Share Your Story: Meet 24 Year Old Georgia, Who Has A Rare Chronic Bowel Disease
Bladder and Bowel Community's new guest blogger
Georgia is 24 years old and has a very rare chronic bowel motility disease. Georgia has bravely decided to share her story, her new journey and thoughts and feelings about her illness, travel, relationships, work and food in a series of posts over the next year to raise awareness of bowel disorders. So on that note, I introduce to you…Georgia.
Woah, it’s been over two months of blogging, what a saviour it has been. I feel like it’s time to properly introduce myself and give you all an insight into me, myself and I, my surgery and how I have had to alter things within my day-to-day living to accommodate my condition.
So, my name is Georgia. I am 24 years old and have the insides of a 90 year-old… okay not quite, but they’re very dysfunctional. I currently work with students who have disabilities supporting them through a range of activities to enhance their learning – I absolutely love what I do. I am also in my final year of Primary Teaching with a Major in Disability Studies. Prior to my condition consuming my life I was a fitness fanatic, I would train 6 times a week doing a combination of HIIT and weights, I am quite a social person, though I find comfort in spending time alone too. I have a passion for helping and supporting others which is how I ended up blogging – something that I find not only therapeutic but rewarding.
For as long as I can remember I have had problems with my stomach; however, it was mostly bloating and feeling uncomfortable after eating particular foods. An issue I figured would in time sort itself out – how very wrong I was. From the age of 21, I have been eating a Low – Fodmap diet to try and eliminate the bloating issues, my doctor was certain that I was allergic to something. Here began the long, tedious process of food elimination and reintroduction. We eventually determined I was very intolerant to Gluten. HALLELUJAH, I had figured it out – my stomach would finally be ‘normal’. If only! For a good year, my gut was actually feeling pretty good, I had noticed a significant change in my bloating and I thought I was ‘fixed’.
At the beginning of 2017, things took a turn for the worst and I began getting bloating to another extreme. I would eat the smallest amount of food and look four months pregnant. Extremely infuriating. I then began struggling to use my bowels. Not just the one-off, I could go for weeks without using my bowels. I began to see a gastroenterologist where he began me on laxatives. This where my gastro noticed a significant issue with my colon. The laxatives I have tried, no joke, every single laxative that you would find in a shop, would work for a small amount of time; perhaps a week or so, then I would get blocked up again. It was a vicious cycle. This went on for about a year until six months ago, things just hit an all-time low. I could not do my normal day-to-day life without feeling excessively exhausted. I struggled to competently go to work and do my job to the best of my ability and all areas of my life suddenly became affected by how I was feeling.
At this stage I had a slow-transit bowel study. Through this I was diagnosed with ‘Systematic Generalised Colonic Dysmotility Disorder,’ this means that my colon was effectively immobile. A very, very, VERY rare condition that has no research to actually highlight what is the correct protocol in order to control the issue. BLOODY SPLENDID. From here, things got worse; bowel obstructions and incredible pains when I would eat ANYTHING, I ended up being in hospital from this point forward. After many high dose medicines that I happened to be allergic to, I had a total colectomy with an ileorectal anastomosis on March 28th 2018. A life changing surgery, which ultimately has not ‘fixed’ me, but provided me with a bundle of other issues to deal with on a day-to-day basis.
Recovery has been a struggle but I thrive off positive energy and ensure that within each day I am doing something to enhance my mental health. I have recently teamed up with Bladder and Bowel Community to help raise awareness and support others with bowel conditions. I will be creating regular content on a range of topics such as: relationships, work/study, how my illness has affected me on a daily basis, exercise and health and more.
If you don’t follow me already, be sure to keep up-to-date with my Instagram @colectomytohealth where I post regular updates, tips and answer questions for my fellow warriors.
Keep your eyes peeled, there is some exciting content ahead!
Thanks for reading,
Georgia also writes a blog detailing her journey back to health https://colectomytohealth.blog/