Ulcerative Colitis Health Update May 2018 — Phil Rice

Just a quick Phil Rice health update

Hey all! This is a little off the beaten path of my normal writing, but I thought I would take a moment to give a personal health update, as I do from time to time. It helps me to know that people are aware of this piece of my journey. As some of you know I suffer from a disease called Ulcerative Colitis, here’s the backstory —one, two, three— if you’d like it. So… being sick at all can get a little tricky with an autoimmune disease sometimes.

Last Tuesday, I came down with a crippling headache, followed by a 102+/- fever, both lasting over the weekend and into this week. On Tuesday [after a full week of crippling symptoms], my Primary Care Physician thought it best that I get evaluated at the ER. So Becky [the hero of this story] took me to the ER while other family hung with our kiddos. The ER staff was fantastic, including the doc assigned to me for the day, Dr Porter. They ran blood tests, a CT scan on my head, and a spinal tap [which I had only previously known as the 1984 faux brit rock group… not what will come to mind when someone says those two words together from now on].

Tests all came back negative of the bad stuff [no weird brain mass, no white blood cell issue, no meningitis], but inconclusive. Dr Porter suggested a followup with my GI doctor just to get his evaluation as well. He said that whatever is causing the fever seemed viral and should pass within a few days, but that I’m an unusual case because of my autoimmune disease —which could be why the last week was so intense.

The way forward — Ulcerative Colitis

On the Ulcerative Colitis side of the story, for those who have known or followed me for long, you know that I’ve worked in the last several years to deal with the disease through diet and lifestyle instead of the traditional path of daily medication forever. It’s been a journey to say the least and as is native to the disease, flare ups come and go [over months or years] with little understanding of why they come and why they go. The inflammation levels in my body increased this spring from 1.9-5.0 [1 is really good, 10 is really bad) which is better than where I started, but still not good. I’m looking forward to meeting with my GI doc to work toward next steps. The best I can hope for is some kind of medical/natural conversation.

I’m not really discouraged. But, this random virus taking me out so intensely was definitely a helpful wakeup call to the severity of my need for a fully functioning immune system. I’m hopeful that as I meet with my GI there will be helpful conversations had, and steps to take. Thank you all for your love, prayer, and support. This would be a much different road without each one of you.

Thanks for journeying alongside,

Phil Rice