Sunday Stories | Shawn's Ulcerative Colitis Story

Sunday stories is a series on my blog where every week a different person talks about their condition (physical, mental etc.), shares their story and raise awareness. For the past 5 years I've used my blog as a space where I could do just that but I wanted to extend things even further to allow others to talk and raise awareness of their conditions. I'm really excited to introduce everyone to you! Today Shawn is sharing her story and journey with Ulcerative Colitis, I'll hand things over to her!

Can you tell us a bit about your condition and how you were diagnosed?

For as long as I can remember I've experienced abdominal pain, bloody stools, extreme fatigue etc. Then in 2010 I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.

How does your condition affect you on a daily basis?

Currently I have a lot less symptoms now that I've had my large intestines removed but I am still extremely tired. I still have "phantom pains" as one physician calls it. Also because I don't have large intestines it makes it hard to keep nutrition and I dehydrate very quickly. Before my surgeries I couldn't go anywhere without an extra pair of clothes. I would not ride in a car with anyone for fear of having an "accident." I was constantly losing blood and just became extremely depressed. During my surgeries I had a temporary Ostomy for about 6 months. It was hard to adjust to life. I had less symptoms but managing life with your intestines on the outside can get pretty complicated. 

Do you have any tips for someone who is newly diagnosed?

Know your options, get informed about your condition and find a doctor you're comfortable with. Know you are not alone. With our condition it can be very easy to isolate yourself or feel embarrassed but there are so many resources, so many advocates and blogs who are out there for support, people who have been where you are.

What is one thing you would like people to remember about your condition?

Ulcerative colitis affects you in many different ways, it's not just about using the bathroom. There were days when I couldn't get out of bed as my body was in so much pain. I'd lost so much blood I needed two transfusions during my first hospital stay. Ulcerative Colitis starts in the colon/rectum but there's no limit to what it can do to your body. 

You can follow Shawn on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and follow her blog here. You can also get more information and support on the Crohn's & Colitis UK website.

No comments:

Post a Comment