When I was seven years old I was admitted into the hospital for a week with crippling stomach pains and other symptoms that I luckily have very little memory of. At age nine I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC). My disease went away then, for a few years, only to come roaring back when I was14. After that, the years developed a pattern. My UC would get very bad at one point during the year, I mean so bad that I would lose up to twenty pounds and struggle to leave the house due to the diarrhea and exhaustion. I would spend months taking various medications to get it under control, I’d experience good health for a couple of months, and then the cycle would begin again.
I was sixteen when a doctor first tried to convince me to have my colon surgically removed. “It’s inevitable” he said. Or maybe he didn’t say exactly that, but that’s the impression I got. “Better to do it now, while you’re relatively healthy than when you have an emergency bowel perforation.” I was sixteen. I was in love with at least four of the boys in my high school. I was not willing to consider an adolescent dating life with a colostomy bag.
See more at: Wrestling Ulcerative Colitis Into Submission