Your Name: Josie Culhane
Your Age Group? 40 - 49
Where are you from? Barrie
Your Profession: Transit bus operator
How many years since you were first diagnosed? 10
Diagnosis: Ulcerative Colitis
What do you wish someone had told you when you were newly diagnosed?
When I was diagnosed, I had never heard of this disease before. I wish someone would have explained it to me. Instead I was handed pamphlets and given meds and sent home to research it and make sense of this on my own. I wish someone would have told me this is a lifetime of getting to know my new self. Finding out my new limits and that I would, eventually be ok!
What is a favourite go-to, safe food for you when you are feeling unwell?
Clear broth. Unsweetend apple sauce. Egg whites.
Do you have a hot tip for how to get through a colonoscopy or a funny colonoscopy story you'd like to share?
The prep is the hardest part. The best sleep i ever get, I have 3 kids lol.
Describe your relationship with IBD:
Continuously looking for improvement and educating myself.
What would you like to share about your journey, (whether its how you were diagnosed, a story you want to share or a conversation you'd like to start) with the community?
I was misdiagnosed twice by the hospital and sent home. I knew something wasn't right. You know your body best, even though it may not feel that way. Don't take no for an answer. Don't compare yourself to others with this disease. We have our ups and downs at different times and It's ok! There's nothing wrong with that. Find strength in yourself. Have good support around you and always remember to live, love and laugh during the good times, it helps you get through the bad times!
What has been the most helpful things for you as you manage your illness? (This may be the medication you are on, your hot water bottle, your support system, an alternative medicine therapy, a book.. anything!):
Hot water bottle is my best friend. For me, I find peace in praying and meditating to help me get through the tough times, it helps me keep a positive attitude which is the best thing to have. The mind is a powerful tool. Learn to use it to your advantage. I also see a nutritionist who helps me choose foods to keep inflammation down as well as natural vitamins and meds such as digestive pills and probiotics. I have also been on Remicade for 3 years. Although it is not the best drug on the market. I am thankful it has helped keep flare ups away.