Ulcerative Colitis

An inflammatory bowel disease. The official diagnosis for my digestive and gastro-intestinal problems.

So, it’s not irritable bowel syndrome, like I thought it was. No, during my colonoscopy, the doctor discovered my entire large intestine was inflamed and covered with ulcers and pus. Blood tests, stool tests (did you know that nowadays people are required to prepare their own stool samples at home in kits provided by the hospital, and ship them through FedEx Express?) and a CT scan and I have an official name for the chronic diarrhea, stomach cramps, and nocturnal bowel movements that have made the last 20 months of my life difficult and expensive.

The amount of money I have spent on Imodium and generic Imodium (loperamide), to try to control my diarrhea just enough to get to and from work and the store and not have to sit on the toilet all day. It has been in the thousands. It really has.

WebMD explains like this:

Ulcerative colitis happens when your immune system makes a mistake. Normally, it attacks invaders in your body, like the common cold. But when you have UC, your immune system thinks food, good gut bacteria, and the cells that line your colon are the intruders. White blood cells that usually protect you attack the lining of your colon instead. They cause the inflammation and ulcers.

WebMD – Ulcerative Colitis (UC)

UC is a chronic disease. There is no cure and having it increases my risk of getting colon cancer. Food and stress don’t cause UC but they can create a flare during remission.

I am glad (almost happy) that there is a real diagnosis and treatment options. I have started taking prednisone, to stop the inflammation, and I hope I am in remission in the next year or so. I have another colonoscopy in a coupel of months, and…

The diarrhea has already stopped.

I am so grateful, I could cry.

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