Early Warning Signs….

It is so easy for me to forget that I have chronic illness when I’m well. Over the last six months I have managed to keep my Ulcerative Colitis at bay with a mixture of a healthy diet which includes masses of fish, low carbohydrate, no wheat and very little dairy. The reasons for most of these things are through careful monitoring of my diet, trial and error and also research into Omega 3 fish oils. It seems that a high intake of carbohydrate just doesn’t do me any favours at all. My stomach is fine but after the food has passed through my large intestine it then gets to my colon where the problem is. Because of the ulcers and inflammation when I’m poorly there seems to be little and sometimes no absorption of the nutrients and whats leftover is liquid, hence the need to go to the loo 30 odd times a day :( Sorry if you don’t like bowel talk, I just need to write all this down to try and help it make sense.
You see, over the last 5 days I’ve gone from being the very proud, triumphant and healthy producer of some fine looking plops to well, let’s just say not anymore! There are certain things that are happening that make me think that perhaps my luck is fading and my broken colon is preparing to battle yet again…
1. Bubbles rippling around my lower gut, very odd feeling, like air trapped in a hose-pipe
2. Fatigue and a bizarre tiredness which doesn’t co-inside with the massive amount of sleep I’ve been having. So tried I sometimes want to literally crawl into a ball right in the middle of the street.
3. Grumpiness, I’m snappy and feel like I’m just not the bright cheery soul I usually am. I suppose having a sore tummy ALL the time is bound to get anyone down.
4. I’ve stopped farting! I know this sounds funny but when you don’t have proper absorption in your gut the normal waste that should be there includes gas, mine doesn’t because it’s just liquid, sorry, yuk! As a result I feel constantly swollen like a balloon that has too much air in it.
5. Sore eyes and sore lower back….

Ok, this is starting to sound like a long list of reasons I want you to feel sorry for me! This blog was always intended for me to be able to write about my music, which I’ve done lots of and my tummy, which I haven’t needed to because I’ve been well mostly. It’s really hard thinking about the fact that I’m a little bit broken and living with an Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

If I back track a little I should probably admit that I have been a little sloppy on my in-take of carbohydrate recently, lots of rice, masses of potatoes and I have also recently lowered my dosage of Asacol (an anti-inflammatory drug that only dissolves once it reaches my colon). I am now on 8 pills a day instead of 12 which was perhaps a mistake given by my 5 minute consultation with the specialist last Tuesday who seemed to think I was so well he would bring my dosage down. Why did he do this?? My view of medication has always been that I don’t like it! I have a dream to live healthy and happy, totally pill free but perhaps this has to change. I need to start looking at these little brown pills as miracle workers not nasty chemicals I’m putting into my body. The pills are making me well, keeping me well and unfortunately for someone who’s not too good at relying on anyone or anything (except my husband oh and caffeine, but that’s just a god given right!!) it’s just really hard to change my way of thinking.

I think it’s time I take heed of these early warning signs and use them as a gentle reminder that I need to take care of myself, listen to my body and remember that I have Ulcerative Colitis. It’s not a curable disease but I do believe it’s manageable with a combination of careful medication and a little love for poorly colon.

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