WHEN Peter Stute was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis 18 years ago, he had never heard of the disease which would eventually force the removal of his entire large intestine.
“I was tired, had aching joints, bleeding. I just felt stuffed,” Mr Stute said.
However, despite being diagnosed with the bowel disorder fairly quickly, Mr Stute failed to respond to a 12-month medication regime.
“I was getting worse and worse.
“I was 60 kilograms and was in hospital having permanent blood transfusions.”
Mr Stute eventually underwent a colectomy, which removed his large intestine completely and replaced it with an ileostomy bag.
“I had three operations. One to save my life, one to go back in and one to repair the stomach muscles that had been wrecked.
“Every now and again, I get blockages which are really painful.”
Mr Stute said he also still had to be careful to make sure he stayed hydrated but otherwise was relatively healthy.
He has recently been asked to be part of a volunteer team in the Ballarat region to improve support for people living with inflammatory bowel disease.
“When they asked me, I thought I should be involved.
“When I was diagnosed, I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t know anybody who had it. I didn’t even know what it was.
“When I left hospital, I didn’t know what I could eat or not eat, what I could do or not do.”
Crohn’s & Colitis Australia has received funding from the Victorian Health Department to fund the support team. Anyone who is interested in taking part can contact CCA on 9815 1266.