Reaching An Understanding

Writing about my journey with UC, my last post was about invasive procedures, well, what happens once you’ve been diagnosed? What happens after?

I was given an insane amount of pills to take daily and I got better.  I stopped going to the toilet and I started to live my life again. I trusted that my gastroenterologist knew what he was doing and I put complete faith in him to make me better.

The steroids came in on their little horses and kicked Colitis’ butt. I imagine my large intestine to be like Lord of The Rings and there’s a little Gandalf steroid and he’s all like “YOU SHALL NOT PASS” to the colitis and BAM there’s a massive fight but in the end the medications are victorious.

Yeaaaaahhh.

Wasn’t quite like that because I ended up in hospital over Christmas.

I was back home in London during Christmas break from university and I was told that I had to get fit for the next production I was going to be in.  I went for a run, well I say run, I wasn’t a runner in those days, I just dabbled occasionally. I went around the block and came back home feeling pretty tired and run down. Thinking it was from my lack of running and it being absolutely freezing outside, I ran myself a hot bath and I ended up falling asleep in it as I felt so bad.

Taking myself to bed, I had chills, was sweating a ridiculous amount, and was up every half an hour to go to the toilet. My stools were like water and bloody.

I felt terrible and that night alone I had gone to the toilet 8 times.

By the time I had dragged myself to the hospital the next day I gone to the toilet over 15times.

I never thought that they would keep me in the hospital for a week. I thought maybe an overnight stay would happen because I had gone to the toilet so much and I needed my fluids to be replaced but I never thought it would be over Christmas.

At first I was lucky, ha, lucky to be in hospital you say? Well they had put me in the private ward because that was the only space for me. I had tv!!! I remember being super drugged out on pain meds and attempting to watch pans labyrinth for the first time.

BIG MISTAKE.

If there is any advice I can give you, anything that you will take away from these posts is do not watch pans labyrinth when on mood/mind altering medication.

I turned it off 20 minutes in and essentially slept under my covers because I was so freaked out.

The nurses still gave me hope that I would be out to enjoy Christmas at home and I was devastated when I found out this wasn’t the case.

I was moved to another ward because the one I was in was closing for the holidays. This was just a normal room, but had tiling on the walls and floor, it was cold and sterile. I wanted out. The head of the gastro department came to see me, a tall, thin ruthless man who was adamant that I was not to leave until he was convinced I was better. Telling me that surely my concern should be to get 100% well rather than leave early just for Christmas.

I wanted to scream at him. He doesn’t have UC, he doesn’t have to spend Christmas in the hospital, he gets to go home and spend it with his family. How is he meant to understand?

I found that I couldn’t leave because my potassium levels were seriously low and they had to be stable before the doctors would entertain my notion of leaving.

Christmas eve, 15 minutes before the clock struck 12 and it would be Christmas day. I rang my mum crying because I wanted to come home. I hated being attached to drips that beeped and kept me up all night, I hated being woken up so that I could have blood tests done or my temperature taken. How was I meant to rest and get better if I was constantly being poked and prodded?

That was the moment when I truly realised I had a disease that couldn’t be cured. A disease that will rob you of your happiness any chance it can get.

Colitis isn’t playing around. Colitis is a mean, nasty bully and once he has dug his claws into your gut, he is not letting go.

It sounds strange but I learnt to respect the disease because if I underestimated it, it would make me pay and it just wasn’t worth it. I had felt the wrath of Ulcerative Colitis and I wasn’t prepared to make the same mistake again.

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