Some of you know me personally. Some of you know me only through the lens of social media. Some of you have gotten past the lens and to know me personally.
But. I want to open the lens a little wider for everyone.
I want you to understand my WHY.
Why do I care so much about self care. Why I care so much about mental health and well being. You see me preach it and share what I do.
If you saw my Instagram post this morning, you read that I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at thirteen.
A digestive disease.
I can only tell you my own story. And this is where the graphic content comes to play. I knew something was wrong when there was blood in the toilet. Clearly a different blood than what I was experiencing during my menstrual cycles. I had recently started wearing thongs, and thought this was the cause. Silly little Kim.
But I was scared and ashamed, so I kept it a secret for what I can recall of at least a month. (I feel little tinges in my side just thinking about this time in my life.) When I finally told my mom, it was the tipping point of the roller coaster and I didn't know I was on. Within six months, I was hospitalized for three weeks.
Where my experience differs than most is that I rarely felt physical pain in the beginning. Many people suffer from horrendous cramping and stomach pains. However, similar to most, I certainly spent a lot of time on the toilet, and I didn't do myself any favors by avoiding going at school.
The constant agreement was that my tests showed much worse than I presented. To avoid completely removing my colon altogether, my doctor opted for hospitalization.
Only clear liquids.
And a picc line in my arm to give my body the nutrients I needed. Basically, my colon was on rest for three weeks. I still have a small scar on the inside of my left arm just above my elbow.
But this is only scratching the surface. Stay tuned as I continue to share more of what makes me, me.