Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another day..

I feel like I’m losing it, slowly but surely. Yesterday at practice I barely had the energy to slog through two rounds on the pads. I never felt as tired or miserable as I do now. It’s frustrating waking up 4-5 times a night to use the restroom, or looking for the nearest bathroom so you don’t have an accident. At this very moment I feel okay, thank you prednisone. I wonder what tonight will bring…will I be able to sleep through the night tonight? The though of living the rest of my life like this make me want to puke.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Quack Doctors and a box of tricks.

Today was an interesting day to say the least…I met my first genuine herbalist doctor. I humored my mother by driving to see this doctor at his clinic. Upon arrival I waited for an hour in the waiting area overhearing his conversation with another patient. Some of the crucial remarks I heard…

“Not enough blood flow”

“Lungs are weak”

“Stress is playing a factor”

When my turn arrived I said nothing, simply let him do his thing and “feel” my pulse. After feeling my pulse he asked what ailed me, “Ulcerative Colitis” I naturally responded. He dragged me into his long winded explanation on how the condition is curable, and I must regulate my body’s energy. He also not that like the previous patient my “Lungs were weak”, “Stress was playing a factor”, and he even through in “poor circulation”. My mother puts a lot of stock into this type of medicine as it is what she was raised on. I on other hand could see through his fa├žade easily. I simply nodded my head until it was time for me to leave.

I love my mother to death but I can’t believe she would ever waste time or money on someone like this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for alternative medicine but this guy is a straight up quack doctor. Never mind the simple facts that my “lungs” are not weak. I run a sub six minute mile on a bad. Or the fact that I often run twice a day (morning and night), off to boxing, go to jiu jitsu practice, and then it’s a 30minute lifting session to end the night. While we’re at it lets just ignore the fact that I’ve been fighting for the better of the last three years. Last and not least lets ignore the fact that nurse after my colonoscopy and I had a nice chat about why my resting heart rate would dip to 38bpm and set off the alarms. Obviously I have a pretty poor cardiovascular system.

I’m waiting for my ulcerative colitis to go into remission and hopefully stay there for good. My drug regime buys me a window of time each day where I can make it through practice and have just a few precious hours to myself. Each day I am slowly noticing less blood. As a competitive athlete it’s hard to imagine life without training or competition. Someone once said, “It is a person’s actions that define them.” Every day is a gift and must be treated as one.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Welcome to my UC blog.

My name is Aaron and last month I was diagnosed with “Chronic Ulcerative Colitis”. It’s a nice way of saying that you’ve become an expert at doing the 40 yard dash to the nearest toilet multiple times each day. The exact cause of UC is unknown, while there are many hypotheses out there ranging from diet, genetics, to environmental causes, no one study has been able to pinpoint the source. While the disease it self will not kill you but instead rather dramatically reduce the quality of your life. Imagine if you will having the urge to go to the bathroom, a normal person 1-4 times a day probably at the most. People living with UC can experience this urge 10-20+ times a day, you go the bathroom until there is simply nothing left short of mucus generated from the lining of your colon/intestines, and blood. Great picture right?

My treatment so far has involved taking Mesalazine (Lialda) at 4.8gm/Day in conjunction with 60mg/prednisone, a corticosteroid. The prednisone I have found changes my mood and in general makes me a more edgy person to be around. I’ve found it helpful to always take a deep breath before I respond to anyone’s questions. The good news is however that the Lialda and Prednisone make me feel normal until 9-10pm at night when my symptoms slowly return. I use this window of time to do activities I enjoy such as going to practice, lifting, or roadwork. I cannot predict how the treatment will effect my training progressions or competition schedule. I am slated to fight on September 27th at 155lbs, the prednisone is not effecting my weight all (I’ll attribute it to practice/lifting/roadwork). Hopefully I can hold it together until then or get myself into remission prior to then.

I know that prior to UC that I was definitely less humble of a person, this entire experience has definitely let me see that every day doing something we enjoy is truly a gift. I can't promise this blog will be all sunshine and roses, but it will be honest and brutally so.