Sounds like a children’s book, but in reality it’s just me telling you about my personal journey with colitis.
It all started when I was a junior in high school, experiencing the extreme stress of preparing for college applications and a demanding AP class schedule. I was able to sit through first period and then I either had to rush to the bathroom, bend over in pain or squirm in physical and emotional discomfort. I would find some excuse to leave the classroom and then sneak away to call my mom. She would come pick me up and take me to the safety of my living room couch where I could deal with my issues and avoid the embarrassment of these symptoms in public school.
I went to a GI doctor and we tried eliminating foods from my diet to see if it was simply an allergy related issue. I did find that greasy foods and dairy products upset my stomach more but my intestines were still unhappy either way. Having a colonoscopy at the age of 16 was not something I imagined myself doing so young but I wanted answers and this was the best way to get them. The good news was that I did not have ulcerative colitis but my issues were probably a mix of colitis and irritable bowl syndrome.
In the months to follow I tested various foods and altered my diet to find nourishment that did not leave me in constant discomfort. While I struggled with being different I very slowly realized that I had to come to terms with this issue that was not going to simply disappear with a magic pill or food regimen.
It has taken years to accept this digestive disorder but colitis is part of who I am and now I listen to my body and take care of it as best as I can. I can go for days without the hint of pain but then there are the times where out of no where I will have stomach cramps and I simply have to acknowledge it and rest.
Colitis has taught me about my inner strength to deal with pain and discomfort, strength to push through the hard times and strength to embrace myself and accept me for me.
Thanks for listening! Back to our regularly scheduled blog posts tomorrow 🙂