My daughter star rocketed herself into end stage ulcerative colitis, courtesy fuelled by my shitty genes and her body’s response to a broken leg. No gradual build up and coming to terms with an awful alternative, that makes surgery an easy option to choose. for her.
Although, when I come to think more about it, the surgery, or fatal consequences if lack of said surgery, seems a pretty easy side to pick. But it isn’t when you aren’t mentally prepared for it. (There’s a whole other story there, too, which I might tell later).
Ulcerative colitis is an auto immune disease and autoimmune diseases often have stress as a trigger. These last weeks since September have been extremely stressful for me. All of my diseases flared up (such pain from the ankylosing spondylitis; two bouts of iritis; psoriasis over 30 percent of my body and which won’t respond to treatment; you get the picture.
My internal health hasn’t been great since a bout of salmonella three years ago. I’m usually too busy to worry about it and just accept it as a diet thing that comes and goes.
Except….all the symptoms stepped up this year. When my girl got so sick the first time, my stress levels skyrocketed. I did a lot of research once they had officially diagnosed her and I wondered if my symptoms might not fit an early stage of her disease. And then I started looking into correlations of auto-immune diseases and ulcerative colitis. There is a link, a huge link, depending on whether you already have one or more of the following diseases:
- ankylosing spondylitis
So I set myself up an appointment with a GI specialist to check, just in case. This was in the works before my girl got sick the second time and the appointment came through two days before I was flying out to be with her. My specialist wanted blood tests and stool samples, both of which I provided, and he also scheduled a colonoscopy.
He emailed me the results, which showed no disease (salmonella can lie dormant in your gall bladder for years, apparently) or infection. What they did show was elevated inflammation and protein markers, which aren’t bad in of themselves but are strongly indicative of UC. Colonoscopy needed for final diagnosis – I should get it very soon.
Since then, symptoms have become worse. I am fairly sure that I have the disease, at a maybe 2/3 level and I’ve just sucked it up at the earlier stages. Surgeon thinks so as well.
But if my daughter hadn’t been so ill, I probably would have gone on ignoring things.
She gets to be my adviser in this disease, rather than the other way around, for a change. I can’t say I’ve ever wanted to be this (literally) shitty club but having a supportive network already in place will help both of us.