Safiyya’s Story

Here I was, nearing the end of my vacation in Miami and out of the blue I got food poisoning… or what I thought was food poisoning. This time seemed different, very different from what I remembered it to be. I did not realize that this was something way more than I could have ever imagined. I remember my brother telling me jokingly, “Aye how you getting on so, it’s only diarrhea!” and I’m sitting there, exhausted and weak thinking, “Like hell it is.”

Upon returning to Trinidad, I was still just as sick and getting worse. Slowly but surely I began to think this wasn’t going away soon. I was confused, tired, in pain and nearing the end of the little bit of patience I had back then. Every day that passed, the number of times I went to the bathroom increased. I saw the concern and frustration setting in daily on my family’s faces. I was taken to about five doctors in Trinidad and two in Miami but I still had not one clue as to what was going on with my belly and why I couldn’t stop going to the toilet! My family and I were still trying to rule out all the possible causes before thinking it was anything serious.

I had been back from my vacation a little over a month when I was taken to the hospital. I had lost some blood and weight and I was very dehydrated. Those ten days in the hospital passed with a lot of poking and prodding and I couldn’t help but feel like they were only experimenting on me without any real results. Finally I was diagnosed with UC and knowing what the problem was I felt completely relieved, a whole load lifted off my shoulders. Now the next step was treating it.

I remember the doctors telling me my treatment options and them warning me about the side effects of the steroids, “This is going to make your cheeks a little rounder ok?”
I just remember thinking, “Hell that’s a small price to pay to feel better, I’m in 100%!” (Not knowing that, that was just one of the MANY side effects I would come to experience).

I was on and off the steroids and my other medications just weren’t working for me anymore. My doctor recommended that I try something more potent. My family and I did not like the side effects and decided to seek another alternative, herbal medication. I was very reluctant in the beginning but as I felt like I had no other choice at this point, I gave it a shot. I was completely surprised as to how quickly I saw results without the horrible side effects as the steroids.
It’s been 3 years since I’ve been diagnosed and I’m no longer on any other pharmaceutical medications but continuing with my alternative treatments. I’m doing much better than I have been in the past and I thank God every chance I get for helping me be a more appreciative, positive and patient person. This disease, as horrid as it can be, has taught me things about myself and has helped me become someone better. It has helped me recognize my potential and help me in aligning my perspectives.

My tips in dealing with UC: pray, keep positive and watch your diet!