I don’t know if I ever really made a formal introduction, so here it is.
My name is Haley Gill. I’m married, I have two perfect pups. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in April. I lost my job in May. I would like to clarify that I lost my job as a result of my disease, not because of it. They didn’t allow an accommodation for me, but I’m sure they were well within their right. It just felt/feels so wrong.
I missed a lot of work due to frequent defecation with digested blood, fatigue, and almost constant nausea. It was a brand new diagnosis that affected everything I did. I started new medications, exercised, changed my diet. The flare up was overwhelming and the diagnosis depressing.
I visited another gastroenterologist in May who performed an endoscopy to make sure there was nothing else wrong with me. The nurse explained that something they detected indicated Celiac’s. I went gluten free and it helped me feel much better. A couple weeks later I got my results and they said everything came back negative. So as far as I know, I do not have Celiac’s, but am trying to avoid gluten anyway since it helped me to feel somewhat better.
I’m not a writer. I’m a woman who needs some kind of outlet to express my feelings. I’m not dying, I’m not constantly sick, but I am currently off my UC medication. Each day is different. Some days I feel normal, and some days I have a bit of pain and need to use the restroom a lot. My life is not ruined.
It has not been a great year, and every bit of bad news has felt like another nail in the coffin. Bad analogy, again, I’m not dying. I was already having some financial issues prior to the diagnosis and job loss. I already had depression issues, then everything sort of intensified.
You hit a spot of helplessness, embarrassment, shame. You think, how do I control this thing? How do I help pay my bills? How do I feel useful? You are afraid of losing another job because you don’t know when you will have another flare up and miss work. You think that people think you’re making up your disease. You start to feel isolated with a lack of support. You realize you don’t actually know anyone with the disease.
I don’t want anyone else to feel like this, I don’t want to feel like this. It doesn’t matter what a person is struggling with, everyone wants to feel normal. I don’t want to hear about sunshine and rainbows constantly, I want to know I’m not alone. Everyone has something they have to overcome, so there’s no reason in sugar coating the truth. Acknowledge the negative, talk about it, get it out of your head.
This is my diary. My place to share my experience with anyone who wants to read it. To anyone struggling, we are going to overcome it. We are going to be happy, we are going to be healthy, we are going to be okay. We will be more than okay.
I’m not perfect. You have seen me angry and upset. You’ve seen me happy too. I’m a regular person. I jump to conclusions. I’m emotional. I am trying to be in a good spot physically and mentally, but I’m not going to always be a ray of positivity. That’s life. I’m going to try to take things in stride, but I’m not going to beat myself up for jumping to conclusions.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this. I’m thankful that I am able to express myself on this blog and I appreciate all of you who have taken the time to read it.