Categories
My UC Journey

Man-Vs-Lockdown

I wanted to give you all the story of how the global pandemic, that is Covid-19, has affected my life and how my job reacted when I told them I am high risk! We are 2 months into lock-down and I can say there has been some pros and cons to working from home and being isolated. More time to write for you guys is definitely a plus!

The outbreak of Coronavirus. I work in a Sales office, very busy, full of people, things being thrown around and generally a mad house! The best way to describe it is its like a bee-hive, but with people. Now, I have always been able to cope with my symptoms in the office as I do have a great HR team who secretly seated me closer to the toilet. Subtle but effective! Especially when you have around 15 urgent toilet trips a day. One major thing I worry about I suppose is the embarrassment of being noticed running out of the office every time I need to go!

Anyway, as soon as everyone was ordered to work from home, my company was on it. Being high risk, they made sure I was one of the first out the door, and within a day I was sat on my sofa working away. I felt quite privileged. This Coronavirus is no joke, especially for those who suffer from previous health conditions like Ulcerative Colitis. Working from home has so many advantages in this pandemic as it eases the mind. By being taken away from infectious environments, the fear and anxiety of catching Covid-19 is dramatically reduced. The stress of having people notice you run to the toilet disappears and the main benefit is I don’t have to put on a brave face and pretend nothing is wrong!! You may understand the feeling.

The New Office. Technically my flat, or more specifically my living room! Although this sounds like the most comfortable change, to be sat on your own sofa, feet up, it is not the case. I didn’t realise just how uncomfortable my flat is, especially when I have to be on my laptop all day answering the phone. I do have the added benefit of having a tiny flat, which means the toilet is literally 5 meters from my ‘Office’. The days are business as usual, until I receive the call from the surgeon and get a surgery date booked in. But that brings be to my next point!

Surgery and Covid-19. The most annoying thing about the surgery is waiting around for it and I know there are a lot of us in the same boat. It makes me anxious, more nervous almost. My Original surgery date was scheduled in for the 1st May this year following a few consultations with my specialist and IBD Nurse. I had a brief meeting with the surgeon who explained the procedure and that it was my choice from here on out. I chose to move ahead, and it was pencilled in. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus picked up pace and the rate of infection went through the roof in my area, meaning I was put on a waiting list. Again, this has its pros and cons. Con, I have to be on a course of Steroids even longer and we all know how shit they are! Pro, it gives me more time to prepare. If you read my last post, you will see my prep plan! Also, I have spoken to a few of you guys who have experienced the same surgery and I have taken a lot of advice on board. The best advice so far is making a hospital bug out bag. Emergency supplies!

For now, it seems like I need to keep plodding along until I hear from the hospital and get a date. If anyone has any item suggestions, essential for a hospital stay or surgery, I will leave the comments open! Also, I would love to hear how you guys are keeping sane throughout lockdown.

Categories
Transformation, Supplements and Protein shakes

The Run Up To Surgery! Part 1

Exercise and DietWeek 1

My main goal over the next few weeks is to do everything in my power to be as healthy as possible in both body and mind. As Crazy as it sounds, I want to prepare myself now to be in the best possible position for surgery and recovery. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not about to start doing 5k runs everyday and wrapping myself in clingfilm to avoid contamination from Covid-19. I don’t actually leave my flat anyway, to be safe! You know us autoimmune disease sufferers, we tend to get sick quick!

So how am I going to do it! I should probably mention at this point that I have not been instructed to do this by a consultant or doctor, I just kind of think its common sense, but I suppose I will let you lot be the judge of that. As the surgery I am having will be open surgery, I have come to the conclusion that there will be substantial damage in the abdominal muscles, which will take a long time to recover. So part 1 of the plan is to exercise my core muscles as much as possible before the surgery, building strength in my abdominal’s, obliques and lower back.

The method in the madness. My theory is, once the surgery has taken place, my body will utilise the surrounding muscles to help steady my torso and ease the pressure off my abdominal wall. This will help me in recovery as I believe it will help reduce the risk of a hernia around the wound or stoma site. A second benefit from training my core before the surgery is it builds new vascularity. Meaning more nutrient rich blood will be located in the area, which will promote healing.

Okay, so I know what your thinking! That sounded like he has done his homework or more likely, what is this guy talking about! Like I said, I haven’t really got a clue what I am doing but this preparation kind of helps me steady my mind. I suppose following this kind of plan allows me to feel like I have some form of control over the surgery and the outcome. What are your thoughts?

