Living with Ulcerative Colitis

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Today, May 19, is World IBD Day. For the first 20 years of my life, I lived blissfully unaware of the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis (UC). Sure, I’d heard of stomach upset, suffered through childhood digestive woes and stomach viruses, but I didn’t know there was anything more than the ever-fleeting “nervous stomach” term I’d been assigned as a kid. Those first days of school tummy jitters, the clamminess before big tests or speaking in front of the class, the waves of nausea after making an ass of myself in front of my crush, etc.

I took an acid-reducing medicine while in 11th grade and the occasional half-tablet of Imodium-AD to settle my digestive system, but it wasn’t until college that I started having severe problems.

The changes were subtle at first, so subtle that I only recognize them now as I reflect on that time in my life. Continue reading

Cancer and Five Old Clocks

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“Cancer and Five Old Clocks” Rhythmic Stanzaic Poetry, Poetry Workshop 2002

I’d rather wash clothes, scrub a dirty floor,
Than sit here waiting, looking out my door.
To wait takes time that I may not reclaim.
Waste whisks away with only one to blame.

I sit and think. Not having time to die
Does not ensure no pain. I want to lie,
Be bored, regret, complain, and not be scared.
I’ll ask God “Why?” Hell, how could He have dared?

Cancer, I feel alone. I should not wait,
Lying in bed while my loved ones create
New stories to distract me from dying.
I’d rather hear anything but crying.

Instead of sitting by to hear time tick
Away on five old clocks, I will be sick
With passion, paint sunsets, and not stand still.
Tell God I’m not a wasted soul to kill.