifelong illness upon themselves, but I do sometimes wish I could just say I have something like diabetes, celiac or arthritis…not because having those illnesses is easier, but because as soon as I say UC or Ulcerative Colitis, I get this kind of look…

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UC and ME – flare fear #3

For anyone who has UC, Chrons or any kind of auto immune disease, the relief of reaching ‘remission’ is soon dampened with the sheer terror of having another ‘flare’ or relapse.

For me (6 months into first remission), it still feels like there is a huge elephant in the room – watching me with his beady little eyes.

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UC and ME – who to believe? #2

It’s been about six months since my initial UC diagnosis, and I wanted to share the story so far and update on the battle with who/what to believe.

One of the most infuriating things about UC is that nobody knows what causes it, or how to cure it (at least not yet). It is commonly believed to be an underlying genetic thing (in the medical community) – so if you’re meant to get it you probably will at some stage or another. I don’t know how much I believe this, and often wonder what life would be like if I hadn’t gotten food poisoning just over a year ago and awakened the beast.

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What is the FODMAP diet?

I don’t like the term ‘diet’ – to me that word conjures up thoughts of being punished or restricted, which isn’t an aspiration for me. I want to have my occasional crunchie bars AND my tender-stem broccoli – but sometimes it pays to listen to your gut (something I didn’t do until recently).

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UC and ME #1

Prior to summer 2015 ‘illness’ or in any case serious illness was not something I’d ever experienced, which in hindsight now makes me feel very lucky to have been that naive for so long.

After a chance case of food poisoning (a dodgy lobster and a LOT of alcohol) at the work summer party, combined with a few months of work-life imbalance and personal stress –  I managed to get Ulcerative Colitis. Of course at the time I didn’t know what those words even meant, let alone that some permanent damage was being caused inside me.

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