What The Diagnosis Says & Personal Update

Hello Lovelys,

So this blog post is basically an update of what the diagnosis is, what the previous hospital appointments have said and my personal observations and feelings of everything at the moment.
If you want to know then read ahead but of course i'm not an expert and people have different views and opinions when it comes to IBD as there is no direct link to its causes.
Also i will be getting back on track soon and updating with some beauty & fashion posts so be on the look :)

And...lets get started...

So in the last post i went through my colonoscopy experience and explained that biopsy's were taken and that i had to wait for the results.
The diagnosis of this is Ulcerative Colitis. Thankfully the biopsy's showed no signs of cancer or cancerous growths which during the time i was waiting for the results was the major thing i was scared of.

So to clarify a little more...
Ulcerative Colitis or UC is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD that effects the large bowel and rectum. It is a chronic condition that causes inflammation and ulcers and as its life-long there will be periods or remission and times of relapses/"flare ups".
UC can come in many forms there's:
Procititis - That only effects the rectum
Proctosigmoiditis - Inflammation on the rectum and sigmoid colon
Left Sided Colitis - Inflammation that begins at the rectum and continues into the left side of
the large bowel
Extensive Colitis - This effects most of all of the large bowel. 

Normally the large intestine is responsible for stool changes, with UC the inflammation causes loss of the lining of the colon, leading to complications such as bleeding, loose bowel movements and abdominal discomfort.
The symptoms of UC included: anemia, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, rectal bleeding, loss of nutrients and nausea.

Whilst UC can develop at any age, it is most commonly found between the ages of 15-25 and is found in men and women equally. Unfortunately there is no cure for it at the moment...but even though every case is different, treatment has taken leaps and bounds in the last couple of years. At the moment it is mainly tablet based, although it can be controlled with injections or suppositories. A common medication is Mesalazine and Sulfasalazine as they have been found to respond well to the inflammation of the intestine and prolong the risk of flare-ups. 
If the case is very severe then surgery may be required, it is estimated that around 30% of people with UC will have surgery at some point in their life and that it is mainly to attach a colostomy bag.
The most common way to diagnose Ulcerative Colitis is by Colonoscopy, i have previous blogged about my experience of this here: www.hannahmarie92.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-trip-to-hospital.html.

When i finally had the hospital appointment that concluded everything it was a relief as i had been ill for so long and there was already a plan to try out with the Octasa tablets. I was lucky that no surgery was needed in the present future (as i'm classed as having severe UC) so i will just need a check up every three months with a blood test and discussion of how the medication is working.
Personally i have been doing better then i thought i would but i have come to realise some things personally which i thought may benefit someone in the same position.

Firstly, if you are on steroids to bring down a flare-up there are side effects which annoy the hell out of you. For the first 2 weeks i was constantly tired and my muscles ached even when i hadn't done much at all. Also i broke out on my forehead, nose and chin which you can say "pfft" there just spots they'll go but as you are going through a stressful time and are emotional, everything will start to frustrate you.
Another thing steroids can effect is your hunger, this kicks in as you start to have more energy. Even as i was weaned off the steroids i still never felt full and it wasn't like i felt starving it was just a dull hunger feeling, so i grazed between meals and in evenings.
One thing to remember is that the boost you have is only temporary, yes it sucks but it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll instantly go back to feeling the way you did before and having the same situation with every bowel movement. I have found that the "urgent" feeling can sometimes come up unexpectedly but as long as i don't panic i can control the situation better then i have done.

That's what i want to talk about next, panicking. For people with UC or other forms of IBD we will never have the same amount of control over our bowels as before. This can panic you, i have had my fair share of panic attacks along with other IBDers i have met and chatted with. What seems to have become an agreeing point is that if we don't panic and control the situation with what feels like "our pace" then it becomes a lot less distressing. What i mean by this is instead of giving in to that urgent feeling with panic or "oh my gosh" feeling, try thinking or even saying to yourself, ok need the bathroom going to put this down or pause what im watching...etc and going to go by walking not running, it's ok i'm not having a flare up can actually make you feel like your in control and help get to the bathroom with no extra distress.
It isn't something that will work all the time or even for everyone but i have found it's helped me have more belief in my myself and my medication as well.

I have been on Octasa tablets for nearly a month and off the steroids for 3 weeks. In all honesty the change over wasn't bad at all. As i mentioned earlier the boost from steroids won't last so someday's i did feel tired. I was very scared of changing over and coming off the steroids. In my first blog post about the beginning of my journey with UC i mentioned how i had been misdiagnosed for so long. In that diagnosis of IBS i was just given tablets and told its trial and error to find the right ones for you and i didn't want to experience that over and over again. On the steroids i went out more and was able to feel like myself again and i came to realise i had my confidence back. I may not be completely the same on Octasa as i was on steroids but i have just been living my life with it.

So finally i have come to realise that one of the biggest differences is having my confidence back. I have been out with my friends more times in one month then i have for the past year :) I will be honest and say i have had some bad mornings and bad spouts where i have forgotten my afternoon tablets (to which i had to just literally run and take them as i forgot again...oops!) but eventually i will adapt to it all. I am just staying as positive as i can as i know this is something i will live with and i will have my bad days but i have great family and friends around me for support.
And if you feel like your alone in this your not! I am always here if you want to message me or comment below feel free i found comfort in talking to people online in forums and on Tumblr. 

One person in particular is Hanna who has a tumblr called Life according to crohn's. Crohn's is a form of IBD and i found Hanna's tumblr when researching and literally found someone who got what i was feeling and her posts are informative, honest, positive and funny. So thank you Hanna for being there for so many people and being such an awesome person! :) 

So that's it for now...Sorry its taken so long to put up!
Have some ideas in line for this blog and hopefully that will be sooner rather than later :) 

Thank you for reading, loves!

Hannah Marie x

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