Ulcerative Colitis And Your Heart And Soul

ulcerative-colitis-supportYou will need to get a support infrastructure in place to help you through the dark times, and there will be dark times as you heal.

Let’s talk about the dark times:

  • First there is the change. Changing what you eat and drink is not easy for anyone. Let’s be frank. It will be brutal.
  • Then there is a thing called the Herxheimer reaction. As you heal, your body flushes out all the bad stuff, and that makes you feel like crap for a while.

You need to think about a positive support system. Someone who supports you in what you are trying to do, and can help you emotionally as you go through dark times. I am lucky to have an Angel as my wife. She was there with me through my incredible difficult times. She changed her diet with me to make it easier on me. If she wanted to eat some bad food, she did it outside where I could not be tempted. She comforted me when I woke up the middle of the night drenched in sweat (Herxheimer reaction). She supported me emotionally when I needed it. I could not have done it without her. In a nutshell, you need support. Think about who it could be. Family, friends, spouse, online support group. Line it up before you get started so that you have it available as you need it. And, you will need it.

Let’s talk about change. Change is difficult. We all like what we like. Bad food tastes great. Bad food is easy and cheap. If I was immortal and did not have to worry about weight gain, I probably would eat bad food all the time. But I am not, so I have to do what is necessary to be done. In a nutshell, I needed to grow up and be a man. We all get old. Growing up and maturing is optional. We all know older people who are like children inside. They refused to mature and grow up. Well that is their prerogative. We all are free to make our choices as we see fit, BUT we won’t be able to evade the consequences. That is true for me as well. That is true for everyone. What helped me through the change, was that I wanted to be around for my family, and that I knew that this was temporary. Once I was healed I could eat bad food again, selectively and limited, but I could. So we are not talking forever, just for a limited period of time.

Then there is the Herxheimer reaction. I would be describe it as healing pain that can go for up to a few weeks and months. It is s a detoxification reaction in the body. As the body detoxifies, it is not uncommon to experience flu-like symptoms including headache, joint and muscle pain, body aches, sore throat, general malaise, sweating, chills, nausea or other symptoms. The theory is that as you kill off the bad stuff in your body through good nutrition and supplements, the bad stuff dies off faster than the body can comfortably handle it, which causes all these uncomfortable symptoms. For me it was severe night sweats. During the worst time, I would go through 5 t-shirts at night. I would wake up and my t-shirt would be completely wet. I was shivering, and I changed my t-shirt and went back to bed. That would happen up to 5 times at night. It was brutal. I discussed the symptoms with my doctor at the time. I wanted to make sure that this was nothing more to be concerned about, and she reassured me that these symptoms would be temporary, and she was right. I did not cheat. I only ate good food, drank only good water, exercised, took my supplements, and toughed it out.

But it was exhausting. When I am sick, my emotional capacity goes down as well. I tend to be more negative, more pessimistic. Having my support system (my wife) and her loving caring support helped me go through these dark times.

You really get to know a person in two situations; when they gain a lot of power (which does not apply in this situation), and when they go through difficult times. A good person will always be a good person, like my wife. For a bad person, the mask will slip and you will see the true person underneath. Not a pretty picture.

To sum it all up, get your support system in place, and pick good, positive, supportive people for it. You will need it.

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