Abi was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis after a long battle with her medical team to find out what was wrong. Read her story here.
I had a pretty stressful few months before this picture was taken. It started to take its toll on my skin for no reason and I thought I was having an allergic reaction! I also started to notice my toilet habits changed. My stool would be quite small, as if I was a little constipated, but I didn’t think anything of it.
29th July 2018
I was very ill here (believe it or not). I use this photo a lot, because I look so happy and well. It’s amazing what those with an invisible illness can mask.
In June I took a really bad turn. My GP was very unhelpful and didn’t even mention IBD. So I took the decision to turn to private healthcare. I was going to the toilet 20+ times a day, always with lots of blood. I felt my body getting weaker and weaker by the day, while waiting on results of a colonoscopy. After finding out more from my private consultant about IBD, I was pretty sure I had Ulcerative Colitis. I ignored my doctors advice and decided to go on holiday because I was so fed up. In hindsight, I regret this. It was a scary time for everyone watching me get sicker by the second.
12th August 2018
The day I got back from my holiday, I had an appointment with my consultant. He diagnosed me with UC. He suggested I should be admitted to hospital. Saying, “you look like you’re at the end of your tether.” I burst into tears and begged him to help me. So, I started my first 17 days in hospital. It was tough. But 2 weeks in, the Gastro team put me on a biologic drug called Infliximab. Safe to say – IT CHANGED MY LIFE! It’s my miracle drug! From day one of being on it, I’ve been a completely different person. Recovery was difficult physically, purely because I’d been bed bound for so long and my mind was so much further ahead than my body was. But I had a new lease of life!
22nd March 2019
I’m a trained professional actor. Whilst in hospital, I had to pull out of a stage tour and I was so devastated. But this is a moment I’m very proud of. The day I performed for the National Theatre of Wales and proved anything is possible. Unfortunately around Christmas, my long thick hair started to thin and fall out which was a huge confidence knock for sure. But a small thing in the grand scheme of things.
27th July 2019
My favourite moment of my journey. A year on from the day of my diagnosis, I went straight back to the holiday I’d missed out on the previous year and jumped off a cliff! It was incredible. I felt on top of the world (literally) but I wanted to use it as a milestone to my IBD journey. To prove that yes, I have an invisible illness, but I am rocking life!
I have been in remission for nearly a year now! I became a full time casting assistant, bought a house with my boyfriend and I’ve got a puppy! Oh! And look at my hair!! That’s all new growth! My IBD team helped me so much with my hair journey and we experimented with a few things like adjusting my meds intake. I still go for my infusion every 6 weeks but that’s it! I feel completely normal. Yes, I’m afraid of the unpredictability of when I may flare up again, but right now I couldn’t be happier. All I say to people, is to think before you judge any human being. You have absolutely no idea what they’re going/have been through.
Follow Abi and her incredible journey here: