Starting in mid-April, following a brief vacation, I began to experience strange digestive problems that I chalked up to a mild stomach virus. I ate apples, bananas, toast - the usual digestive aids - to return myself to normal. Beginning to feel a bit better after a week of symptoms, my husband and I went out to eat for dinner. That's when things accelerated.
I woke up that night to what felt like a knife stabbing me in the gut and a sudden flood of uncontrollable bleeding from my insides. My husband rushed me to the ER whereupon they gave me some powerful antibiotics and heavy pain killers after restoring fluids intravenously. After many days of adhering to the regimen my constant bleeding finally, slowly subsided and I thought I was in the clear. I ate small, safe meals and felt grateful that the hellish prior week was over. "It had to have been food poisoning," I thought.
I was wrong and a week later it came back. With a little less blood this time but with the same pain, I realized something very serious was happening to my body. I have spent more time with a gastroenterologist than I ever dreamt of since.
Late May, after a colonoscopy, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. Specifically, I was diagnosed with the form that is consistent with the most widespread inflammation: pancolitis. I had to largely stop working during that period and between the constant testing, constant trial of different prescriptions, and several ER visits (something I had never needed to do in my adult life) I am drowning in debt. My treatment is ongoing and surgery to remove my colon is still on the table.
To say that my life has been in a terrifying state of upheaval for the last few months would be a gross understatement. I have recurring pain that I never had before and I must now religiously monitor my diet. I went, seemingly overnight, from a very healthy gym-nut 28 yr old to a 15 pounds lighter frail and sickly individual. Even my career plans have been put on an indefinite hold: whereas I had for months planned to attend Cornell Law School on a near full ride I had to forgo - last minute - their offer due to my new condition. I had already paid for the apartment.
Again, any assistance will be going towards my extensive medical bills already acquired, my extensive medical bills to come, and debts that I accrued during the worst periods of the illness. This has been the most humbling and shocking experience of my life and your help is beyond appreciated.