I have ulcerative colitis. I found out when I was 13 years old and nearly bled to death in our bathroom one Saturday night. By the time my parents got me to the emergency room I had to have blood and they had to call my birth mother to get it. Quelle Suprise!!
Anyway, I was out of school for the final month of the year and then mostly in bed and resting the entire summer. When school started in September I went back to find that most of my friends had made other friends and I was left to start all over again. Boy, the rumors were flying: I had tried to kill myself; I had a baby; nothing like the real thing.
UC is not a good disease to have. It causes terrible pain, there can be bleeding, nausea, diarrhea, and it is one of those diseases that strikes when you are not looking. It flares up when you want to go on a date; when you have a special occasion; when you are on vacation;and when you are doing nothing at all. It will intefere with school, college, work and daily life, You can find yourself hospitalized several times a year because you have been bleeding in your intestinal track or because you havent been able to eat. Also, your doctor might put you in the hospital to give you what is termed "a GI rest". This means you get fed intravenousley and not by mouth in order for your intestines to not have to work.
This is a disease that does run in families but they aren't sure it is genetic. It is NOT caused by nerves. You aren't out of your mind. The pain IS real. You aren't going to die (well, you conceivably could bleed to death but not unless it was extremely severe and then you would be seeing your doctor almost as much as your husband or parents.) UC is not the same as irritable bowel or Crohn's disease. It is located mostly in the lower part of the intestines and does also affect the rectum. There are surgeries for this disease and treatment ususally includes steroids of some sort. There is no cure.