Living With Colitis, Living the Dream

By: Party Pooper

Hello Internet, my name is Cherylann and this is my vlog, Party Pooper. Just to make one thing clear, I am anything but a party pooper. I love to party.

The reason I'm making this vlog is to give you VIP access to my life working in the music and entertainment industry, as well as VIP access to my very personal story of living with Ulcerative Colitis. For those of you that don't know what Ulcerative Colitis is, it's an autoimmune disease that affects the large intestine, not to be confused with Crohn's disease which can affect the entire digestive system. What this means is during what the doctors call a flare-up the large intestine becomes lined with bleeding ulcers. Not a pretty picture.

I know. Symptoms include chronic diarrhea, chronic pain, nausea, vomiting, low iron, dehydration, malnutrition, bathroom urgency, sometimes the inability to make it to the bathroom. Which I can say has never happened to me...more than once. OK maybe twice. I am very excited to share with all of you that during a recent colonoscopy the results showed no active signs of colitis, which means I am officially in my first remission since being diagnosed.

Whoo Whoo. But that doesn't mean I'm in the clear. In order to maintain a remission I have to go for treatments every four to eight weeks where I get hooked up to an IV and they infuse me with all kinds of drugs for like three hours.

Living With Colitis, Living the Dream

That's fun and all, but, like most medications there are some very serious side effects. Because we're dealing with an autoimmune disease this essentially means that my immune systems is attacking my healthy body tissue, and in order to stop it, we have to shutdown my immune system completely, leaving me with zero defence against any kind of bug. Colds, flus, strep throat, you name it, I catch it. So please, keep your germs to yourself. Other side effects include but are not limited to headaches, drowsiness, anemia, liver disfunction, hives...it's really itchy, if you could just get it for me. Please. So you can imagine this makes my life working in the music industry, or any industry for that matter, a little difficult.

A little background on what I do, I am a Web Content Producer at Much and MTV. I produce videos. I write blogs. I photograph live bands. I interview talent. I do festival coverage.

Red carpet coverage. I'm not gonna lie. It's a pretty cool gig. And for the record, I just want to say, everyone that I work with has been absolutely amazing through this whole process, and I just want to quickly say thank you guys. Love you guys. You're probably wondering what does one have to do with the other and it's simply that they're just two very big parts of my life, and since I was diagnosed almost a year ago I kind of feel like the two worlds have been at war with each other. For example when I was first admitted to hospital I was supposed to interview Ben Gibbard so I tried to sneak out of the hospital, but then my boyfriend at the time ratted me out to the doctor and then when I asked the doctor if I could come back the next day he looked at me and said, hahaha no.

The idea of this vlog now that I'm in a remission is to end the war and bring these two big parts of my life together in a positive way and I'm going to do that by making vlogs that will hopefully educate you on chronic illness and show you that it is absolutely possible to have a chronic illness and still live and still being living the dream. I'm thinking maybe a vlog about how to date when you have a chronic illness, how to pack for a music festival when you have Crohn's or colitis. How to drink when you have Ulcerative Colitis, because yes that is absolutely a real thing and it's important that you know how to drink responsibly. And ways to reduce stress and so on.

And I want to hear about what you want to know. Whether it's about the disease or the music industry. I'm here to share and I'm not holding back.

There you have it. Those are the colons-notes on UC and what I do for a living. I hope that you heard something that maybe peaked your interest, maybe made you feel like you wanted to share or subscribe. I'm really looking forward to hanging out with you guys more and opening up about all of this experience that I've had in the last year. So thank you for watching Party Poopers.

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