You all may or may not have noticed that I have been exceptionally silent over the past 7 weeks or so, this was not by my choice, after writing my last post at the end of July I started feeling really unwell.
At first I just thought that I had caught a stomach bug and tried to carry on as normal in the first week, I went to work at first and got sent home accordingly and went to Slimming World (lost 1.5lbs whoop) but my stomach pain was getting increasingly worse and other related symptoms.
I had to cancel my Mums birthday surprise and re-arrange it for a later date in September and my pain was increasing so I went to my GP and started having tests to try and determine what was wrong, but the tests kept being delayed or going wrong with the lab (and this was a continuing frustrating theme throughout August).
I was also at the same time in this second week prepping to be a Bridesmaid for my Best Friends wedding – and despite the sheer agony and pain I was in I was determined not to miss it and I didn’t. I was taking any medication possible to curb the pain, but that also wouldn’t put me to sleep! So that was a challenge, however on the day I got ready with all the others and just tried to think of anything other than the pain so I could be there at the Church, walk down the aisle and also get up in front of everyone and do my reading. Which I did – but it exhausted me. I was lucky that it was a lovely day – but not one of the scorchers otherwise I would have felt so much worse. However I couldn’t do the rest of the day, by the time I got back to the venue I had to go to mine and C’s room and I couldn’t leave it so we had the food sent to us and I chilled there. I was gutted to miss all the celebrations in the evening but my BF totally understood and we had a few visitors in the course of the evening so it was still a lovely day – just not how I had imagined.
After this I just kept getting worse over the next couple of weeks and with delayed tests I just felt like I was going nowhere. I was struggling to eat properly. I felt nauseous all the time and weak. I had to miss a work training trip to Brussels, and also going out to the meal my Mum had planned for my Nan at Tom Kerridges pub the Hand and Flowers. So I was also feeling pretty miserable that whatever this was, was ruining my summer and plans. My Dad – who had been away and hadn’t seen me for a while was shocked at how I looked, and in late August & September it all came to a head, I had finally got referred to see Gastroenterologist, but I had started fainting so my Dad took me to A&E at the John Radcliffe and I got admitted to Hospital.
I ended up being in the Hospital for over a week, they were great and I quickly got diagnosed with a preliminary diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis (I say preliminary but the Doctor was like 99% sure!) and started on a course of steroids to treat the inflammation and fluids for dehydration. When I left the Hospital I had to go back for a Potassium infusion as my blood tests showed it was low so I had to go through all that again before I was allowed to leave. Despite being in the Hospital so long – not my favourite place – it really helped and I started feeling so much better, my appetite came back and I just felt better and more me really.
I’ve been on rest since leaving Hospital and lots of medication of course, though I’ll be back at work next week and I am working out the details on if I will be part time for a bit – just to ease me in as I am definitely better but I still tire easily and my energy can run down quick if I over do it. Need to build stamina again. I also need to get to grips with this illness as it is a chronic illness I will have for life. I can be absolutely fine and then just relapse so need to get my brain round that. But it shouldn’t stop me having a life, doing what I want and just being me as long as I manage it properly.
You may have seen my Instagram post from Slimming World that with this illness I lost a lot of weight and went from the 2nd August (my last weigh in pre-illness) at 11st6lbs to weighing in at the hospital 9st4/5lbs. Quite a big loss. I’ve put some weight back on since as I just felt TOO skinny for me and weighed in at Slimming World as 10st 0.5lbs, which I feel more comfortable with as I want to get my muscle strength back as well and perhaps put on a couple more pounds. Either way though it meant I got a few awards and I set this as my Target weight, obviously this isn’t how I wanted to lose 20lbs (yes that much!) but I can make a positive out of it and maintain going forward – my only issue is eating fibre as this can irritate the gut but I am going to have to figure out food and what irritates me all over again and being healthy for me.
Either way I apologise for the quiet spell and for this very long update!!