Home > Health & Exercise, Life > Inflammation of the large intestine (reminds me of your smile)

Inflammation of the large intestine (reminds me of your smile)

My bowels having been getting very slowly worse since January or February. I had been seeing a doctor at an internal medicine clinic near where I work, but I gradually lost confidence in him. There were two doctors at the clinic – one cardiac specialist, one gastroenterologist – and, apart from my colonoscopy last year, I never saw the GI doctor. The heart specialist kept on prescribing the same thing, then eventually gave me some steroids, but none of it seemed to arrest the decline in my condition.

About ten days ago I saw a lower GI specialist at Eulji Medical Center, the place where I’d been having treament for my warts (which are all gone now, with just a tiny, but persistent scab on the joint of my big toe). She had me come back the following week for a sigmoidoscopy (an examination of the lower segment of the large intestine), which showed that I had a bad case of ulcerated colitis once again.

That week I was decidedly under the weather – I was going to the bathroom every five minutes (figuratively speaking … but that’s not too far from the literal truth), feeling low on energy – although my appetite was still OK, in contrast to 2007.

My new doctor gave me a prescription of steroids – six pills to be taken once a day, along with a bunch of other stuff – on Friday. It’s only been two days since then, but I’m already feeling much better. Hopefully, I’ll return to full health soon.

It seems to be an even chance whether I’ll get a bad flare-up of colitis in any given year. I had a fairly bad attack in 2005 during my last year at university, then 2006’s illness was very mild; in 2007 I had my worst flare-up, then in 2008, nothing; and now this – maybe I only get sick in odd-numbered years. I suppose I should attribute my colitis-free 2008 to a combination of medication (2007 was the first time I’d been swiftly and correctly diagnosed) and the fact that I was neither working nor at university.

I can’t help thinking that the change of medicine from sulfasalazine to mesalazine last year factored into this year’s flare-up. But being in work must also have been a factor. Even my relationship with Habiba could have contributed, having given me lots more to do with my free time – not that I mind any of that, of course.

I’m going to be in Korea teaching English for the next year, so I wonder whether I’ll become ill again next year. Did I skimp on my medication a bit too much earlier this year? Should I make sure I take the full six pills a day? Or should I ask for an ongoing course of sulfasalazine, the old orange pills that made my urine turn orange? Should I make permanent changes to my diet? Should I find ways to deal with the stress that rarely bothers me consciously but is undoubtedly always there?

I suppose I can only concentrate on getting better for now.

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Categories: Health & Exercise, Life
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