How I Handle An IBD Flare
Over 50% of voters want to see a post on “How I Deal With A Flare.” I greatly appreciate everyone who participated in the poll. If you didn’t get to cast your vote, don’t worry! I will be posting more polls and fun things in the future… So if you don’t already, be sure to follow me on Twitter to be included in the action.
How I Deal With A Flare
Now that I’ve had my large intestine removed, I really don’t have to worry about having a UC flare anymore… This is more of an idea of how I handled it in the past.
I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice.
1. Admit it.
– When I had a large intestines I never really went into remission, it was just a matter of some days/weeks being better than others. My life was a flare and I was constantly in some amount of pain. Always had urgency to use the bathroom, blood in stool, ect. Because my condition affected my life in so many ways I had no choice but to share this information. I told my manager at times it became really bad… I didn’t share every detail but just enough for him to know how sick I was. After a while he could really tell without asking. I shared with my family if I felt it was getting too bad, I didn’t want to worry them but sometimes you just need help.
2. Stay Hydrated.
– Even to this day I have issues with staying hydrated. I could drink water all day and STILL get dehydrated. When I went to my GI he knew by one look when I was dehydrated. When I call they respond with an extra “I know you hate it, but you need to drink as much as possible Shawntel.” UHG! But in all seriousness, staying hydrated is very important. Your body needs water to function properly, it uses water to care for your joints and brain, to keep your body temperature regulated, keeps your PH levels balanced and so much more! Plus, with diarrhea / frequent bathroom usage it’s super easy to release more than you take in.
– I cannot tell you how important rest was for me. I was losing so much blood, it was impossible for me working full time, going to school just managing life in general. I was so fatigued. I’ve had blood transfusions in the past, now we try iron to help too. Sometimes you just need a break and it’s especially important when you’re sick.
– Didnt expect that one right? I know. I know. Back when my UC was really active I didn’t have a boyfriend or anyone who really cared for me. You don’t have to be in a relationship to be loved. My family did an excellent job! When my UC flares were really crazy I would cry my eyes out. 50% from pain, the other 50 from feeling betrayed by God. – but that’s another story for another day. I would get so frustrated I even remember telling my grandmother “one day I’m just going to have it removed! I don’t care!” – At that time I knew nothing of J-Pouches and no real details of an ostomy. All I knew was pain. You need a support system. You need people there to cry with. Someone to hold you or bring you snacks (lol). You can’t do everything alone.
5. Others With Your Condition.
– At the time of my diagnosis I didn’t know anyone with my illness. I’d only heard little about it and really thought only old people had it. It wasn’t until my first J-Pouch surgery (2014) that I met my first UC friend Amber. It was so helpful talking to someone who’d actually been through what I was going through and understood how I felt. I definitely encourage you to reach out to other patients, advocates, bloggers who have your condition.
6. Medical Advice | Hospitalization
– When things got too crazy I had no choice but to see my physician. My flares often got out of control, at those times I would go straight from my specialist office to hospital’s admitting section. It’s just best to understand that some things are just out of your control. Being hospitalized and getting the treatment you need is so much better than suffering in silence.
These are just some things I’ve found helpful when going through a flare. I hope it helps!
As always, thanks for reading. Before you go:
What’s something you do during a flare? Let me know in the comment section!