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Life Goes On
"Well, what's wrong with me?" I ask nervously, still groggy from the narcotic.
"You have ulcerative colitis," my mother declares as her eyes slightly moisten. "It's not as
bad as it used to be, though. Technology has come a long way since Aunt Maureen was diagnosed with it, and Dr. Persich will try to get you under remission as soon as possible."
Ulcerative colitis. That is not what I expected to hear. There is no possible way that I am
capable of having a chronic disease. I mentally decide that the doctor has mistakingly perused
another patient's affected colon. Poor fellow.
This is unfeasible. Aren't I too young for this? I am sixteen. An adolescent. Last time I checked, chronic diseases (specifically the unpleasant, intestinal ones) were reserved for those whose healthy bodies had been used up and replaced with old age and health problems.
My mother's words literally change my life forever. Driving home from the hospital, and still in utter shock from the news, I replay in my mind the events that led me to this point.
It was the beginning of my sophomore year when I began to have symptoms. I specifically remember a time in chemistry class when I was convinced that my intestines were
being rejected by my body and being forced out in any way possible. The feeling was unbearable, and I could not get to the restroom fast enough. At first, I brushed the incident off, believing it was simply a stomach virus that would be gone in a couple of days.
Then, I saw blood. My eyes grew wide as I stared at the dark red substance on the toilet
paper. This definitely was not normal. As a child of the twenty-first century, I immediately sat
myself down in front of the computer and searched various medical web sites for clues to what may be wrong with me. Obviously, stories of intense medical problems and sudden deaths only made my worries increase tenfold. I suddenly thought of my aunt, who had suffered symptoms
much like my own.
I needed to tell my mother. As any concerned mother would do, she immediately made a doctor's appointment. After a number of visits to the doctor, and no firm diagnosis, I was scheduled for a colonoscopy, which revealed my inevitable illness.
It has been two years since my diagnosis. Unfortunately, I am far from remission. I continue to suffer from the normal symptoms of the disease: abdominal cramps, diarrhea, constant fatigue and ulcers (especially in the mouth). I have accepted this burden, though. Taking nine pills a day, getting out of bed earlier, occasionally skipping a few sleepovers, and using
extreme amounts of Ambesol to relieve my throbbing mouth are just a few tasks I have become accustomed to. I have learned to fit it into my daily life. I have to, because unless technology uncovers a cure, this unwelcome guest will live with me for as long as I am in this world. So, with the support of my family, friends, and God, I know that I will be able to live my life as normally as possible, for life goes on. Life must go on.
Maryland Heights, MO