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“you don’t look sick, so it must not be as bad as you tell us…”

This pic was taken in late 2014. I remember that day clearly. I felt like SHIT. But I knew if I could get on my bike, I would feel a little better,. You see, here, my ulcerative colitis took a turn for the absolute worst. 

The pic shows me coming off of racing a 1.2 mile swim, 56-mile bike and a 13.1 run. I had done this race at least 7 times, most with ulcerative colitis (an Irritable Bowel Disease not IBS) and it shows me as STRONG. I DIDN’T LOOK SICK. I NEVER LOOKED SICK. 

Selfishly inside, I wished that I looked sick. If I looked sick, then people would believe me, how awful and sick I felt all the time. But, I never looked sick. I looked strong. I did epic races every year. 

The only “proof” I had were the hundreds of colonoscopies I’ve endured. More than you will ever have to do in a lifetime. 

These scans vindicated me and showed my Doctors what I was verbally telling them at EVERY SINGLE FUCKING VISIT: 

“I feel like I am DYING inside,” 

What the pic DOES NOT show are these very real and sickly symptoms of severe refractory disease: 

✅ Shitting blood 30+ per day

✅ Ducking into alleys because I couldn’t make it to a restroom

✅ managing pain with oxycodone because my abdomen was constantly being pummeled by millions of sharp steak 🔪 🔪 🔪 knives 

✅ crying myself to sleep wishing I didn’t have to wake up to endure another day of my reality #depression

I spent all of my life looking far from sick, perhaps a little “too healthy”, as some weight-focused people would comment.

As my former Gastroenterologist (a DOCTOR for crying 😢 out loud), told me: 

“Lee-Ann, hate to tell you this but you’ll be hard pressed to find a surgeon who will do your colon removal surgery.”

In my own medical journey, I have learned that: 

I have to ALWAYS advocate for my own health. 

I have to always speak up when something doesn’t feel right. 

And I need to ask the questions and get the answers that I need to make the best possible medical decisions for ME.

I am in MY BODY. Not you. Not my Doctor. Not my husband, sister or best friend, but ONLY ME. 

AND I WANT YOU TO REMEMBER THE SAME GOES FOR YOU!

Sick comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms. 

Don’t let others second guess your gut. 

Don’t allow others to brush off what you feel or what you are going through. 

THIS IS WHY I DO THIS WORK – because with me, your health will always first and foremost be led by YOU. I will always listen. I will always hear you and I will always ensure that your food and fitness programming will be safe and sound.

Have you had a Doctor or another professional ever make you feel like you were bat shit crazy?

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