Here’s part V of my story with colitis. This is not an illness to be suffered alone, while it can be very isolating, I would find it near impossible to cope with without my support network…(click here to go back to Part I and read from the beginning)
I know that I am making it seem like I did this all on my own but I would not have had the time, money or the emotional strength to do my art had it not been for the continued support of my family and friends. My mom has done more research on colitis than I have ever done. She once flew out from the East Coast to California to help care for me and cook the famed “grain free diet” (though she followed it to a T– including making crackers out of cheese which, in retrospect was not the best for my lactose intolerance—I did not find this diet effective, and instead felt like a piece of spaghetti, loose and limp, without energy and always craving food.). When I contracted a bacterial infection from swimming in infected New Jersey water–which exacerbated my colitis symptoms and caused paralyzing pain down my entire left side (head, face, body included), my dad massaged my neck and temple and hung out with me. And now, my husband supports me while I take time off work to get well and try to kick this illness out of my life for good (at least that’s my goal). He even traveled with me down to Los Angeles (from San Jose) every other weekend for herbal and acupuncture treatment before I found an herbalist closer to home. Not to mention my long-standing friends who have listened to me and consoled me through my roller coaster of flare-ups.
I am thankful that my parents found me a new gastroenterologist who took the time to talk to me and treat me like a human and not just an illness that needed to be eradicated. I’m thankful to that doctor and my current doctor (a Western medicine gastroenterologist) who has agreed to do what it takes in terms of ordering regular blood/stool/etc. tests to help support me in getting off my medications and seeking out Chinese herbal treatment. This has not been an easy journey to say the least. My internal and external resources are crucial to my continuing quality of life and fight to gain control over colitis.