Jun 30, 2024

Disability Pride Month With Lottie

At just 18, Lottie was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, an incurable condition that challenged her immensely. Now 24, she shares her inspiring journey of resilience, from hospital stays to earning a psychology degree, raising awareness, and embracing her disabilities with pride. Read our chat with @ibdlottie below. 

Your life & how you’ve handled everything is so inspiring! Tell us about your story

Hello! My name is Lottie, I’m 24, and I was diagnosed with an incurable condition 10 days after my 18th birthday called Ulcerative Colitis. When I was first diagnosed, I was severely unwell and struggled to keep up with school and A-Levels. I managed to get through school and went on to study a BSc Hons Psychology degree, which I passed with a 2:1! During my degree, my health was a big challenge, especially with a significantly nasty flare which landed me in hospital in 2019. Since then, I have had a few flares but I am currently doing a lot better and I’m in remission. When I was first diagnosed I didn’t know anyone with my condition, so over the last few years I have been raising awareness online in the hope that it helps someone else who was in my position. One of the things I didn’t think I’d be able to do when I was diagnosed was travel! However, last year I made the decision to move from the UK to Australia, and I have been loving every minute of it!

What does Disability Pride Month mean to you?

Disability Pride Month to me is a reminder that I am so much more than my illness. Disability Pride Month signifies the strength and resilience it takes to live with chronic conditions and the courage it takes. Whilst it’s different for everyone, I see it as a reminder that I am so much more than my condition, and my limitations may also be strengths.

How can others show their support & get involved?

Take the time to educate yourself! Maybe you see a post about a condition you’ve never heard of or don’t know about, take the time to learn about these. Even if all you can do is share a post, helping raise awareness is so powerful and the more people that get involved the better!

Let’s talk periods! We all experience periods so differently, have you experienced any unique challenges

I have! Due to the nature of my condition, periods can affect me quite badly. When I experience period cramps, they often set off my stomach pains and symptoms as well. I find that if I’m suffering a flare and my period at the same time, it’s significantly more painful.

We all have our favourite period cramp remedies, what are your go-to’s?

Heat heat heat! I love a good hot water bottle, especially the long ones that you can put across your tummy. If I’m having a bad pain day I’ll usually cosy up with my hot water bottle and watch a comfort programme. I also find stretching helps ease the tension or do some gentle movement.

What’s next for you?

Hopefully, I’ll be doing another degree in Psychology! I have such a strong passion for mental health and disabilities and would love to be able to help others further. I would also like to travel a bit more, and have a few places on my list to explore!


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