The Black Dog

The Black Dog

Last night I woke up at about 3am with the words ‘Have to make a change now….’ running through my head.  You see I’ve been rather over-run with negativity and the Black Dog, as it is sometimes known, has been keeping me company a little too often recently. Depression does run in my family, and as I’m a sensitive soul on the sly, I’m  a little prone to this.  Even more so at the moment because of my stupid broken colon.

So, here’s as it stands.  My Colitis is driving me crazy.  I’m on 6 Asacol a day, plus 3 iron tablets (due to anaemia brought on by blood loss), 1 enema, 1 Azathioprine and two Citralopram.  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I’m rattling with tablets.  In fact I am a human maraca.  If I jump up and down to music, you can hear them, honest!

In fact….*Kay jumps up and down enthusiastically* – ‘Name that tune!’

Yep, you got it!  It’s ‘Shake, Rattle & Roll!’    (I nicked that pun from my mate Jo, sorry Jo, it was too good not to use)

The steroids fought off the inflammation for a while, but it has all returned with a vengeance and so I’m on the stronger Aazathioprine now on top of the Asacol.  Although I’ve come across people who’ve been on these tablets for years and say they are great, I’m rather nervous about a drug that is labelled ‘Cytotoxic’ and that I’m warned not to handle too much.  It increases the risk of skin cancer significantly from what I can tell so I’ve bought some very strong sun cream.  Something I love is lying in the sun, my skin tans naturally and I barely use sun cream under normal circumstances, I think I will have to get on the case with streaky fake tan now. Bugger.

Forgive me for going on, this is therapeutic for me.  If you don’t want to read this, just skip to a review about plastic toys or something.  Ulcerative Colitis increases the risk of bowel cancer, Azathioprine increases the risk of skin cancer – I think I’m going to chain smoke from now on and attempt to get lung cancer too.  Then I could get a full set!  Bingo!  The irony is that people who smoke are far less likely to get Colitis, that is statistically proven.  You try your best and what happens?! *rolls eyes*

Azathioprine is a drug that works by supressing the immune system (Colitis is thought to be a disease where the immune system goes into overdrive, but they don’t really know) – so I’m going to have to have weekly blood tests to make sure my white blood cells don’t deplete too much.  I’m also going to have a flu jab because I’m going to have a crappy immune system and am quite likely to pick up bugs here there and everywhere.  Living with two children who double as germ factories is going to be fun, fun, fun.

I’m going to have to stop smoking because one thing I’m also prone to is chesty coughs.  If I have nil immunity I can imagine that’ll be the first thing I’ll fall foul of – so plastic fags it will have to be.

Basically I’m just quietly terrified.  Because the steroids temporarily fought off the inflammation, but it came back again afterwards… the doctor said…it implies that it is quite ‘aggressive’.  Some people get Colitis and it goes into remission after a flare up, mine hasn’t really slowed down much at all, despite the armoury of tablets.  I’m on the next level up when it comes to medication now, and it will take about 3 months to kick in apparently.  In the meantime I have to go to the loo between 2 and 3 times a day (which maybe doesn’t sound much) but each time to be frank – look away now if you have a weak stomach – like a traffic accident. I’m losing blood like a broken tap leaks water. It’s really, really scary and it makes me really tired.  Each trip to the loo takes ages and I have to sit there listening to the kids bickering or running amok in the living room downstairs and am unable to do anything apart from to yell ‘Stop throwing food!’ or other helpful suggestions at them.

I am quietly feeling a shiver of panic up and down my spine, I don’t want to end up crapping in a bag.  I know that’s a last resort, I know it’s very unlikely, I know I’m over reacting, but I can’t help those kind of thoughts.

That’s why I woke up last night knowing I had to make a change.  If I carry on like this,  that Black Dog is going to start following me around even more.  I mean, I love dogs, they’re cute and furry and I like to pat them.  But I don’t like this dog, it lurks around dark corners and growls at me when I’m at my lowest. It doesn’t wag a friendly tail, it bares its teeth and snaps at my clumsy feet as I trek off to the loo.  That’s why I need to chuck a stick a very, very long way away and to tell it to ‘Go fetch!’.

So in order to do this I need to remember, there are far worse things that could have happened.  I have a wonderful supportive husband and kids who I love more than life itself.  My parents love me even when I’m self-involved and blind to other people’s problems; my sister constantly goes out of her way to help out and we have enough to manage on.  We are not in debt, Horace has a job, the sun still shines, there’s always a new day, there are daffodils in the garden and every morning I hear the birds singing in the trees outside our attic window.  It’s not so bad.  In fact, life is pretty amazing really.

So, it’s time to make a change.  Less moaning and more positive thinking.  Who in their right mind wants to spend time with a misery guts like me right now?  No-one apart from very bl**dy annoying black dog.  So, that’s me resolving to try harder.  ‘Go Fetch!’ you horrible mutt!

Cheery posts to follow, honest.

