When I was first told I had colitis I was only 7 years old. I had really bad cramps and started pooping blood. We went to the doctor and he checked me out. They didn’t really know what was wrong at first and we had to go back to the doctor again until my mom insisted that something was really wrong. They took some blood. After that, they put me in a special room where he put an I.V. in and covered it with what felt like a cast. In 30 minutes I was put on a stretcher and rushed out the door and into an ambulance. Off to a different hospital. I knew it would take a while, so I fell asleep, next thing I knew I was on a hospital bed with my mom. My favorite blanket was with me, but I didn’t know how it got there.
Life at the hospital wasn’t bad. They had good food. I had lots of things to do, like watching movies and playing in the game room. The game room was awesome! I got to play video games with my brother and dad. I spent most of the time watching movies and TV though because I was so tired. The tests got me worried. Like if it was going to hurt. But when I got in there I wasn’t scared anymore. When I took a needle I always got a gift because I wasn’t scared. Everyone was really nice to me there. I even had to get blood through my needle because I was so weak. My mom told me it was Captain America’s blood. At the time, we lived in WA state and we were taken to an Army hospital. I was really lucky. I was excited to get out though and go home again.
It really doesn’t bother me a lot, but it’s a pain taking medicine at night. Especially when I’m really tired! But I’m turning it into a challenge! How many can I take at a time? I also like telling my stories about me being in the hospital. Sometimes I enjoy having colitis, but it also makes me worried about how this is going to affect my future.
Sometimes when I have a cramp I think of a creature in my stomach pressing a button when I have a cramp. The first time I had a needle I thought I would cry and scream but turns out it didn’t hurt at all. I was really brave. People are always making fun of me because I’m short and it makes me mad. I tell them why I’m so small and they understand. Usually people don’t ask because they don’t want to hurt my feelings, which, I respect. Sometimes I say to myself why did you give me this future, God? I mostly try to forget I have colitis and it sometimes works.
I can still play all the sports and do everything a normal kid can do. My favorite sports are soccer and basketball. School is no different either. I am on honor roll. I’m going to be in 4th grade this year, turning 10 years old in November, and I can’t wait to go back to school and see all my friends. I love school! My favorite subject is reading. My mom is a nurse and she helps me understand what colitis is. I try and read things in books and on the computer to find out more too. My doctor is really great about answering any questions I have also. He’s pretty cool!
When it comes to eating though – its hard. I try and eat, but I get full really fast. There are no foods I can’t eat, but I just can’t do it sometimes. I’m just not really hungry a lot. My favorite foods are peanut butter and jelly, chicken nuggets, pizza, my mom’s spaghetti and lasagna and of course, BACON!
So that comes to the end of the story of my colitis for now, signing off…Mason.
[Editor’s note: This story was written by Mason, with help from his Mom, and submitted to their IBD care team at New Hampshire Hospital for Children. Dr. Harohalli Shashidhar and Carole Rudman contacted ImproveCareNow on behalf of the family, who wanted to share Mason’s story widely with the hope that it would helpful to other patients.]