My name is Mareika Ramdhan and I am 24 years of age. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in April of 2011. I had been to several doctors before I was diagnosed correctly. I was placed on steroids, weaned off and currently I am on Asacol. It has been a battle every day for the past two years. I experienced flares for months and there was a point that I thought there was no hope anymore.
One thing I can say for sure is even though Ulcerative Colitis is a horrible disease to have, it has been a learning experience for me. It made me into a stronger, more patient individual. I had to accept that there were many things that I would not be able to do anymore; many sacrifices would have to be made and a lifestyle change would be required.
I believe that awareness is very important. Understanding Crohn’s and Colitis is a very difficult thing to do if you are not the one experiencing it.
It took a lot from me physically and emotionally but it gave me so much will and determination. It taught me to be stronger than I ever thought I could be and made me understand certain aspects in life that I may not have understood before.
I was extremely happy when I came across the National Association of Crohn’s and Colitis of Trinidad and Tobago. The support group gives us the opportunity to express our feelings, share our suggestions and discuss our experiences with people who understand and could relate to our issues.
My advice to anyone with IBD would be to stay strong and do not allow the disease to get the better of you. Keep fighting and never give up. Support from family and loved ones is very important. Trust in God and always keep the faith.