First of all, WOW! Thank you to everyone who has already reached out to say “hey” or “cool” or “my other friend has colitis too!” or “we don’t care if you talk about poop.” It has been really amazing and overwhelming to remember how lucky I am to be so surrounded by love and support from my family and friends. So thank you.
Also, a lot of questions have already come up that I will try to answer. In my head, the blog would be very logical and either follow a timeline or at least themes, but I can tell it’s going to be much more jumpy. Which is fine. Works for me.
Questions that people have about me and/or UC in general:
Does it hurt? Are you in pain all the time?
No. I am rarely in actual pain which is great. I do have some pain, but it’s usually when I’m actually going to the bathroom and it’s few and far between. Much more often, I feel gross, bloated, uncomfortable, gassy and anxious. I realized that I process my emotions through my stomach and it was my body’s way of compensating for a lot of other things. The toxins in my body love to start at my digestive system. I also feel….pressure? I think is the word I’m looking for. I sometimes feel physical pressure right at the rectum (which is where most of my inflammation is and where it started). It kind of feels like I have to go to the bathroom, but really I don’t. This is really weird to talk/write about, haha.
How are you feeling right now?
Right now, today, I am feeling fantastic. I’ve been feeling fantastic for a few months. On August 13, I decided to make a huge change. I stopped taking my medication. (My parents don’t know this yet! aah!) The 9 pills I was taking each day were obviously doing nothing for me anymore since I still had full flare-up symptoms every single day. That same day, I started a super strict cleansing diet for about 3 weeks which consisted of only plant-based, whole foods. Nothing processed, nothing else except whole, living foods. I did cook some grains, etc. But tried to do as many raw foods as possible. It was the second time I’d tried to do something like this. (I did a raw-food only situation for a few weeks in 2010. It worked well but there were still other parts of my life that weren’t in balance so it didn’t give me full remission.) Because of all of the balance I’d created everywhere else in my life, it really worked this time. The bloody poop I’d been working with for so long (almost 8 years at that point) went away IN EIGHT DAYS. Seriously. It didn’t stay for too long, but just to have one day of no bloody poop with no medication was a miracle for me. I was so happy. I still am! As of today, I typically have a few days in a row of no blood, then traces of blood, then a bit more, then traces of blood, then no blood for a few days. It follows my period which is SUPER DUPER interesting. Anyway, I’m off topic. More on all of that later, but had to get a little bit out there now.
What are you eating now? Is it working?
I’m on Day 6 of another plant-based, whole foods cleanse/diet. I hate the word diet because of the negative connotations, so know that when I say “diet” I just mean, food that I’m eating. Anyway, I had veered off of the path for a few months (late Sept-Nov) eating some bread, a little pasta, tortillas here and there, some cheese, some alcohol….not a lot of this stuff, but here and there. In the future, I don’t see that stuff as bad in moderation, but for now, as I’m still trying to heal, I’m going to have to be super strict. At least until I have a better balance and my body can more easily process the hard to process stuff.
Basically I’m eating mostly fruits and vegetables, but also grains, beans, nuts and seeds. I feel amazing and fantastic. The hardest part for me has always been the social side. This weekend for example, I’m supposed to do all liquids for 3 days as part of the supported cleanse. This weekend is also December Nights, a Christmas/going-away party for a guy in my building, and the annual watching of Badder Santa which usually involves a lot of white russians for some reason (probably because they are delicious). I have a lot of social eating and drinking in my life. Which is super fun, but it just isn’t going to work for me right now. So I’m working on being excited about my modified diet and owning it instead of apologizing for it. Usually when I’m doing these cleanses, I say “yeah, I know, it’s weird, it’s sucks but whatever, it’s only for a few weeks.” This time I’m excited to say “Yeah, I know! It’s great, it’s making me feel better and heal faster. I’m proud of the work I am doing!” We’ll see how that plays out in real life!!
I have so much more to talk about but I have to go to work! We only have a few more days of the semester and my awesome students are waiting for me to give them a test and a really cool lecture on “where do I go from here with my life?”….I love my job. :)
Talk to you all soon!
I think it will be fun to also incorporate what I’m listening to right now because I love music and it’s fun to share. I’m obsessed with Spotify recently because of the accessibility you have to everything. Right now I’m listening to Little Dragon’s “Ritual Union” album. They hooked me with the song “Twice” and I love to put them on in the background when I’m working on something. Ironically, this seems like it would probably have been played on 94.9’s old Big Sonic Chill which I hated for years. Oh well!