Young mother battles through ulcerative colitis
In this video a young mother Monica walks through her symptoms, ulcerative colitis diagnosis and managing the disease.
SPEAKER 1: So I was first diagnosed with UC in 2016. I had no idea what ulcerative colitis was
and honestly, I felt terrified. And the doctor at the time, he said, we don't know what causes it.
There is no cure. So that was very jarring, and I was frightened.
When I had to be hospitalized, it was very, very frightening. In 2019, I had a major flare.
And I didn't know it at the time, but the inflammation had spread to other parts of my colon. So I started to have symptoms that I never had before.
I had to go to the bathroom, sometimes, 20-25 times a day. And it got to the point where I couldn't
keep any food inside my body. And I had lost about 30 pounds within two weeks.
It was really my husband that was forcing me to go, because I didn't want to go. I was teaching at the time. It was a new school year.
My husband was like, no, you have to go. I just didn't realize the severity of it. So when I had to be on fluids and then they
wanted to keep me overnight, that's when I realized, OK, this is really serious. And so, having had this disease for some years now,
I am proud to say that I am my biggest advocate. And I speak up, I ask questions, I make
recommendations for myself. And I'm proud of that. Some of the ways that I manage UC
so that it doesn't take over my life-- number one, definitely with medication that makes life a bit more normal.
I also manage with diet. I've taken out several foods that are triggers.
Exercise is a very important component of managing ulcerative colitis.
For me, I love to do morning walks. Good morning, all. I'm on my morning walk here to encourage you.
I hope you can do some exercise today too. And I also manage by decreasing stress in my life
and doing the things that I love to do that bring me joy.
It's very difficult being a mom with ulcerative colitis. I have two sons. One is 5, and one is 3.
5. SPEAKER 1: Good job. They are so much fun. They're so bright. You're stirring it so fast.
[INAUDIBLE] SPEAKER 1: They're the best things that have ever happened to me.
Friends and loved ones have helped me and supported me tremendously. And I would also say that my husband has been my number one
supporter. He's been an advocate for me. And so, I'm just so grateful to have a partner that supports me and loves me in that way.
I really try to be grateful. I share my story, because I find that other people are
encouraged because they may be going through something. It makes me feel better, and it shows me that there's purpose in what I'm going through,
especially when I have really dark days. I have had UC for several years.
And though it has been challenging to live life with this disease, there is hope.
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