Brooke Bogdan knows firsthand how lonely it can be when you're diagnosed with an IBD. Read her tips on how to cope with the news and find the resources you need.
When you’re first diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, there’s an overwhelming feeling of confusion. There are plenty of questions that run through your mind. “What does this mean for the rest of my life?” “Will I ever be able to eat again?” “How will this affect my relationships?” “Is there a cure?”
I was diagnosed with UC when I was 22, but it took six months for the doctors to realize I had severe pancolitis, a form of ulcerative colitis that affects the entire large intestine. By the time I was finally diagnosed, I was in the hospital with a hemoglobin level of 6, weighing close to 90 pounds, bleeding constantly from my rectum, and going to the bathroom more than 50 times a day. I remember collapsing in my hospital bed crying, “How am I going to live my life? Work? Have fun with friends? Spend time with family?”
I knew nothing about the disease or anyone who had it. I let my emotions get the best of me and didn’t keep an open mind. Looking back, I probably could have saved myself a lot of mental suffering and stress. You don’t have to go through that, too.