I just wanted to take a few moments to talk about my current situation. Having run Hornet Web Solutions since 2008, there have been many ups and downs - periods with too much work to handle, periods with the exact opposite, recalcitrant computers, burnt out iBook DC boards, the list goes on and on. I am however so pleased I made the switch from being a salaried employee to being my own boss and working from home, more so over the last couple of years than ever.
In December 2011 I was admitted to hospital for a colonoscopy. My GP referred me, as I’d shown symptoms of IBS for over a year that weren’t getting any better, despite many different treatments and drugs. The colonoscopy was immediately conclusive - I had active Ulcerative Colitis, a chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that was going to have to be treated with various medications, and at worst, bowel surgery. At first, this was a great surprise, and I felt elated; all those months of not understanding what was wrong me and now I had a diagnosis. It took a while for the reality to sink however, a lifetime of drugs, possible surgery, increased risk of cancer, lifestyle changes and chronic fatigue.
After a bad flare up of the disease a few weeks after my diagnosis, during which I was bed ridden for a fortnight, and couldn’t work for 2-3 months, I was prescribed the steroid Prednisolone, which thankfully brought down the inflammation and steadied my symptoms. With time and medication, the disease has gradually been brought under control, although I still suffer from bouts of fatigue which can wipe me out for days at a time. The worst part now is not knowing when the fatigue is going to strike, and, in addition, although the Colitis is in remission there is no cure other than surgery, and another flare up is possible.
Getting back to my first paragraph, my experiences with IBD have made me even more glad to be my own boss. I’m still more than capable of running my business, but working from home allows me the freedom to deal with my symptoms and to manage my condition. I’m glad I made the switch, and moreover I want much more awareness to be raised about IBD, that’s why I writing this post. So many people don’t want to talk about their symptoms, as it can be viewed as an embarrassing condition. I hope more people will share their stories and remove some of this stigma.
(Crohn’s and Colitis UK http://www.nacc.org.uk/ are a charitable organisation that provide support to patients with IBD and their families)