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My story with chronic illness

I was 8459 days old, when I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and now you might wonder what this ulcera-whatever actually is and since I’m trying to stay professional, I will choose a direct quote from the NHS: “Ulcerative colitis is a long-term condition where the colon and rectum become inflamed.” If I had to describe it in my own words, however, I would just be plain honest with you and say this one thing: it sucks. But do you wanna know what actually annoys me about it? The fact that it took doctors almost an entire decade to give me this diagnosis, even though the answer was clear as hell and right in front of them.


The history of doctor visits

Throughout the courses of our lives, we go through shifts and turns and wound up at doctor’s offices, harrowing under a bright light, which seems like the great indicator of dying and moving to heaven, while we browse the pages of almost antique celebrity magazines that tell us that this big Hollywood couple just got married, even though you remember reading about their divorce not too long ago. Yes, visits to the doctors are the perfect spiel when it comes to overstimulating our senses and almost sending us down the hell of raw anxiety as we’re sitting next to the sick and ill.

Growing up, I’ve visited doctors a lot and it always seemed like none of them could really pinpoint what exactly was wrong with me. I had stomach pain and showed clear signs of anxiety, but it was downplayed as hormones playing with my mind. I had pain in my foot after a sports injury, but that meant that I’m just exaggerating a little bit, because I want to stay out of school. I’m showing every single symptom on the list of an IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), but it was just these darn hormones again! As a kid, I’ve read many fantasy novels and always when I got to the part of the hero fighting for their life, doing anything in their power and force to beat the evil antagonist, but still fail… I wondered, how do these people feel? And at some point it all made sense. When we’re a kid, the monsters we’re most afraid of are ghosts, werewolves or zombies. But once we’re an adult, we realize the real monsters are far from some paranormal being - they’re all just regular people in our lives. And to me, the real monsters were the people, whose job was to help and heal you.



The ignorance of doctors

Not so fun fact: my sister was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, about 10 years before I was. So, once I was showing the same symptoms (I was about 13 at this point), losing weight and not eating, I was expecting the same diagnosis. Statistically speaking, it's very common to have an IBD if a relative has one too! I was examined, I went to several tests and was a patient at various doctors offices. However, instead of getting the same diagnosis, I was basically told that yes, I have an IBD, but no, we cannot do anything about it. Huh? So, technically I am chronically ill, but I'm also not? My mum told me this right after I woke up from my colonoscopy - other teenagers got blazed at this age, meanwhile I was talking with old people in the waiting room about our issues and formed some real bonds here!

Through the years, the issues persisted and didn't "just go away" as I was told. The entire time I felt completely out of place, hopeless and like a fraud. I started questioning myself, doctors kept gaslighting me, in the sense of "there's actually nothing wrong with you, right?" Even when I was almost 23 years old and told my doctor AGAIN that I was feeling sick, I was asked if my issues aren't just related to me taking the pill. I have never understood once why they were behaving like this. If a patient shows up and complains about their health, I would do everything in my power to help them and not try to fight them. I sometimes felt like I was on Punk'd, only waiting for Ashton Kutcher to show up and tell me that all of it was a joke, with hidden cameras here, there and right over here. But finally, after not giving up the battle of "I know something's up with my body", the day of clarity came - much later than expected, but at last.



What's in for me now?

On August 30th 2022, I was finally diagnosed with ulcerative colitis - a chronic illness, which I have had at least for 9 years at this point. I was ecstatic and very depressed at the same time. After feeling like a fraud, finally, I could put an answer to the biggest question mark in my life - I am chronically ill and I was never once lying. It was a hard time, I gotta admit, facing and understanding it. I was reading self-help guides and listening to podcasts and I've learned that there is nothing wrong with you, when you're chronically ill. You're not a broken person, you're not exaggerating, you're not a liar, you're not weak, you're not only half a person, you're not lonely - you are you and you'll always be yourself.

Since I theoretically was undiagnosed for almost a decade, you can take a wild guess how my body is behaving. I’m anemic, I can’t keep a steady weight and I was uneasy for (at this point of writing) half of my life. I’m currently taking meds, which have finally helped me and while I’m doing fine now, I sometimes think “hm, the last few years shouldn’t have been that hard” - if at least somebody had cared a little bit more and examined my condition just a bit better. While I cannot undo the past, I can look into a brighter future - one, where I have an answer to my question. And one, where I know that I'm not alone.

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Comments (5)

Felicidades!! Muy lindo todo , gracias!!!🥰🤗❤️👏

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Guest
May 15

Muchas gracias!! Que bonito !!!😇🥰

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Guest
May 15

Felicidades!!!!🥳

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LuceBuona
LuceBuona
Admin
Jul 27, 2023

I was in tears even before playing the video! Recently started watching Bluey and to be honest I am saviouring every episode, making sure not to rush through them. Luce as a kid would have love it too! Without all the sometimes extreme drama cartoons such as "Candy", "Peline" and the anime series called in Spanish "La Ranita Demetan" displayed. I also remember feeling sad and stressed after watching some of them...But Bluey is so not like that. I am sure this is appreciated by kids and parents equally. Cheers to all healthy, innocent and non invasive copying mechanisms! And thanks for sharing this one! 😍

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