Update: A New Normal?
So its been a while since an update, sorry for that, but the beginning of the semester always gets a bit out of control, and I’m teaching my first course, which is a big challenge for me.
What’s wonderful is, despite all this new stress that usually aggravates an already irritated bowel, and sends me running to the bathroom before and after class, my BMs have been very consistent over the past three weeks. It’s been almost four months since I inoculated with whipworm, and although it took some time, things have been very stable overall for the last two months. I think I’m getting to the point where I can feel comfortable saying (with all due caution!) that I’ve reached a “new normal” for my ulcerative colitis.
So, the new normal. For me, I’ve noticed that I’ve fallen into a pattern of about 6-7 days of solid BMs, followed by one day of a looser BM, then back to solid. The great news is I’m still at only 1 or 2 at most BMs per day. Also, and I think this is really important, eating a healthy diet is still really important, because the only days I’ve seen any mucus at all with a looser stool has been when I’ve eaten lots of sugar, fried food, or dairy–which I almost never eat. I went to a state fair splurged on eating lots of fries, sausage, and fried dough, and paid for it in the morning.
I can’t say that I’ve achieved a 100% normal bowel system (nor do I ever really expect to), but things are markedly better. I’m still taking medication, although I’m down to taking 250-500mg of Colazal per day, down from the standard dose of 750mg per day. I don’t take any other meds, but still take fish oil, vit D, and some magnesium supplements.
The best part is the stability. IBD is so destructive to people’s lives, aside from the awful pain and medication side effects, because it removes the ability for someone to assume that their day or their week or their month or their year will be stable health-wise. I love to travel, and have struggled in past years due to IBD complications. I’ve avoided moving for jobs because of IBD.
I think I’ve still got room for improvement, but am trying to fight the urge to perfect things. With this ancient medicine, we have to have patience. I do think that I could probably benefit from more whipworm, as well as the introduction of hookworm ultimately. But this is a conversation for me to have with Marc at AIT in the future. I’m not at the point of doing that yet, but I would like to further experiment with re-naturalizing my intestinal ecology as long as I keep seeing good results.
Until then, keep up the good fight, my little colon comrades 🙂