To the Person Just Diagnosed With Ulcerative Colitis

I am a hopeless optimist. I honestly believe things will turn out well in the end. Ulcerative colitis is a part of me, and I’m doing the best I can. I can honestly tell you that living a meaningful life is possible. Right now, I have a full-time job in broadband customer support. I play roller derby, a full contact sport on roller skates. I am active in different volunteer organizations. I play video games, I’m in a book club and I am writing a science fiction novel in my spare time. I go to events and pop culture conventions and music festivals. I have friends I can talk to and who appreciate me for who I am, regardless of me having UC.

I do this even with my recent switch to the medicine Humira, a bi-weekly shot that, even with numbing salve, makes me scream in pain when I take it. (And I have a high pain threshold) I do this even with the possibility of having to get a stoma in the near future. I do this despite doses of cortisone, despite eczema, despite normal colds knocking me out completely because of my lowered immune system. You can also do this.

But you know what? It’s OK even if you don’t do all of this, or half of this, or even any of this. If you got out of bed today: congratulations! You’ve done great today. If you didn’t make it out of bed today, that is also fine. You’re doing great for hanging in there, and tomorrow is another day.

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