The alarm goes off — it’s time to wake up. My two daughters wake up around 6:45 a.m., so this gives me 30 minutes of “me” time. Having some time to be with my thoughts is important to me.
During this time, I’ll stretch and do some yoga. A little positive affirmation to start my day helps to keep me centered amid the chaos.
After I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC), I spent a lot of time figuring out my triggers. I learned taking one moment at a time is crucial to my overall physical and mental well-being.
By this time, my kids are dressed and we’re ready for breakfast.
Eating a well-balanced diet is key to staying in remission. My husband also has UC, so our two daughters have a higher risk of inheriting it.
To lessen their chances of getting the condition, I do everything I can to make sure they’re eating well — even if that means making their meals from scratch. It’s time-consuming, but it’s worth if it means they’re less likely to get UC.
I drop my older daughter off at school and then either run errands or head to an activity with her younger sister.
I tend to experience more UC symptoms in the morning and may need to make multiple trips to the bathroom. When this happens, I usually start to feel guilty because it means my younger daughter will be late for school. I get angry because it feels like she is paying the price for my condition.
Or, sometimes my symptoms will hit when I’m out running an errand with her, and I’ll have to stop everything and run to the nearest restroom. This isn’t always easy with a 17-month-old.
It’s lunchtime for my younger daughter and me. We eat at home, so I’m able to prepare something healthy for us.
After we eat, she goes down for a nap. I’m tired too, but I need to clean and prepare dinner. It’s often too challenging to make dinner when my kids are awake.
I try my best to plan for the week ahead each weekend. I cook some meals in batches and freeze them, so I have back up in case I’m too busy or too tired to cook.
Fatigue is a side effect of living with UC. It’s frustrating because I often feel like I can’t keep up. When I need extra support, I lean on my mother. I’m blessed to have her as a resource. When I need a break or help preparing a meal, I can always count on her.
Of course, my husband is also there when I need him too. With one look at me, he’ll know if it’s time to step in and lend a hand. He can also hear it in my voice if I need extra rest. He gives me the courage I need to keep moving forward.
Having a strong support network helps me cope with my UC. I have met some amazing people through various support groups. They inspire me and help me stay positive.
Dinner is served. It can be challenging to get my daughters to eat what I’ve made, but I do my best to encourage them.
My older daughter has started to ask about my eating habits and why I only eat certain foods. She is starting to realize I have a medical condition that makes my belly ache when I eat a particular food.
I feel sad when I have to explain to her how UC affects me. But she knows I’m doing all I can to keep everyone healthy and make the best choices. Of course, some days I’m tempted to stay in bed and order take-out, but I know there will be repercussions if I do that. And that keeps me in check.
It’s time for all of us to go to bed. I’m exhausted. My UC has worn me down.
My condition has become a part of me, but it does not define me. Tonight, I’ll rest and recharge so that by tomorrow I can be the mother I want to be for my kids.
I am my best advocate. Nobody can take that from me. Knowledge is power, and I will continue to educate myself and raise awareness about this disease.
I will stay strong and continue to do everything I can to make sure UC never affects my daughters. This disease will not win.