'I Almost Died Because Of My Stomach Problems'
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Featured Image Credit: Credit: Instagram/@billieandersonx
Warning: This article contains graphic content.
A woman has explained how she almost died after suffering with stomach problems for months.
In a brave video, Billie Anderson opened up about being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, and how doctors told her she would die if they didn't operate on her immediately.
She talks about this terrifying time of her life in the video below:
In the video, Billie explains how she started suffering symptoms at the end of her first year of university.
"At the time I didn't know what I was experiencing were symptoms. I thought I was just a little bit tired. I was finishing my first year of university so thought it was because I was doing my exams and I was run down," said Billie.
"Then I noticed blood in the toilet bowl and went into this kind of instant shut down, 'no it's nothing, I'm just going to ignore it and hope it goes away'."
Billie explained that the bleeding didn't go away, so she went to the GP and was referred to a bowel cancer unit.
"I went back to university and partied quite hard in my first month. By November I was essentially bed bound, I could hardly get out of bed, I was rushing to the toilet 25 times a day. Because I was always in baggy clothes, I didn't really notice how much weight I had lost," she said.
"But after a couple of weeks of trying to pretend I was fine and telling my parents it was nothing, my dad had had enough of me telling him it was nothing and came down to university and dragged me to A&E."
Billie had an appointment with a specialist who conducted multiple tests before diagnosing her with ulcerative colitis.
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease of the large intestine, in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and develops tiny open sores, or ulcers.
"It didn't mean anything to me at the time, I just thought 'oh you're going to give me something and then I'm then going to skip off into the sunset, feel better and hopefully never see you again'.
"And that definitely didn't happen. He said that my whole large intestine was severely inflamed, and I will never forget that he just looked at me and said, 'you will die before you see the end of your degree, if we don't go for surgery now'."
Billie underwent surgery where doctors constructed a stoma by bringing the end of her small intestine out onto the surface of her skin, so intestinal waste could be collected externally.
"I essentially poo into a bag because I have no colon," said Billie, who has now had her stoma for over three years.
"I think before my diagnosis, I was always trying to change myself.
"I wanted to be taller, I wanted blonder hair, I wanted to be skinnier, I also wanted big boobs.
"Throughout my entire mid to late teens, I always wanted to change something, I'd look in the mirror and I just wanted to pull myself apart.
"And then my body did the pulling apart from the inside out for me. And then after my surgery, when I had the opportunity to build myself back together, helped me do it in a different way.
"The stretch marks are that reminder that I was five stone and I never want to go back to being that small."
Billie explained that she wouldn't change what has happened, but urged how important it is to raise awareness of the condition, in a bid to educate others and also, essentially, save someone's life.
You can follow Billie's journey on Instagram, @billieandersonx.