I suppose I should start from the very beginning. In December, I had a routine colonoscopy and the results showed that I had achieved remission. I felt better than I had in years! Just two weeks later, I came down with Covid. My case wasn’t too terrible- I had just about every symptom, but mostly just felt like the flu. I was grateful it wasn’t worse. The gasto upset was one symptom that didn’t really go away. It wasn’t too bad, but never really improved and by the beginning of March, I called the doctor because I had developed ulcers (evident by bleeding). If there is one thing I’ve learned in the 11 years of having UC, it’s to call the doctor as soon as symptoms begin. The quicker you catch it, typically the quicker you can recover.
My gastroenterologist started me on steroids right away, but after three weeks, I was only getting worse. They sent me for a CT scan with contrast and after that my body just went into a downward spiral. I was in so much more pain, losing more blood, and still unable to eat. I called back and they increased the dose of steroids. After three days with no improvement, they sent me to the ER for intravenous steroids.
I went to the hospital on a Sunday morning and I was admitted. They started me on 180mg of steroids a day. For comparison, I was on 40mg daily which they bumped up to 60mg daily before I went to the hospital. While at the hospital they also gave me morphine for pain, but after the 4th dose, it didn’t really work anymore so I quit asking for it. I was able to get a heating pad and that helped. After the first day on 180mg of steroids, there was improvement. The pain decreased, but I was still scared to eat anything. I was on a clear liquid diet of clear Ensure (didn’t know they made that until I was given it in the hospital), broth, and jello. I was sent home on Tuesday and was to resume the 60mg of steroids daily.
I was extremely nervous about going back down to 60mg, but steroids (prednisone) can be very dangerous at high doses and in general over a long period of time. They are a necessity, but after several flare ups, they are less effective. After 10 days on 60mg, I started the taper by 10mg per week. After a few days at 50mg, I noticed some symptoms return, so I called my doctor immediately. She instructed me to go back up to 55mg and we would need to just taper more slowly. So far, this seems to be working.
Since my current daily medication for UC doesn’t seem to be working any longer, my doctor decided it was time to start biologic treatment instead. I started on Humira on April 8. After three months, we will reevaluate to determine if Humira is working. So far, I’ve had two doses and I’m continuing to improve, so I have high hopes for this treatment. I was very nervous about switching from an anti inflammatory medication (pills), to a immunosuppressant (Humira shots). I was hoping to put this off for as long as possible, but I just want to feel healthy again and go out and enjoy activities with family and friends. I’ve missed out of several events due to being sick, but that’s part of living with an autoimmune disorder. I’m just ready to get back out and enjoy life again. 🏝🌊☀️🚴🏻♀️🧗🏻♀️🚣🏻♀️🧘🏻♀️