Anyway, Part 2 of the plan. We all know that we are more susceptible to getting ill and being tired and drained due to lack of nutrition or vitamin uptake in our digestive system. As I am currently on steroids and not flaring, I feel as though I am in a good place to boost my vitamin levels. So, I have started creating a daily smoothie. This smoothie includes a few different things for different reasons.

Super clean, protein, vitamin boosting smoothie recipe!

  • 6 Ice cubes – To make it cold (obviously)
  • 200g Greek yogurt – provides 20g protein, low in Lactose
  • 5 medium Strawberries – High in Vitamin C
  • 1 Banana – Calories, Potassium
  • 1 scoop of Collagen Peptides
  • 1 Scoop of Super Greens
  • Oats can be added for extra calories

The main additions here are the collagen and super greens. The collagen has been added because studies has shown that this protein is responsible for skin health and can promote healing. Which I am thinking will help in post op recovery. Also, for those who get acne from Steroids, this is perfect for getting rid! The super greens are high in micro-nutrients to support a healthy immune system and it has a source of Iron to promote blood health. The brand I use includes a few different roots that support the body in other ways as well, by providing Vitamin C, Calcium and has anti-inflammatory properties. Perfect for Joint health.

There you have it, my plan. I would be really grateful for thoughts on this. If you think it’s all non-sense or have suggestions, I will leave the comments open! Also, if you guys want to know more about the core training I am doing at home or other smoothie recipes, let me know!

Next post I will talk about pro’s and cons of working at home with Ulcerative Colitis and Covid-19!

Categories
My UC Journey

Where Have I Been?

Where have I been?

Hey everyone. I wanted to take this opportunity to recap as it has been some years since I last posted and I may have enticed a few more readers, I hope! Now, I would like to tell you all that my absence is a result of finding a super rare cure for Chronic Illness or that I had a sip of some ancient tea which restored my Colon to full health, but that didn’t happen. Instead iv been learning how to live and adapt to my condition so I can live a full life, there has just been a lot of bumps in the road! See my super rehearsed intro below.

My name is Lee, I have suffered with Ulcerative Colitis for around 4 years now. I have decided to restart my Blog as I have been given the unfortunate news that I have to have a sub-total colectomy, to remove my large bowel. Now, I know what your thinking! Have I tried this medication and that medication? Yes, I have been on so many different medications you will not believe it. Unfortunately, I have been labelled a non-responder. Let me get you up to speed.

Where I left off. It was 2017 and I had overcome my first major flare, I had gone back to work and I was back into my social circle. Things were looking up. The medication I was on at the time was known as golimumab. This was a self-injection like Humira for those who know it. Side note, it hurt like hell. The medication seemed to work for the most part, but I still suffered majorly with urgency, diarrhoea and anaemia. But I could cope! I managed to put on more weight and continue with my passion of working out and somehow, I got a promotion at work. Unfortunately, I began to build a resistance to the drug and was soon back in a flare.

New Drug. I was flaring for some time before being given another new revolutionary drug. I swear the consultation with your IBD Nurse/ Consultant is like a sales pitch. I was sold, get it in me! Vedolizumab was the name, controlling UC symptoms was its game. It was like Infliximab in the sense it was administered as a drip every 4-6 weeks. At the start I seen no real improvement but as time went on I manged to get to a healthy state. Never passing, I would sayyy, 85% health. Meaning, I still had the urgency and with this drug I suffered with bad migraines and stomach cramps.

September 2018 I was taken of Vedolizumab after just 8 months as I was back in a flare. They attempted Azathioprine for whole 48 hours but that nearly shut down my kidneys. You can probably imagine I was beginning to worry about surgery at this point. I was told there was no medication left and I would need to apply for trial medication. TRIAL MEDICATION. I was on the waiting list for 6 months, all the while taking 40mg of Prednisolone. I had Moon face, Acne, Week joints, Week Teeth and the worst night sweats for 6 months before they gave me a new drug, again!

Tofacitinib. This new drug was an oral medication which was very different to any before it. It was easy to take, had no immediate side effects and (drum roll please) it worked. My symptoms disappeared again, and my life was back on track. Nothing could stop me now! Oh wait, I got the flu, which triggered a flare up and I was right back in hospital. At least I got a year of my life back.

Present day. After I exhausted the medication on offer, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I was given the option to try and go without medication or make the option to have surgery and have an ileostomy. To make this even harder Covid-19 showed up and made all consultations, advice, visits, tests and a potential surgery date impossible to get. PHEW, now your caught up. BRING ON THE SURGERY!

Follow my next post for my Surgery Prep!