Hi everyone! I'm a 12 year veteran of this disease and figured it was about time I participated in the community.
I noticed blood in my stool shortly after I turned 13, and didn't tell anyone for about 3 months due to embarrasment. I was hopitalized, and put on a 60mg prednisone/day that messed me up at the time. After I weaned off the drug (now with my awesomely bloated cheeks and face full of acne) I took sulfsalazine, and much later changed to Asacol because I was tired of peeing dark orange. I've flared 3 times in my life, all of which I attribute to not taking my medication consistantly and not restricting my diet. I can't remember the last time I had a flare up. I currently take 4 Asacol tablets a day and try to eat a balanced diet as well as keep myself in shape through regular exercise. On a scale of severity of 1 - 10, with 1 being the lowest, I'd probably rate mine a 2 or 3 after reading some of the things others have gone through.
I'm 25 now, and most of stuggles with the disease are mental rather than physical. I've become incredibly neurotic of bathroom usage in order to gain control over potential incontinence. I don't track how often I have bowel movements, but whenever I go into an unknown situation I always use the restroom. I have never had an "accident" since I've been treated for my condition, but it's because I don't put myself it situations where "accidents" can occur that I feel some sense of control. While this thought process has limited some of my experiences in life, it's a tradeoff I choose to have, and on the whole I'm a pretty happy guy.
Well I hope to provide some of my own insights, and have some of my own questions answered from people who have gone through the same dumb disease. My grand hope is that combining all our insights, we can come up with an exact cause for the condition (my dad swears it's tick bites, because I was bitten by one on a school trip shortly before I got sick =b ). Hopefully, eventually we can help find a cure!