My name is Talia; I am a high school student. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC) in May of 2016. Many people don't know that I have a creative side, and that I draw and paint for fun.  

One of the greatest struggles I had to overcome related to UC was not knowing what was wrong with my own body. You never want to assume the worst, but it's hard when doctors are running tests to rule out the worst. The hopelessness that overcame me when I was first diagnosed was overwhelming. I had moments when I thought I was never going to have a life outside of UC. I lost many friends, missed many school events, and even missed my own birthday because of UC. 

After trial and error with different medications, I started to get my health and my life back. Recently, I’ve been able to reflect on all that UC has given me. For instance, it has given me a great perspective on life, friends, and mental health. I realized I needed to stop letting my disease take control (although that’s easier said than done), so I began therapy to help me cope with anxiety, and I went to Camp Oasis for a summer, which helped me realize I'm not alone.

Soon I began to find ways to own UC, rather than feeling like it was owning me. Through it all, my family has given me strength when I no longer had any left and picked me up when I was falling. UC made me appreciate the little things in my life so much more - from dancing to car rides – I feel like I’ve found a deeper meaning of life.

I'm thankful that organizations like ImproveCareNow and the PAC exist because they help put an end to the isolation that IBD can cause. They help people connect with each other. Knowing the struggles of others facing similar battles as I have faced gives me strength. Having a platform to share experiences with people who might benefit from them can make you feel powerful, even at your weakest times.


Stay in the LOOP - sign up for updates and never miss a post!

Read more posts by Patients on LOOP >>

Read more New PAC Member stories on LOOP >>

Built by Veracity Media on NationBuilder