Young, Sick and Invisible

My illness has shaped me,
But it does not define me.

Guest Post: 'Hayley's Story.'

Banana Leaves

Hi my name is Hayley, I am happily married to my hubby, and we have two beautiful little girls together. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2008. Ulcerative Colitis is a form of IBD. It is a longterm condition, where the colon and rectum become inflamed. Having UC hasn't stopped me doing anything of the things I love. I am heavily drug controlled though, so I can still eat what I want.

I am still able to work. I work 2 part time jobs. I am a 1:1 TA in a primary school and I am also a 1:1 preschool teacher. I have had to declare my condition, as it can flare at anytime and everyone has been understanding. I had to leave my full time job as a hospital phlebotomist, due to tiredness and stress which kept putting me in a flare.

All my life I have had digestive issues. As a baby I had Pyloric Stenosis, I had colic and reflux until I was at least 3. I was also on soya milk as couldn't tolerate cows milk. Once I hit puberty, I was diagnosed with IBS. Until one day when I was 20 I become very very ill (doctors said I was a week away from dying).

I was 20, it was November 2008 and I become ill with stomach cramps and diarrhea and vomiting. Drs said it was a bug. A week later I still had it, and there was no let up. I lost a stone in weight and was struggling to keep water down. My dad carried me into the GP who said I had gastroenteritis and a severe case of it, even when I said I was passing blood. I wasn't offered a blood test or anything. It was now 2 weeks later and I had lost 2 stone in weight, and my parents called the GP out for a home visit. The Dr took one look at me and called an ambulance. I was rushed In, I had 10 bags of saline as I was so dehydrated, I was sent for a colonoscopy and it was then that I was diagnosed.

No, I did not use Dr google as I was 20, and didn't really know what to search. A flare for me, is tiredness, passing mucus and or blood, crippling pain in the lower left of my stomach. The pain is like being stabbed with a hot knife in the stomach and twisted round and round. Horrendous

A flare can usually last a couple of days, until I up my meds and it starts to take effect. I find eating less helps, the less food that is travelling through my body the better. Stress and Alcohol are my two big triggers

I take Mercaptopurine 50mg, and Mesavant XL 1200mg x 4 a day, and VSL 3 . Know your triggers and stock up on loo roll and good bathroom reads. I dread to think how much time I spend in there. Having UC hasn't had any negative impact on my life really.

It hasn't stopped me from doing anything. If I wasn't so heavily drug controlled then yes it may be a different story. I try to stay positive, despite having this disease, it is controlled, there are people with the same condition who are in a worse situation than me. I try to spread awareness of IBD in my blog also to try and raise awareness.

I hope there will be a cure, and I can stop feeling so tired all the time, and stop taking all these toxic drugs. Until then they keep me out of hospital.

- Medicines described in this blog are prescribed to this individual by their Doctor. Always consult your Doctor about what is best for your needs before taking any medication -

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