I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis when I was 19.
Ulcerative colitis (UL-sur-uh-tiv koe-LIE-tis) is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Like Crohn's disease, another common IBD, ulcerative colitis can be debilitating and sometimes can lead to life-threatening complications, there's no known cure for ulcerative colitis.
People with this condition have problems with the immune system As well.
After being very sick and weak for over a month I went to seek much needed help from my Doctor and I was admitted into the hospital due to complications of ulcerative colitis. One night I experienced the most horrific pain in my abdominal area and wasn't able to move or even sit up. Due to the seriousness they had no choice but to bring the x-RAY machine to my room! My surgeon informed me I needed surgery ASAP! I truly wasn't getting the seriousnes of my situation. My colon ruptured the night before which was the reason I couldn't move, #10 was my pain level (from a 1-10, 10 being the highest level of pain).
I didn't understand why all the rush, he looked at me and said "your dying, I'll give you ten minutes with your mom, then we have to go!
I woke up "still cut open" in case of infection, from just bellow my sternum 11" and an iliostomy bag (I now have a j-pouch). I
I was a flight attendant at the time and out for six months. Since then I've had 15 surgeries and 23 procedures. I ruptured my left ovary and tube, multiple cyst, blood flowing tumor which led to a hysterectomy and after losing 3 babies which was the hardest thing I've gone through in my life, knowing now I'd never carry my own child.
surgery left me with three ilius or areas in my intestine that solid food can't pass due to all the scar tissue. Once again I lay dying in a hospital that took 22 hours to get to from home and my surgeon advised my husband to fly out to "say goodbye". What was so amazing, was my companion Monica, a missionary had found so many people including two churches to pray for me and all involved. Finally my fever broke and I started once again fighting my way back.The surgeon who also happened to be a pastor was shocked! Now when food gets blocked, my digestive system stops working and I have to fight to stay alive, when there is no fight left in me. Which seams to happen every few months without fail! I have very little energy and am in constant pain. I'm now under the care of a pain specialist, we've talked about implanting a pain pump but do to my adhesionse disease I could become paralyzed. With all that I still try to put on my happy face daily even through the pain.
Since this began my healthcare has cost the Insurance company over $1,000,000.00 thankfully I had excellent medical coverage but even then most of my income has been for my medical bills and an occasional sun dress to help me feel pretty. : ) looking forward my medication alone will cost $1400-$2300 a MONTH!!! I've witnessed a lot of people walk away from the pharmacy without their medication because it cost too much.
In addition to the 15 surgeries, 23 procedures!
I've also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. The fatigue has been so bad lately do to the stress I've found myself sleeping standing up, it feels like someone just turned the power off.
I've been trying to save knowing what the projected cost being $1400-$2300 a month is scary! I appreciate ALL donations greatly, even $1! I am feeling very overwhelmed to say the least by all this. I'm sure most people know a financial strain on a marriage can be one of the most difficult and I never thought "I" would be the one causing just that, we've been together 18 years and I can truly say this is that "one more thing" that, in my case was too much!
(UPDATE, I WAS ASKED TO MOVE OUT OF MY HOME, AS IT ALL BECAME TOO MUCH FOR MY SPOUSE. I'm now on my own for nearly a year and trying to wrap my head around being alone in EVERY aspect.) If you know me, I just try to keep a smile on my face, no matter what!
If you've read my story to this point, thank you very much! I truly appreciate just how hard we work for what we have so please KNOW I thank you from the bottom off my heart. Raquel
P.S. I have changed my "goal" a couple times, the first number was what I needed to take care of myself for the next 20yrs!
I think it overwhelmed people and they may have felt they wouldn't make a difference.
Now I feel like my needs just are unattainable so if I can get help for at least a few months I would be so grateful
- Betsy Wickstrom
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