AMBER

Ulcerative Colitis, IBS, Anxiety & Injuries

From Brisbane, Australia

My name is Amber Maxwell, I’m 23 years of age and have an auto immune disease called ulcerative colitis. Six years ago now I was diagnosed, and since then it has definitely been a roller coaster of ups and downs.

 

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic, inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis is usually only in the innermost lining of the large intestine (colon).


Unfortunately it’s not curable yet, however it is treatable.

Over the past 6 years not including my ulcerative colitis and IBS, I have also suffered from physical injuries. I have had 6 knee surgeries over the past 7 years where I have experienced severe anxiety and depression post operation.

 

Rehab wasn’t always easy. Months and months of not being able to shower myself, walk without crutches, drive or work, put me in a downwards spiral. However, I have managed to overcome the obstacles I have faced and am now feeling stronger than ever.

 

During this time I also had ankle and back injuries which has caused me to experience severe anxiety that I’m now getting treatment for. I have gone through operations, over 50 hospital trips, dozens of scans and rehabilitation for my multiple injuries.

 

Due to my health issues and my focus on enhancing my wellbeing, physical exercise has always been my main focus. Working in the health and fitness industry for over 7 years, with many stop-starts because of my health issues, has had a big affect on me as I really love what I do, and there is an emotional/mental toll of having the uncertainty of being able to continue with it during my flares. Still to this day I may wake up and feel sick and not know why, not be able to do anything including things that may seem really simple. However I am grateful for being alive, well and healthy in myself.

 

When I came across WEM I knew it was something I had to join. Seeing other people that have been in the same position and still trying to figure out a cure I couldn’t turn a blind eye. I’m so grateful to be apart of such an amazing team and bunch of strong beautiful individuals.