From the beginning then.
My name is James and I am from England.
I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis aged 14. This followed a year of arseache and head scratching by doctors. We got there in the end.
I was ill. I had a lot of time off school and spent a proportion of my formative years generally wondering what the fuck was going on. There was talk of operating, removing my bowel and giving me a bag – I just thought; ‘Fuck that’.
So the doctors gave me steroids. That was
rubbish. The doctor literally said these words – “You may experience some mooning of the face”. To be fair to him, I certainly did. So now, in addition to being dead ill, I also looked like Drop Dead Fred after he gets his head squashed in a fridge. When they mentioned steroids, I honestly thought “I’m going to end up dead muscley” – like a sprinter or some shit like that. I’m 15 by this point.
Doctors tried different combinations of medications & enemas, hoping that they would somehow meet in the middle. I ended up on a Mesalazine drug called Pentasa, which, purely by process of elimination really, did the trick. This meant that my later teen years were relatively trouble free and I could live a normal life- that is to say, I stayed in my room listening to Radiohead, playing Championship Manager and looking at pictures of rude ladies.
I was generally fine until my mid-twenties, I have struggled to attribute that to anything but that is the nature of the disease, I suppose. The needle has been skipping more frequently since then.
I met my future wife at 18, went to University, travelled the world and now have two children. I currently live in the good old USA. I have had the shits in some of the most beautiful locations on the planet. I am very lucky.
I am preparing for a life changing operation related to my illness. If, like me, you are going through the same thing, googled it and wished you hadn’t, I hope you can find the positivity you need here. I am going to find it funny.