Ulcerative Colitis Update July 2018

Ulcerative Colitis Medication

As you know from previous blog posts I have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in the form of Ulcerative Colitis, to be specific I have Ulcerative Proctitis which effects the rectum area, rather than the whole bowel. Crohns and Colitis website has an excellent explanation of Ulcerative Colitis here

I am under the care of Kettering General Hospital who have their own team of IBD Nurses, so I see a nurse every 12 months, with the option to contact them at any time if I have any concerns about my Ulcerative Colitis. I then see the Consultant every twelve months about my IBD and he also keeps on eye on my liver condition, so I see someone every 6 months. I also have a blood test every 6 months, which I do a couple of weeks prior to my appointment.

Last year my medication was increased, so I now take two Pentasa mesalazine slow release 1g tablets twice a day and during remission I should use the Pentasa mesalazine enema 1g once per week. If I get a flare up I use the enema more regularly, i.e. twice a day.

I feel my flare ups are triggered by stress and not looking after myself/when I get run down. They tend to occur more often in the winter months, which may be linked to my lower mood and that I am therefore less likely to look after myself at those times.

I struggle with the number of times and lack of control of my bowel movements, which are a challenge for me in the mornings, I have learnt to be aware that a loose stool may be a side-effect of constipation, because the only waste getting out is that, that can get around the blockage. So to watch my diet. I find it difficult to identify whether my multiple and loose bowel movements are a symptom of my IBD or IBS, the latter being aggravated by my Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I know the quantity of food I eat, defiantly has an impact and I think, that my condition(s) are aggravated by wheat and possibly milk.

Overall I feel I manage my Ulcerative Colitis okay, through medication, looking after myself, avoiding stress and accepting that I need to go to the loo 3-4 times every morning, and that my bowels settle down most days after about midday- I manage my day around this.

Here are two older blog posts about Ulcerative Colitis:

Ulcerative Colitis Flare Up and Management

Ulcerative Colitis and Anxiety

MyAnxiety

Reflection about losing PIP Award

My Anxiety Featured Image 010718

I had been receiving DLA and then PIP for the past 5 years or so, because of my mental health and Ulcerative Colitis. Following a mid award review which started in August 2017 and a medical assessment by Capita in November 2017, my PIP award ended on the 11th December 2017.

I have been reflecting on this a lot over the past 6 months. Financially the impact was significant, as it meant I also lost my Tax Credits award from the 11th December, and any day I expect a bill for £500 over payment following the year end tax credit review.

I have been lucky and been able to earn a little more money through the work I do and been helped by family.

I think the assessment found me no longer eligible, because I have moved into an acceptance phase of my illness. I accept the limitations of what I can do, because of my Anxiety and Colitis and have found a way to live which suits those conditions. Continue reading “Reflection about losing PIP Award”

Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week 2017

My Anxiety BeYoursELF 2017

Crohn’s and Colitis week is happening now:  1st to 7th December 2017, being promoted by wonderful charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK, to raise awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), with a focus on it being a hidden illness or disability.  The charity has done some fantastic work with supermarkets nationally getting signage added or changed to disabled toilets to get the message out that not every disability is visible – so that Ulcerative Colitis sufferers like me, don’t have to worry about being challenged for using disabled toilets when we need to – because we ‘look ok’.

Continue reading “Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week 2017”

PIP Review 2017

My Anxiety Blog Post

Early in August I received a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Review form dated the 6th August 2017, which is called a ‘PIP Award Review – How your disability affects you’. This came as a surprise (shock) because my PIP award is to August 2018. I have felt anxious and overwhelmed by the prospect of completing the form and the implications of the review: will it change my PIP Award, which could then effect my Tax Credits award (which I now claim as I work part time at home on a self-employed basis).

Continue reading “PIP Review 2017”

Know your limitations My Anxiety

This is not a drill Know your limitations

I blogged about my ‘dream’ job a few weeks ago – ‘The Next Step 2017‘ and applied for the job that weekend.

I have learnt a lot about myself and my anxiety in the following days and weeks. So here is what happened and my reflections after the event.

[I have used this image, as it sums up how the phone ringing does affect me and my anxiety – acknowledgement #CollegeHumour]
Continue reading “Know your limitations My Anxiety”

Ulcerative Colitis Flare Up and Management

My Anxiety Blog Post

After 2 to 3 years I had my first flare up of Ulcerative Colitis in January and February 2016. I think this was a result of being run down with the flu and being depressed.

To find out what was happening I had a few trips to the GP and an endoscopy and today a appointment with the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) nurse clinic at Kettering General Hospital. This was a highly beneficial appointment as I found out a lot, that perhaps I should have been told when I was originally diagnosed in 2003. ​
Continue reading “Ulcerative Colitis Flare Up and Management”

Anxiety, IBS and Walking

vicious cycle of anxiety and IBS

I have had a renewed effort to tackle my anxiety. I have been to a few group depression and anxiety meetings at Rushden Mind. I enrolled on a self esteem course too at Mind; sadly there were not enough attendees, so the course is postponed to November. I am also fast approaching the top of the list for a therapist.

In the meantime I am reading a Self Help book: The Complete CBT Guide for Anxiety and read How Not to Worry by Caroline Carr. The key message I am taking from the books is that I am now in numerous habits of avoidance to minimalise my anxiety. But as this is preventing me from doing things I wish to do. I have started tackling the issues and reversing my habits.

Continue reading “Anxiety, IBS and Walking”

Visits to GP, Psychiatrist & Gastroentroligst

My Anxiety Blog Post

Wow, it has been a month and quite a bit has happened.

A month ago, I blogged that I recognised I was stuck in a cycle with anxiety feeding IBS feeding anxiety, which was at the least hindering my recovery. So I have had a string of appointments over the past month, which included, GP, Psychiatrist, Gastroenterologist, and an Endoscopy.
So, to start, an anxious visit to the GP: who as usual seemed to lack empathy. I explained my bowel symptoms and link to anxiety. He concluded that I displayed the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and suggested I discuss it more at my next Gastroenterologist appointment.

Continue reading “Visits to GP, Psychiatrist & Gastroentroligst”