Create an Ulcerative Colitis Support System
You don't have to live with ulcerative colitis alone. Very often, friends and family would like to help but don’t know what you need.
When you feel good, put together a support team of friends, family members, and neighbors. Then if you are having a flare or undergoing surgery, for example, you or your partner can simply create a schedule of the tasks you need help with, and people can sign up for them.
If you’re looking for emotional support, you may want to join an IBD support group. To find a group in your area, check with the CCFA. If you’d rather speak to a therapist or counselor, look for someone who is knowledgeable about IBD.
Living With UC: Make Adjustments to Your Job
If the challenges of your job make it hard to manage family life, consider changes to make your job less stressful or your workdays shorter.
First, consider specifically what would make the job easier for you – a desk closer to the restroom, four 15-minute breaks instead of one 60-minute lunch break, fewer work hours, the ability to come in later or work from home when symptoms flare?
Next, set up a meeting with your boss. Make your requests clear, explain how they will help you to do your job better, and point out that this will ultimately benefit the company. Bring along information about UC from your doctor's office or another reliable source.
If you feel you can open up to colleagues about your disease, they may be willing to take on some extra tasks or cover for you when your symptoms flare. You'll need to return the favor when you're feeling better.
Make Wellness a Priority
Though it may seem obvious, taking your prescribed medications is one of the most important things you can do to manage your ulcerative colitis and your life.
Even when you’re feeling well, taking your medication is the best way to make sure you stay that way. If multiple daily doses are hard to fit in or remember with your busy life, speak to your doctor about a simpler medication plan.
If stress makes UC symptoms worse, anything you can do to reduce stress in your life may help. Don’t try to be a "Supermom." Accept a less-than-spotless home or another parent’s offer to do the soccer practice carpool.
Exercise regularly, eat well, and get plenty of sleep. Consider taking a yoga class or learning relaxation techniques.
See your UC doctor regularly. Ask your doctor about when you should have a colonoscopy because long-term ulcerative colitis increases your risk of colon cancer. And don’t neglect your overall health: Pap smears and mammograms are still important.