Surgery eases Sherie’s fears

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

AS a nurse, Sherie Davies knew what she was up against when she was di­ag­nosed with ul­cer­a­tive col­i­tis.

The East Vic­to­ria Park res­i­dent was di­ag­nosed with the con­di­tion in 1998, which causes in­flam­ma­tion and ul­cers of the colon and rec­tum.

“I had a his­tory of se­vere di­ar­rhoea and in the last two or three weeks be­fore I was di­ag­nosed I had blood in my di­ar­rhoea,” she said.

“I had is­sues with my bowel, such as ir­ri­ta­ble bowel syn­drome, and I couldn’t eat dur­ing the day be­cause it meant that I would need to go to the toi­let straight away.

“It was a re­lief when I was di­ag­nosed but I was al­ways scared be­cause I knew what it en­tailed.”

Mrs Davies said wher­ever she went, she needed to know where the toi­let was in fear of soil­ing her­self.

“The con­di­tion meant that I needed to stop work­ing and I needed to take steroids but they had side ef­fects. I would have mood swings or be­come a bit jit­tery or hyper,” she said.

“For many years I went into re­mis­sion and then re­lapsed.

“I be­lieve it could be hered­i­tary be­cause my cousin has it and my grand­mother may have had it as well.”

In 2008, she had her large in­tes­tine re­moved and had an ileostomy pro­ce­dure, which in­volved bring­ing the end of low­est part of the small in­tes­tine to the sur­face, mean­ing that she needed a pouch.

“I’m a swim­mer and I’m used to wear­ing biki­nis, so I was a bit worried about it,” she said.

“The stoma nurses had some­one come around and talk to me be­fore I had the pro­ce­dure and you couldn’t see the bulge; they were able to hide it.

“It gave me my qual­ity of life back and I had no com­pli­ca­tions.”

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek­mu­ni­ d468705

May is Crohn’s and Col­i­tis Aware­ness Month, dur­ing which Crohn’s and Col­i­tis Aus­tralia is hop­ing to raise aware­ness about in­flam­ma­tory bowel dis­ease. More than five mil­lion peo­ple live with Crohn’s dis­ease and ul­cer­a­tive col­i­tis col­lec­tively world­wide, with about 75,000 peo­ple in Aus­tralia liv­ing with the con­di­tions. Sherie Davies is back in the swim af­ter an op­er­a­tion to re­move her large in­tes­tine.

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