From One of The Worst Cases to Remission: Tatiana's Ulcerative Colitis Story
For as long as I can remember I have had digestive problems and had tummy aches. Doctors could never tell me what was wrong and so I went through years of guessing and finding my own solutions to the problem. Some of them would help for a while and mask the symptoms, but ultimately the problems always came back. It was the worst my junior year of college. Everything I ate made me nauseous, I was bloated and tired all the time, and I could barely live my life. My friends wanted to party and hang out with me, and I always had to bail because I was sick but had no idea what was wrong. In December of 2015 (my senior year of college) I had reconstructive jaw surgery. The surgery lasted 5 hours and was stressful on my body. What came after that was my first ulcerative colitis flare. When I went to the ER, the doctors did a colonoscopy and told me it was one of the worst cases they had ever seen, and I might need to have surgery to remove my colon. They put me on prednisone and Remicade immediately and told me if it didn’t work, we would have no other option but surgery. I had to take a term off of college to get stronger, but ended up still graduating on time! I remember when I was first diagnosed I thought my life was over and that I would never finish college, so that was a proud moment for me. Remicade ended up working and I have been on Remicade and in remission ever since.
Accepting Her Diagnosis
It took me a long time to accept my diagnosis. I resented it in the beginning and remember saying “this doesn’t define me” almost as a way of pushing it away. It took time for me to get to a point where I realized that it is a huge part of who I am and has actually given me so much strength and purpose in life. Learning how to talk about it more openly definitely helped me learn to not only accept my diagnosis, but embrace it. Trusting my loved ones with my diagnosis was important and, I think with time it gets easier.
Tati’s Top 3 Tips For Women Living With IBD:
Practice self care and self love as much as possible. Being diagnosed with IBD doesn’t make you any less of a person, it gives you incredible strength, but it takes time to know and learn that. And not everyday is going to feel that way. Be patient with yourself and love yourself as much as possible.
Lean on those around you for support. Whether those people are your friends, family, roommates, significant others, or other people living with IBD, lean on them during good times and bad. It’s really easy to internalize this diseases because it’s invisible, so it’s important to remember that you don’t have to do everything alone. And it’s okay to ask for help!
Don’t be ashamed! You didn’t choose this disease and it doesn’t make you any less beautiful, sexy, powerful, capable, etc. People have a hard time talking about anything involving poop, but that doesn’t mean you should feel shame around talking about your disease! People can get over it. :)
Tati’s Favorite Mantra/Quote To Get Her Through the Hard Times:
“I am strong and capable of getting through incredibly hard things. I will be able to get through anything that comes my way.”