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Ulcerative Colitis is a condition that you hear a lot more about these days. I have wanted to share the story of my own battle with this disease for a number of years now in the hope that it will inspire anyone that is battling a chronic illness.
My Ulcerative Colitis (UC) story began in August 2011 when I visited my GP after passing blood in my stool. After medication for Haemorrhoids and Irritable Bowel Syndrome failed to make any improvement my consultant performed a Colonoscopy and diagnosed me with Ulcerative Colitis. Diagnosis with a chronic condition came as a huge shock to me as I suppose we all expect a quick visit to the Doctor to result in a prescription or antibiotics to
resolve health issues! I had worked as a Personal Trainer for 10 years and never had a serious illness. I had the occasional drink, never smoked and always ate good food.
My condition started to worsen week by week with crippling abdominal pain adding to my list of symptoms. I managed to continue my work as a personal trainer in the Houses Of
Parliament however the disease was starting to take its toll.
After persevering for 2 months with no significant improvement and now on high doses of Steroids I was rushed into hospital in Kent on 13th December 2011 where I remained until Christmas Eve. During this time I was given many different drugs to try to control the
condition but nothing seemed to improve my symptoms.
On the 7th February 2012 my Fiancé and I travelled from London to The Wirral for a family birthday. I spent most of the weekend in bed and by Monday 9th I was too unwell to travel back to London.
Over the next few days I became critically ill and was rushed into Arrowe Park Hospital on the 14th February with Toxic Mega Colon caused by the acute UC. In a nutshell my bowel had stopped working and was leaking toxins throughout my body, – my body was shutting
down. I had life saving surgery on the 17th February to remove my large bowel and form an Ileostomy (stoma). This is where the small intestine is brought through the surface of the abdomen and your stool is collected in a Stoma bag. Miraculously I made it through
the 8 hour operation and my recovery began. I owe my life to the Surgeons, Doctors and Nurses that cared for me so well at Arrowe Park Hospital.
I had the pain of major surgery to contend with but the pain from UC had gone and I was alive. I had lost over 60lbs in 5 months, was extremely weak, but could only eat the smallest amounts of food to ensure my body slowly got used to eating calories again. I could barely stand up but I committed to taking a few steps each day and to walking a little further every day. The biggest challenge of all was getting used to my Stoma as I found it very daunting to begin with. I had to dig deep to become mentally tough enough to accept
the need to use a Stoma Bag every day of my life.
Planning, patience and perseverance were key to my recovery. 7 weeks post surgery I felt able to start small amounts of jogging and abdominal exercises, and 2 months on I was in the gym lifting light weights. I planned my exercise routine meticulously. To build up
cardiovascular fitness I alternated jogging and walking at 30 second intervals for 20 minutes and within 6 months was jogging 10km. I also focused on building my muscular strength and endurance using weights and core stability exercises.
My health and fitness improved rapidly, and only 6 months after surgery I was in great physical and mental shape. My health has never been better.
I look back on the personal journey I have been on over the last 4 years and feel proud about what I have achieved. I want to put my personal experience coupled with my expertise and passion for fitness into helping others achieve their individual fitness goals.
I have recently launched ‘CH Personal Training’ offering one to one and buddy training sessions. My clients will also benefit from home workouts, meal plans and weekly checkins. In addition to this I also offer Online Personal Training. Clients receive a free consultation during which we set achievable goals and discuss any personal health and fitness issues. If you want to lose weight, tone up or improve your overall fitness I will help you achieve your goals.
For more information about CH Personal Training email firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively call 07944645186.
More information can be found at www.chpersonaltraining.com and find me on Facebook @christianholcombept