Posted 10/3/2017 1:24 PM (GMT -8)
In my final flare, which got really serious for about 18 months, I struggled to keep up with life. I managed to keep on doing my job (I teach at a university), but I had to plan everything carefully. I arranged my teaching so it was all on the same day. I would fast for the day before, to minimise BMs during teaching. I would get up really early and spend a long time on the toilet trying to clear myself out. But even then my teaching days were a nightmare. I was exhausted and hungry, and was far more focused on listening out for the next BM than on doing my job itself. I wore Depends and visited the bathroom (to pass blood) between my lectures. I also did the same whenever I had to be at committee meetings.
Looking back I'm not quite sure how I managed to cope. I guess a mixture of economic necessity, and the grace of God.
My commute to and from work was a daily nightmare - lots of jumping off buses to find the nearest toilet in a shop or cafe, or running home from the bus stop to use the bathroom, and ending up late for work. Family life outside the house was almost impossible. I couldn't join my wife and kids on trips anywhere, unless it was to someone's house where I knew I would have instant bathroom access. We had small kids at the time, which meant we were largely housebound as a family.
I decided to have surgery when I was 32, as this wasn't how I wanted to be - if I had any say in the matter - during this phase of my life (and especially for my wife and children), and have no regrets about that decision. I've now got a j-pouch and love my freedom to live again. I would describe my life with UC as existing, but not flourishing. Life now is pretty much back to normal.