Brooke’s Story – No Filter on Hypberbaric Oxygen Treatments

To put it lightly, I’ve been through a lot. Quite a few surgeries, an ostomy, countless hospital stays, all the drugs that pharmaceutical companies could make, pain, nausea, all of it. What I tend to do all the time, is censor my true feelings. I am guilty of putting a “filter” on my IBD.

This week is about taking that filter off and showing what it’s truly like to live with ulcerative colitis. It is painful, scary, unpredictable, and the treatments are tough and exhausting. My latest struggle, which I won’t go into detail about because you can read it on my blog here: (http://bit.ly/2gzf740) has caused me to break down in ways that I haven’t experienced in a long time.

Those hyperbaric chambers are intimidating looking. I felt a lot of emotions, the main ones being disbelief and disappointment. I couldn’t believe that my poor choices have resulted in me having to spend 2.5 hours of my day, every day, laying in a space-age looking tube. Normally I’m not sure where my anger or disappointment should be directed, right now I know for sure.

My anger and disappointment are directed at me.

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This is what the Hyperbaric chambers look like.

The fight that I’m going through right now has to be one of the toughest in my journey with ulcerative colitis. I told my boyfriend the other day I feel like I’m breaking. I work for a PR agency (which I love), I advocate for people living with IBD (which is my mission in life) – now on top of all of that, I’m back on maintenance drugs for my UC. 4 suppositories every single day. It’s so fun to shove those capsules in my butt every day. (Hey, we said this was unfiltered, so don’t expect anything less).

I’m working out intensely with a personal trainer twice a week, along with yoga and my own workouts the other days. I try my best to have a social life, I have a boyfriend who is also my best friend that I love spending time with, I have friends that I want to catch up with, I have a family who makes up my whole heart who I want to be around as much as possible. I have to cook, clean my apartment, go to my check-ups at the doctor, and now I have to go to Lutheran Hospital every single day for 2.5 hours and lay in a pressurized oxygen chamber.

No matter what “unfiltered” challenge you are facing with IBD, always stay positive. We will beat this together.

This is my life with IBD right now, unfiltered.

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My #IBDunfiltered image. I took this after returning from seeing the Hyperbaric chambers for the first time. I was angry, confused, and felt really alone. Knowing that I had another challenge to face was tough, but sometimes crying and letting out your most “unfiltered” emotions out is the best way to heal and prepare yourself. Now the chamber treatments are a breeze – I actually really enjoy them! I had to face my fears to get to that state of mind, though. The best advice I could give is, accept the fact that there are going to be difficult times, but that doesn’t mean you won’t overcome them.

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