What is the biggest thing you’ve had
to overcome since your diagnosis?
The biggest challenge has been rearranging my priorities to meet the needs of my disease. I have always been one to involve myself in many activities and responsibilities. But living with ulcerative colitis has a way of demanding a lot of time and energy. So it requires patience when adapting to the demands of this disease without feeling it has control over me. I have learned to be better at saying “no” to things that may impact my overall health.
My Personal Motto:
You can do it alone,
but you don’t have to.
How has UC impacted your life choices?
Being diagnosed and living with UC has definitely impacted my life choices, especially changing my view on health. Now I am much more aware of the importance of sleep patterns, stress control, maintaining relationships, and what food I put in my body. I’ve found following a nutrient-dense, clean diet has helped my journey with ulcerative colitis, though I understand this may not have the same effect for everyone.
Number of countries visited:
8 and counting…
Learn Italian and find my ancestors in Italy.
What is the hardest part
about having UC?
I would say that the hardest part is the unpredictable nature of the disease. One day I can be counting the days of remission only to relapse for no identifiable reason. Because of this, it is hard to identify what works and what doesn’t. This also makes it hard for others to understand. The disease is in my colon, not on my face. So, no one can see the pain, fatigue, and fear. My disease continues to test my strength.
What does “being in control
of your UC" mean to you?
I have found that what I feed my body and how I treat it is directly connected to the status of my condition – so to me, “being in control” means that I am treating my body correctly and in a way that makes me feel the best that I can.
How has being involved with the
UC community affected you?
When I was first diagnosed with UC, I immediately felt alone. I knew no one with the disease. I found a lot of comfort in the UC community on social media sites, and connecting with others who also have UC made me feel like I was part of a resilient group of warriors. Through this, I found my purpose in advocacy. It is important to me to make sure other UC fighters don’t feel alone.