Your Name: Stacey Schat
Your Age Group? 40 - 49
Where are you from? Orillia
Your Profession? Youth Programs Coordinator
How many years since you were first diagnosed? 23
Diagnosis: Ulcerative Colitis
What do you wish someone had told you when you were newly diagnosed?
That it is important to share this diagnosis with others, to name it, to explain it without shame. That I will fall in love and he will love me back, that it will take a combination of many modalities to bring me to good health. To never ignore this diagnosis.
What is a favourite go-to, safe food for you when you are feeling unwell?
Chicken Pho soup, plain fish and rice
Do you have a hot tip for how to get through a colonoscopy or a funny colonoscopy story you'd like to share?
Drink the liquid out of a straw, it misses most of your taste buds that way, have a glass of juice to sip from after each glassful of the prep liquid. Bring your computer into the bathroom and just sit on the toilet and watch movies. Also: if you eat green jello after the prep you will see green things floating around your intestines during the scope. They look like little aliens.
Describe your relationship with IBD:
I now have deep respect for it and my body. In the past I didn't, I ignored it and in turn my symptoms worsened. Now I honour what my body needs and thank it for supporting me.
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 searched out many different treatments (acupuncture, naturapath, massage, allergy testing, supplements) until I found the combination that worked for me. I also left my career as a elementary school teacher when it became clear I could not stay well or in remission while being exposed to that much stress and germy kids. I make less money, have less hoildays and I have NEVER regretted this decision as I am so much healthier.
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!):
Going gluten and dairy free, taking a good probiotic each night, accepting that I need to take meds each day and seeking therapy to examine what my emotional triggers are. I also work hard to manage other auto-immune issues I have. This has lessened my UC symptoms. I also take Metagenic's Ultra InflamX 360 almost every day. It takes inflammation out of my gut and helps me absorb needed nutrients. Oh, and I love Kombucha.