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Meet a Girl With Guts: Carole

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Hi, my name is Carol Hedrick and I live in Los Angeles, California. I am 41 and I have ulcerative colitis. I've always had like IBS and through college I had like one huge accident. It was in overalls, by the way. It was really fun. So I knew there was something going on. It wasn't IBS. I was like this isn’t like appendix or some other random thing. And the question that I was given was, how has ulcerative colitis affected my life? What is a specific story that I can add to that? And when I was going through this question, I thought to myself, cuz there's a ton of events where ulcerative colitis just jumps right in and changes my story. But one of the first ones that altered my career choice was back in 2011, I was taking workshop classes at a improv company that I had longed to get into, and I finally got into, and I was really excited. I was on like the third level and it was called the Groundlings. And I started getting really inflamed throughout the whole workshop process. And this is about four months, and you meet twice a week and it's long, it’s like five hours, and go through all these different scenes with different people. But one of the things about acting workshops is it’s really rude if you leave in the middle of a scene. So I often was waiting in the hallway, missing scenes, but I was always listening and learning from what was going on, and I was always “present.” But I would get urgencies consistently during this workshop. And it was, um, very upsetting for me because it was embarrassing and it was starting to happen. Before then I was kind of able to hunt for bathrooms and I had like control. And then I started realizing, like, no, I don’t ...I don't have control over this. This is affecting…I don't have any control of how this is going to be in this workshop. And so, it went on, the workshop was wrapping up, and the teacher does an evaluation at the end. And he specifically shared to me, ‘Well, because you weren’t present, because you missed class, you can't proceed to the next level.’ I said I was here every time. He's like, ‘Well, you were still not in the room.’ He wasn’t a very kind person about it, and, it kind of was a slap in the face. And thus began realizing that a lot of people in the industry I work in, which is, I'm an actor. They don't care about your personal conditions. Often, you just don't tell people your health issues on set. You just don't because you're easily replaceable. I, uh, had to take some serious steps to realize that my life is not all about career. And that was a huge life lesson that's began that journey of finding what joy really is, funding your joy in the day, realizing it's not all about career. Now of course, you know, I'm really grateful that I have been given the opportunity to learn what joy is and finding Girls with Guts was part of that. It was huge, huge for me. I mean, that's one of the other ways it’s affected my in a huge way was I'm active. If I want to enjoy being in nature, I've gotta -- what do I need? I'm not as like roughing it. I don’t, I can carry toilet paper with me and antibacterial gel, and all that kind of crap. But, you just don't want to. But I'm grateful for where I’m at now. And my career's much different. I do a lot of things at home. I'm an artist, paint, I do voiceover still and I do acting stuff when I get it. I don't pursue it as much because it just, you know, the older you get too, the more you realize what's more valuable. Living with ulcerative colitis does affect your life. Please do not say that you can go back to things as normal because your life does change and that's not bad. That's not good. It's just how it is. It is chronic, it’s a chronic illness. It does not go away. Find the joy in your day.

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Duration: 4 minutes and 22 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 0
Posted by: ibdgirls on Apr 27, 2021

We wanted to ask IBD/ostomy patients, "If you could tell one story about living with your condition, what would it be?" These were the results!

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