My book, “G.I.: A Brief History of the Weird Battle Raging Inside Me,” was published Oct. 6 and is now available on Amazon.com. The book, a sometimes funny, always intimate look at my battle with this strange disease, will be available in a print edition later this month.
I hope the frank account will help raise awareness of common, but rarely talked about inflammatory bowel diseases that affects more than 1 million Americans.
When I was first diagnosed with ulcerative colitis nearly 25 years ago, the experience was difficult, confusing and painful – like it is for most new sufferers of the disease. I was embarrassed and scared, particularly when I had to be hospitalized.
Part of the book takes place in Elmira, where I was treated at Arnot Ogden Medical Center for bleeding and rapid weight-loss associated with ulcerative colitis. However, the book begins in Cortland, where I was living and working as a reporter for the Syracuse Post-Standard.
Fortunately, my story ends well, and I’ve been in nearly complete remission for about 15 years. I’ve gone on to live what I like to think is a productive life, but many continue to struggle every day, and it occurred to me that it’s past time that the topic moved from the shadows – and TV commercials we scoff at – and into mainstream conversation.
Though it’s not often discussed, millions of Americans suffer from ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease and related auto-immune disorders. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that causes the colon to become inflamed, making life miserable for its sufferers, who sometimes retreat from the world in order to stay close to a bathroom.
This book is an intimate look at those first days, weeks and months of my battle with this disease, which has no known cure. I hope my story is of some value to people seeking clues – and perhaps a few laughs – about this confusing illness.
“G.I.: A Brief History of the Weird Battle Raging Inside Me” is available on Amazon.com at www.amazon.com/dp/B00O778ZF4.