How do I know it’s working?

When I started doing the mesalamine enemas, my doctor told me that I should wean myself off the Imodium. She said that we’d only be able to tell if the mesalamine was helping my symptoms if we could actually see whether I even had symptoms. The Imodium is hiding them.

Cue panic.

The Imodium was the first relief I had found in years. I could run again! I didn’t have to stop at the Dunkin Donuts to use the bathroom on my way to work! Our water bill went down since I wasn’t flushing the toilet as often!

I was nervous to stop the one thing I knew was helping me.

But I gradually decreased. I was taking it three times a day for a few weeks, then twice, then just once when I woke up.

I’ve recently started to feel better, just taking the one Imodium first thing in the morning. I’ve been on some runs around the neighborhood, I didn’t have to cut my morning dog walks short as often, and I didn’t have any urgent close calls.

I have been travelling a lot the past four or five weekends, but now all that travel is done for awhile, so I figured now is a good time to try to break my relationship with Imodium.

I went cold turkey on Sunday. I didn’t have too much planned this weekend so I figured I could be near a bathroom if I needed to be. (This thought process actually went through my head. This is where I am with the Imodium thing.)

Since it was a beautiful day, my husband and I went on a 10 mile bike ride. All smooth sailing there. I was fine for most of the day. Then we drove to a bar and on the way, I started to get some discomfort. I passed a bit of gas, still didn’t feel great as we parked, but then as soon as I got out of the car, the feeling passed and I was okay. I had a burger for dinner, drank a beer, and we headed home. All good.

Today, I again decided to forego the Imodium. I pooped a lot in the morning, particularly after the butt-drops. Great. (More about my morning and evening routine later.) But I figured I got it all out and I should be good for the day.

Then I had to go again around 11:30am. Not terrible, but not a good sign.

Then I’m driving home and I’m sitting at the longest red light in the whole city (I swear this is true) and I feel it. That horrible feeling like my stomach is churning and there’s a little twinge of pain and it might pass or it might be 100% an emergency.

I was still sitting at this red light, trying to think of literally anything else. I kept eyeing the towel on the seat next to me, knowing that I would not hesitate to use it if necessary.

The light finally turned and I kept driving. Traffic was horrible, per usual. The feeling subsided a bit, but didn’t fully go away.

And now I’m home. I haven’t had to use the bathroom. I think I feel fine.

But tonight is a beautiful night and I want to go outside and go for a run, but I’m literally terrified that the second I’m 0.2 miles away from my house or away from a port-a-potty I will have to go. And it will be an urgent emergency. Because that’s how it always happens.

So right now, I’m trying to stay calm, but I’m terrified that the mesalamine enema is not working. And if that’s the case, I don’t know what’s next. My doctor was so sure this would work that I didn’t even question it.

I want this to be over. I want to be better. I want to go for a run.

A Terrible Irony and My First Experience at a Team Challenge Event

In my day job, one of my clients is Team Challenge. Team Challenge is a program run by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. I have been working on this account for over two years. And now I’ve been diagnosed with colitis. Talk about irony.

This may have been a good thing. Part of this blog and writing about this journey is to try to remind myself of the positive through it all. Because I’ve been working with Team Challenge, as well as their newest program, spin4 crohn’s & colitis cures, I am more familiar than most with what Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are. I am aware of the resources available. I know that there are millions of people affected by IBD. I know that there is no cure, but there are thousands of people affected in some way by these diseases who are working hard to raise money for research in a valiant effort to find a cure and to find better treatment.  Read more

Doing “Butt-Drops” in the Smoky Mountains

The past few days, I’ve been on vacation with my family in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to explore the Smoky Mountains.

I had been really looking forward to this trip for awhile, but when I found out that I have colitis and that I would have to be doing the “butt-drops” twice a day every day, I started to get a little nervous. I didn’t want to have awkward conversations with my family. I didn’t want to be the center of attention. I didn’t want them to be asking me how I was feeling or how it was going. I didn’t want to have to talk about the logistics of the “butt-drops” or worse, have someone walk in on me while I was doing it.  Read more

The “Butt-Drops”

When the nurse (instead of the doctor) called to give me the news that I had colitis and that I would have to take an enema, I had to stop her.

“Wait, what’s an enema?” I asked.

She explained.

I panicked.  Read more

Before I knew

I wrote the following entry about two weeks before my colonoscopy. I was desperate for some relief and I finally got it after my doctor told me to try taking Imodium to slow down the frequency of bowel movements. It was heaven for those two weeks. Before I knew what the colonoscopy would reveal. I thought I had found the answer. I thought it would really be that simple.

So here’s what I wrote, before I knew that I had colitis: Read more

This is a safe space.

I’m starting this blog because I was diagnosed with mild colitis two days ago.

Amidst my panic and tears and flurry of Googling, all I wanted to see was some comfort. I wanted to hear people’s stories and know that I’m not alone. I wanted to find other people like me, who were dealt a low blow, just when they thought that life was amazing.

Read more