‘Normal blogs will resume once Kay has finished having a wobbly do’

‘Thank you for your patience’


18 responses to “The Black Dog

  1. Oh hun really sorry to hear the tablets are not helping too much with your naughty bum.

    Is there anything else more holistic you could try too? Herbal remedies, supplements, diet ? Sorry, I don’t know anything about the illness but amazed you can see the daffodils through it. xx

    • I’ve heard Aloe Vera drink stuff can help, I’m going to try and get hold of it and see if it does any good. Ta for commenting and the daffodils always cheer me up. It’ll be fine in the end I’m sure! :O) x

      • Aloe Vera juice is actually very yummy! They sell it very expensively in healthfood shops, but I’ve found it in the ‘exotic’ foods section is Asda ;0) #lizziestoptip x

  2. Oh Kay, reading your post sure puts things into perspective, I am really sorry to hear you are suffering so much, I had no idea.
    I hope you turn the corner soon and the black dog does a runner.
    Lots of love xx

    • I’m not half as bad as some, I’m just feeling a little rough. It’ll pass, it always does. My mum always says ‘It’ll all be the same in a hundred years, we’ll all just be a funny colour’ lol! That puts things into perspective for me, we all have stuff that drives us mad, the trick is not to let them take hold. :O) x

  3. HUGS x x now please message me your address so I can send you my lucky Dr Pepper badge, it says “what’s the worst that could happen?” use it as your motto and when you say it loud enough the dog will piss off and fetch it’s own stick, that phrase in the stupid annoying advert voice has saved me from it a few times! Stupid dog always wants to play when you feel low, it only does it to piss you off and make you feel worse. Sending you some massive hugs, kisses and some nice happy and postitive thoughts to cheer you up! ❤ ❤ x x x ((HUGS))

    • Cheers Stephanie! That’s really sweet of you, and I think something like that could really help when I get all wound up and worried. It’s ridiculous to get so upset over this, but I can’t help it. You’re an absolute love, thank you. xx :O)

  4. I really feel.for you kay. Hope it clears up soon as it sounds a whole barrel of laughs. I once had a ski. thing: my eyes closed up and my skin was blistering and bruising all over.: I was on steroids for months but it worked.

  5. Steroids are amazing things, it’s just a shame they don’t work forever without side effects! Nice of you to comment and thanks loads for your support. It’s just I’m getting all worked up and silly about this. It could be so much worse. Anyway. Now I’ve written that and got it out of my system, I’m already feeling a lot more positive :O) x

  6. This came up on my newsfeed because Helen commented on the post. So sorry to hear you’re having a rough time, not nice. Keep listening to those birds out of the attic window & hopefully they’ll start to get louder & sing even more tuneful songs (though not too loud to the point you’re thinking of catapulting them out of the trees cos you’re trying to have a lie in at the time). Linzi x

  7. thats the trouble with depression – it does not matter how rosy/comfy/loved/well off you are the black dog dont care, he will win some days by the very nature of what your illness is.
    Adding in all the others does not help, but remember depression is an illness of the brain like colitis is an illness of all that is runny, smelly and gets flushed away, none of it your fault.
    Presume your gp knows how you are feeling, cos it may just be a side effect of one of the tablets you are taking and there may be an alternative?
    ps – Im sure that tune is “How much is that doggy”


  8. Cheers Linzi, It’s not nice, but it’s not as bad as it could be. I’m bored of being all self-pitying, it’s very destructive. I shall take your advice! Thanks for bobbing over to the blog, you’re welcome any time :O) x

  9. I never thought of that Elaine. Maybe I’ll mention it the next time I go in. Perhaps some other tablet would help, I’m just loathe to muck about with any more medication. Goodness knows what state my innards are in with things as they are. A very practical thought though. x

  10. Awww kay its really not nice having an illness and can really bring you down 😦 hope things start to improve for you soon x x

  11. Hello lovely. Read this post thanks to an RT and had to comment. My mum also has UC. She was diagnosed in 1999 after numerous investigations for polyps, cancer, Crohns etc. She had it chronically for 18 months with steroid treatment, before it calmed down and now it’s maintained with Asacol. In the height of it, she couldn’t even bear for the car to drive over a bumpy road, such was the pain. Now, she needs to be careful what she eats (the doctors told her food has no effect on UC but her colon begs to differ when she eats full fat milk, creamy food, caffeine drinks!) and be aware of stressful situations which can cause flare ups, but essentially she leads a normal life. When she was first diagnosed she was thinking of training as a nurse, but her cowbag boss said no one would ever allow her to train or employ her with a chronic illness. She graduated age 50 in 2008 and is now a ward sister.

    I’m telling you this not to take away from your pain or to undermine your feelings of despair. I want to encourage you and show you that there is hope and life beyond this illness.

    I hope things pick up for you soon.
    God bless xx

  12. Am hugely admiring of all your positivity Kay. Keep on chucking that stick and hearing those birds – but never, ever feel guilty! You are allowed to moan sometimes if you absolutely have to!! Big hugs xx

  13. You’ve got a huge pile of crap on your plate at the mo’.Be kind to yourself X

  14. Sends lots of hugs positive thinking and fairy dust. Swap the black dog for a king charles spaniel, totally crazy, eats everything in sight, but really happy and loving. So much nicer.

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