Flares come in degrees of severity. What your neighbor describes is probably a minor flare, your flare sounds moderate, and then severe would land you in a hospital and would include rapid loss of weight, dehydration, possible fevers and vomiting. There is no standard on how long a flare will last. I had flares that lasted as little as a few days to one that went on for over 2.5 years. UC is unpredictable at best. The goal is to get a flare controlled and in remission.
dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998
1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics
2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic
2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free