Today, January 4th, marks three years since I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I still remember it like yesterday. I woke up from my colonoscopy with a cup of water in hand and I overheard the doctor tell my parents that it was definitely colitis. “There are ulcers covering her entire colon.” At the time, I had no idea what this would imply. I just knew that I wanted whatever medication he would prescribe so I could get better. The fact that there was no cure didn’t hit me until later, once I got my bearings.
My dad says I need to start making my blog posts more positive, but I know that living with chronic illness isn’t always positive. Every time I go on Instagram, I see the perfect image of everyone’s life. We don’t share the negative things – the things that ail us, the things that make us who we are. I want to share a few pictures with you of myself over the past three years. You would never tell that I was sick in these photos, but they were times when I was at my worst.
As I look back through these pictures from 2019, I can’t help but get a little teary eyed. I’m sad that I was diagnosed with a chronic illness with no cure, but I’m also grateful that it happened. The emotions I feel today are hard to describe because they are so complicated. If there’s anything I could tell my younger self, it would be that you can make it through anything. You are stronger than you think.
I got to do so many things the first year I was diagnosed, and I didn’t even realize it! I studied abroad for the second time in Chile, I went to a few baseball games, I spoke at the College of Business Honors and Awards Banquet, and I graduated college! What great feats I was able to accomplish and all while not feeling my best. I get emotional now because I seemed so fearless back then. I never wiped the smile off my face, I never chose to pity myself, and I never for a second doubted that I couldn’t survive it.
If there are two things I could convey about my experience with ulcerative colitis, they would be that: 1) you don’t have to look sick to be sick and 2) life doesn’t stop just because you are sick. I will never forget the day I was diagnosed and I’m sure I will continue to grapple with everything else that a chronic illness brings physically and emotionally, but I know for a fact that I will do it with a smile on my face. I’m not a quitter and I will never stop fighting this terrible disease. So, today doesn’t have to be a sappy day, but rather a celebration of how far I’ve come and how lucky I am to now be healthy.
4 thoughts on “Anniversary of My Diagnosis”
This is *such* a good post! I love how you address that life isn’t positive all of the time but there are always positives to be found, especially in the world of chronic illness. Thank you for this ❤
Rosie x | https://rosieabigail.com/blog/
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Thank you for reading, Rosie ❤️
You are definitely not a quitter! I love all the pictures and sharing of your journey. Congrats on fighting and making the best life possible for yourself 🎉.
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Thanks Alicia! ❤️