Ulcerative Colitis

I'm sat within the Leicester Royal Infirmary right now and my Mum has had a big operation. She has had what is known as an ileostomy bag as she has suffered long term with a condition called Ulcerative Colitis. If you've not heard of this before, hopefully after reading this you will have some awareness of the condition, it's effects on the body and also the impact on every day life. The amount of people that have said to me that they don't know what Ulcerative Colitis is prompted me to write this post and I have spoken to my Mum prior to this about whether she would be comfortable sharing her experiences with UC, so she knows that I am sharing this with you all and is happy to help create awareness for something that has controlled her life for far too long.

Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammation of the bowels, involving lots of ulcers which line the bowels itself including the colon and rectum. A sufferer passes blood, it's agony every single day and you have no control over when you can go to the toilet. In the middle of a shop, driving your car, on public transport, sat in the office, walking your dog - it happens and you can't control it. Sounds painful right? And embarrassing and awkward? This isn't how it should be. Poo is something that all of us have seen plenty of, have made plenty of yet it's still something we're embarrassed to talk about. I have noticed a significant, positive change in my Mum since she started meeting people who had gone through a similar experience and also, hearing of other people's successes with an ileostomy bag. It's been a relief seeing her get so much support, but also heart breaking knowing she finds it difficult to talk about and also getting other people to understand the severity of what it's doing to her body. Even close family didn't realise just how much pain she was in prior to this op and right now, even though she's bed bound and in more pain than ever, it'll soon pass and she'll be so much happier and healthier within a few weeks.

Up until this week, we haven't been able to go anywhere for months. Mum and I always used to go shopping together, visit family, meals out, dog walks. But over time this had to come to a halt, because she was too ill to leave the house. She's a determined lady and tried for so long to not let her condition prevent her from doing anything; she still attended her gym classes a few times a week, carried on working, did work for others like gardening, walked her dog, did her shopping, but it continued to get worse. UC like many illnesses has it's triggers and stress and anxiety from what I have seen are two of the worst to trigger it. Something as simple as not knowing where the nearest toilet is can really set a sufferer off. It makes you grumpy for obvious reasons and for my Mum, it's been a vicious cycle of trying new medications which seem to help a little bit for a couple of weeks but then typically, you're body gets used to it. Sometimes your body starts attacking itself and everything just escalates. My Mum was at such a high risk of cancer after what all of this has done to her insides, that having this op seemed like the best option. The only option.

As someone who doesn't suffer from this illness, nor do I have a bag, I would like to take this opportunity to express my opinion regarding anything to do with ileostomy bags and any kind of illness, whether it relates to this or not. You are all beautiful people and having a bag doesn't make anyone think anything less of you. Having the courage to go through with a life changing procedure like this one demonstrates strength and motivation, positivity and regaining control. I am so incredibly proud of my Mum for making this decision and I'm so excited to see her rise up as a lotus does from the dirt and as a rainbow does after a storm. Life is not finished with my Mum, not for a long shot.

If you'd like to read more on Ulcerative Colitis, I've left a couple of links below and also my Mum's blog - I'm sure she'd love the support if you fancy popping over and leaving her a comment!

Crohn's and Colitis
Mum's Blog

Thankyou for reading!

1 comment

  1. Sending lots of love your way. Thanks for sharing this, so informative and helpful xxx


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