I have overcome a variety of insecurities throughout my life, but some days I still deal with them more than I care to admit. Some of these insecurities are directly related to my ulcerative colitis.
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory ulcerative disease of the large intestine, commonly described as the urge to defecate 10-20 times a day, usually with bloody diarrhea (sometimes pus) and painful abdominal cramps (especially in acute attacks).
Belly pain, cramps, and diarrhea are more than an inconvenience, especially when they occur practically every day. But for people who have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, or suspect they might have it, there are ways to help manage it.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an autoimmune disease and one of many conditions that can benefit from any combination of a natural and / or pharmaceutical approach depending on the symptoms and severity. Although no cure has yet been found, people with ulcerative colitis can live in remission for many years.
Ulcerative colitis, and how to overcome 5 insecurities of this disease
Here are five of the insecurities that come with living with a chronic disease like UC, along with my best tips on how you can combat these concerns, too.
'I'm not sick enough'
Not feeling "sick" enough is my biggest insecurity at my UC. Although I have dealt with flares, trips to the ER, two hospitalizations, and a ton of mesalamine treatments, I have never felt "sick enough."
I know many women and men with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who have long hospital stays, have ostomies, and require infusions to take their medications. But not me. I am physically active, and I feel good most days. This has led to guilt and insecurity around my illness. I wonder if people think I'm really sick.
As the years passed with my diagnosis, I learned to take my illness in stride. I am grateful that I am not "as sick" as others. That may sound selfish, but it helped me realize that because I feel good, I can step up and be an advocate for those who may not have that luxury. I take my good, healthy days and use them to my advantage.
Going to the bathroom 'too much'
I use the bathroom a lot. I'm fine using the bathroom as much as I need to when I'm at home, but when I'm away or at work, I feel very insecure about constantly having to go. I had to leave meetings, I had to stop using the bathroom during a movie, sporting event, or concert, and I've definitely sat in public toilets quietly, trying not to go when someone else is there.
The stigma around going to the bathroom and being a woman is something I've tried to shake off. I always feel so much better after using the bathroom, and sometimes I just can't hold it.
My solution? Remind myself that this is my normality. And I carry a bottle of flavoring with me. To my surprise, many people I work with don't even realize how often I go to the bathroom. And when I'm in other public places, well, I tell myself that I probably won't see any of those women again anyway.
The insecurity around the need to cancel plans and / or leave in the middle of a social commitment is very important to me. I pride myself on being a punctual person. So when I have my bad days, when I'm overly tired, have stomach cramps, or have a lot of bowel movements, I am terrified to cancel or abandon plans in a hurry.
Again, the root of this fear is the stigma that comes with it. Friends think you are selfish or avoid them. Feelings always seem to hurt you. For a while, I kept my calendar open and didn't plan with anyone because I was tired of fighting and defending my reasons for canceling at the last minute.
How do you get over this? To begin with, I keep making plans. I also make sure to make plans with friends and family who understand me, who, if I cancel, I can come up with an alternative plan to meet me halfway. Those who really care about you will never get mad at you for prioritizing your health.
Afraid to talk about my illness
Although I now feel comfortable talking openly about my UC, this was not always the case. For a while, I didn't want anyone to know about my UC because I didn't want to be treated differently.
However, there is a lot of misinformation about the disease, and now I know that being an advocate is important to me. I found that the more I talk about UC and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in general, the more comfortable I become with it. I talk to my employer, my friends, my family, and my co-workers. It is important to keep repeating the practice of talking about it to be more comfortable speaking, and doing so also helps others to be more polite.
Justifying my food choices
My ultimate insecurity is about justifying my eating habits. I work and interact with many people who are what I would call "healthy." You know, the ones who always opt for a salad without dressing and some baked chicken. Or the ones that use all the latest ingredients in their smoothies. My "abnormal" food choices become especially apparent when I join these people for lunch or dinner.
I feel judged by the food I eat, because believe it or not, sometimes I just need a simple grilled cheese or a McDonald's burger, because I know that I will not feel bad at the moment. It's not "healthy", but sometimes it's all I can bear and I don't doubt it, I'm going for it.
To deal with this, I try to remind myself: how will I feel after eating this? Will I get stomach cramps? If so, then I don't eat it. I want to feel as good as I can, and sometimes that means eating junk food or drinking broth. I remind myself that I don't have to justify what I eat because I know my guts better than anyone.
It is normal to struggle with some insecurities about your chronic illness. No matter what your personal concerns are, remember that you are not alone. While your "normalcy" may not be the same as everyone else's, it's important to keep in mind that it's perfectly okay to live life the way you need it to be in order to be your best, whatever that means for your personal situation.
Skin thins and dries with age, so lines and wrinkles start to appear. Applying primer before you put on your makeup helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and pores by filling them in. This way your skin is a smooth blank canvas for you to apply your makeup. Skin primer does not get rid of fine lines and large pores, but it can help both appear less visible. Silicone is a common ingredient in skin primer that works well for the purpose. Cell Xtend Plus