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Lyfestories: Rebekah’s Journey with Ulcerative Colitis (IBD)

I was diagnosed in 2009 with Ulcerative Colitis, I literally had no idea what this disease was, or how it would have such a huge impact on my life. After about a year and a half of trying every medication to try and control the flare up I was having, an extremely kind doctor suggested for me to have this life changing operation, to remove my bowel and replace it with an Ileostomy. He promised me I’d wake up symptom free and he was not wrong.

To this day, he is my hero, this amazing person who didn’t even know who I was, saved my life and gave me my life back and to this day I can’t thank him enough for that. I went from being in and out of hospital every other week, going to the toilet 20+ times, not being able to hold a job down to being this whole new independent person that could leave the house without worrying I was going to have an accident! I even got myself a job and I saved for a house.  I was also told I’d never be able to have kids and in 2015 I had the most precious little boy.

I created my Instagram account to raise awareness for others just like myself who have possibly been newly diagnosed, going through a flare up or have had a life changing operation and to show them that they are not alone in this battle. I’ve also been battling a condition called pyoderma gangreosum which is an incredibly rare skin condition to have next to the Stoma site and is usually associated with crohn’s patients. Again, I didn’t even know that this existed until I was diagnosed. My goal is to raise awareness–to let people into “thebaglifeofbeck” and for them to know the good and the bad times, and it’s OK to not be OK. It just helps us separate the good days from the bad, and since I’ve had my bag, the good days outweigh the bad. We’ve got this.

Lyfestories: IBD Fitness

I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis back in 2008-2009. I’ve had this condition for almost 9 years now. Just like everyone who suffers with this disease, I felt like there was nobody to talk to. I felt incredibly embarrassed and isolated.

I had several tests but never got any positive diagnosis. Doctors would tell me, “it’s nothing, it’ll pass”, but my initial symptoms of diarrhea got worse to the point of passing blood.
Not being able to get out of bed or eat was the low point. I became depressed and anxious that nothing would change and there was no one who could tell me what was wrong. Eventually I saw a specialist who diagnosed me with ulcerative colitis
I started my long journey on prednisolone and other drugs. I now take cyclosporin and Azathioprine and haven’t looked back. Things are on the up, but everyday can present a new challenge.
A year ago I decided that I wanted to raise awareness about my condition and created a blog and Instagram account dedicated to IBD related diseases, to show people “this disease will not define you”. I started to get a few followers and likes and I was then asked to talk about my story to an amazing group called instachrons. Recently I gave a talk to a crowd about my story, something I never imagined would happen. I realized people want to know about my life and my condition and how I’ve overcome adversity and this crippling disease.
I was then asked to work for a gym clothing company, because they loved the fact that there are no excuses to achieving what you want in life. You can do it too. Just set out goals and stick to them even if it’s getting out of bed. Small wins are key to big success.
I primarily wanted to create an account about fitness and diet as the lowest point of my condition was not being able to eat or walk due to the pain I had suffered. I get out there and push myself because I know it can all change. I also cook loads of food–  which might inspire you too.
For me this is just the beginning and I want to continue to raise awareness for IBD and to one day help find a cure
I’m promoting the fact that I want people to love the skin they are in and to love this condition.
I’ve created a fitness app, and have been working hard on my fitness. I have been asked to work with companies and fitness brands, showing  it doesn’t matter what your background is, you can do it. Having a chronic disease  makes me unique and gives me a chance to change the world– and this is exactly what I plan on doing.
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