“The Mirror Inside: A Journey to Finding Answers to Ulcerative Colitis From Within” is the name of her new work, a personal history about her early struggle with severe symptoms of UC, and her efforts to find an alternative effective treatment, since she didn’t respond well to any of the standard therapies for the disease.
Moreover, the work highlights the impact of some risk factors in the disease’s escalation and the consequences it may have on patients’ future lives and choices.
According to a recent press release, Zoe grew up in a stressful environment (a potential risk factor), not only at home, where she witnessed episodes of domestic violence, but also outside of the home as well, growing up in East Germany under the rule of the Stasi, a fact that she describes as “emotionally, psychologically and physically oppressive and suppressive.”
Years later after the Berlin Wall fell, she moved to the United States in hopes of improving her life. However, the conditions she grew up in back in East Germany conditioned her to surround herself with negative people and relationships, a situation that perpetrated the stress-related risk factor, which had impact on the development of the disease.
After being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, she experienced a very severe manifestation of the disease. She suffered acute chronic intestinal distress and bleeding, and her body was unresponsive to standard medical therapies used in treating UC. In addition, she couldn’t absorb sufficient nutrients from the food she ate, and her condition worsened to a worrying level of delirium episodes.
At the same time, her doctor insisted that the type of food she was eating had nothing to do with her illness, and that the only solution was to perform surgery in order to remove her colon and attach an external colostomy bag to collect waste. Zoe didn’t want to consider this option, and she looked for other medical opinions. However, she kept receiving the same answer.
The new book describes her attempts to find alternative solutions, which may be useful for other patients who find themselves in a similar situation regarding Ulcerative Colitis.
Ulcerative Colitis is triggered by different risk factors, and patients respond in different ways to the disease. More than a manual, the book is an example of one patient’s journey to understand and find the best way to live with UC.
The goal of Zoe and her new book is to “empower those living with UC and their friends and families to better understand and manage it in the hopes of achieving remission” by looking back at different attempts she made to achieve an improved quality of life with UC. Through Zoe’s story, which explores the negative health consequences of stress and toxic relationships, food, spiritualism, support structures, surgery, and holistic alternatives, a UC patient can build his or her own history.
Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is a painful, chronic immune disease of the colon that affects nearly 500,000 Americans.