I'm coming up on ten years, so perhaps I can offer a little wisdom.
First of all, give yourself a break. You didn't cause your UC by what you did or didn't eat, do or think. It isn't punishment for anything and it doesn't mean you're a bad person.
Use denial for as long as you absolutely have to in order to cope, but then try to shed it. Denial can really get in the way of seeing our progress or lack thereof objectively, and can lead us to do some pretty counter-productive things.
You're likely to be much more tired than usual, and you may have trouble sleeping due to steroid medications or frequent waking to go to the bathroom. Rest is really important in your healing as you come out of a flare, so rest and sleep when you need to or whenever you can.
Consider how much to tell people around you about
your condition. People who are supportive and whose support you need can be really a godsend if they know you're really sick. But be cautious with employers and casual friends; telling them can in some cases backfire. Try not to avoid talking about
UC with those closest to you out of embarrassment.
Take your medication. It's really tempting to stop when you go into remission and feel like you never had UC to start with. Remember it is a chronic disease with symptoms that come and go, and chronic medication is recommended. Paging back through this forum, you will find dozens of people who stopped their medication and sooner or later ended up much, much sicker than they were to start with. If you have a bad response to one medication, talk to your doctor about
Try all the alternative treatments you want, after you've researched them and are sure they're not harmful. But use them along with your medication, and make sure your doctor knows about
them. Even natural products are "drugs" and can have interactions with those prescribed by your doctor.
Supplements and diets are highly individualized. Some people feel they are the key to their success. This may be real benefit or placebo effect. It really makes no difference, though, if it makes us feel better, does it? I do encourage you to avoid those "experts" who claim to be able to cure you or to cure a lot of different diseased with their product. And try not to impoverish yourself. Unfortunately, there are people out there only too willing to get rich off the misery of others.
Have an emergency kit in your car and office. Some of the things you may want to carry: a change of underwear and pants; wet wipes; imodium (with your doctor's approval); A&D, Desinex or other skin-protecting ointment; toilet paper; a zip-lock plastic bag to hold soiled items. Something like this can be priceless if you have an accident. Did you know that small "skid marks" can often be cleaned out of underwear with a wet wipe?
Try to keep your sense of humor. Believe me, you're going to need it.
Good luck and god bless.
Co-moderator, Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed in 2001, finally in remission since March 2006.
Mesalamine is not my friend and steroids are from the devil.
Remicade has been my miracle drug.