Sunday, July 10, 2011

Still Kicking

See that girl?  That's me.  Running on a giant water slide.  This was at the beginning of June.  It was a 5k mud run/obstacle course.  5 kilometers might not seem like a big deal to some people, but it was to me.  For one thing, I'm not much of a runner.  And for another thing, just a couple years ago I could barely walk around my neighborhood block. 

In January, I was feeling great.  Better than I had in years.  More energy too.  At that point, I had been in remission from my UC around 14 months.  I had been making changes in my life to improve my health even more.  I guess once you have been sick, you value health a little bit more.  I had been eating better--more fruits and veggies and beans, less junk food.  I had also bought a treadmill at a yard sale.  Then, one day, a friend on Facebook had posted that she was going to be running this race in June.  I thought it looked like fun and I thought, "Why not?"  My ulcerative colitis had kept me from doing things for a long time, but it didn't need to continue to keep me from doing things.  I enlisted my sisters and my husband and we signed up. 

I started training for the race using the Couch to 5k running plan, which was perfect for me.  One day while training together, my sister and I went for a run.  It was on a trail that two years previous my sister had tried to get me to walk on.  The path was one mile long, so two miles total.  Back then, I hadn't even reached the 1/2 mile mark before I was in too much pain and to exhausted to continue.  My sister had to help me walk back to our car.  When we did the trail for our training, I was able to run the whole distance twice and I felt great.  I almost cried realizing I had come full circle.  UC no longer controls me. 

I finished the race June 4th and though I didn't finish in any competitive placing, it was a huge accomplishment for me.  On June 30th, I celebrated another milestone:  exactly one year without any medication for my UC. 

I didn't really think that it was possible to go without medication for so long and to feel so good.  I know that a flare-up could happen again...but maybe it won't.  I'm continuing to exercise and pay more attention to my body, making sure I get the proper foods and rest that I need.  I also do journaling now and regular stress reduction techniques.  I don't know if these things are helping my UC or not, but they are helping me in my life anyway so I will continue to do them. 

To those of you who may be reading my blog and struggling with UC, don't give up hope!  I was so sick but now I am better.  And, there is new research being done on UC and new discoveries being made.  I recently participated in a research study (maybe I will post about that later).  My best wishes for you!


  1. Outstanding! Great job. You look like a pro up there! :D

  2. That is excellent! Good on you.

  3. Brilliant - such good news for you, and hope for others.

  4. Awesome! it's encouraging to hear that you're doing so well & that you've been drug-free for so long. I, too, am going the drug-free route. (not so much a choice as the result of running out of drugs other than remicaid.)