‘You’re married to this for life’ the Gastrologist stated while explaining to me that I had some autoimmune disease called, Ulcerative Colitis.
The first time I had ever heard of this so-called ‘disease’ was when I busy googling all my symptoms one night, while I was in the back of an Uber trying not to shit myself. That was roughly three weeks before I was diagnosed by Dr. Pessimist. Those three weeks were awkward, terrifying and extremely isolating – so when the doctor finally announced that Ulcerative Colitis and I were to be in a committed partnership forever, I was already trying to figure out how to file for a divorce.
So, how did Ulcerative Colitis and I meet? Well, to put it straight – we met when on the toilet. Charming stuff. And it wasn’t a clean start to our relationship. Even though I needed to go to the toilet, nothing was coming out. It was like my arsehole was playing mind games with me, just to fuck with my routine. I am one of those people who are extremely regular, not in a bad way, but in a way that I would wake up, go to the toilet and start my day. I would always know if something wasn’t right when I couldn’t relieve myself, but it was generally because I had been eating too much wheat or red meat, so I’d take it easy for the following few days.
However, this time it was different (don’t they all say that?). It really was. Our honeymoon phase was one that I’ll never forget. From the 4 am wake up calls, madly rushing to the bathroom hoping that I had left no trails on the floor, to skipping meals because I was too afraid of when my UC symptoms were going to surprise me next. My favourite part of the honeymoon phase though was the amount of energy my UC sucked from me every single day. I struggled to get through a few hours without feeling defeated, exhausted and emotionally drained.
At the time, I actually had no idea what UC was. I was getting a lot of mixed messages and Google was no help. Within those weeks, I was self-diagnosed with SIBO, celiac disease, fructose intolerance, IBS, colorectal cancer and AIDS. Don’t ever Google your symptoms, unless you don’t mind the anxiety of ‘am I dying?’
It wasn’t until my mum made me go and see someone (thanks mum) that I decided it was probably best for someone to examine/prod my butt hole, to see what the fuck was happening in there. Which of course resulted in colonoscopy and the announcement of my newest life-long commitment, UC.
If all of this wasn’t bad enough, the doctor then explained to me that UC is either an environmental cause or hereditary. Like what the fuck sort of explanation is that? Imagine if scientists told us that the Earth circulated, but couldn’t tell us how, or why? I mean back in the day we accepted information. Nowadays, we have access to modern day technology and information. So off I went on a journey to find my answers.