“Hello, I am Constanza Canales Poo, I am 26 years old, I am very bad at talking to the camera, I am very embarrassed, so I made my torpedo. Able to read all the time, but I want to tell you something. “
Thus begins the video that this young woman from Temuco shared on social networks and that in a few hours went viral. It’s about eight minutes of registration where exposes a complex health condition that plagues her for years: ulcerative colitis, which can even put a person’s life at risk, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Constanza narrates in the video that her first symptoms were mucus, bleeding, and a lot of intestinal pain, something that has been increasing over the years and that he has taken her to the emergency room every two weeks. “There they told me everything. That it was a mental thing and that it was giving it color ”, explains the young woman, who has suffered uncomfortable situations due to this.
“It happened to me that I could not get to the bathroom and I did. It is terrible and I am very frustrated. My life has certain limitations ”, he confesses about the disease, which he describes as“ little known ”.
“It is an inflammatory bowel disease and it is not as well known. There is a kind of taboo, in which people don’t talk about going to the bathroom, they hide it. They say ‘I want to pee, but they don’t say I want to poop’ and it should be so natural to say it. People make it look shameful and it doesn’t have to be that way, ”he affirms to Page 7.
Due to the pandemic, Canales had to travel from Santiago to Temuco, where his parents live, since he is a population at risk and from there he comments on what is the most difficult thing he has had to live.
“The most difficult thing has been living (laughs). I can’t work and if I leave my house, I have to know where there is a bathroom. It is something that I cannot control ”, he comments, adding that travel by public transport becomes a real ordeal, especially at rush hour.
Due to this situation, Constanza developed a deep depression, for which she was even hospitalized.
“I am with severe depression. I was hospitalized for the same in a psychiatric clinic, because it was such a level of wanting to die from this disease, that they had to intern me. I have had anger, grief, frustration, anger, also guilt, for how expensive this is, for what I produce for my parents. It makes you so angry that you become angry with the world, “confesses the photographer.
However, it also indicates that hope is another of the feelings that overwhelms it. “Every time I start a new treatment, they say ‘this is going to work, it’s going to go into remission, your pain is going to go away and you’re going to stop going to the bathroom’, but no. A week goes by and it’s over, ”he says.
For the same reason, doctors prescribed corticosteroids to cope with frequent and intense pain, but these have caused other adverse effects, such as weight loss. “Everything is out of control. I really don’t know what to feel anymore ”, added distressed Canales, who since the beginning of the disease has lost about 20 kilos.
Despite the difficult picture, Coni considers himself a strong person. “I don’t know if you can learn to live with this. It is not easy to accept it either, I am just trying to accept it. In my mind is that I am braveHe says, referring to a passage in the Bible.
“There is a verse in the Bible, which is Joshua 1: 9, that says that God commands you to be strong and brave and that’s how I feel, because I have gone through so many exams (…) I try to wake up every day and I try to want to live“He expressed to our environment.
And on this path there are a number of people who have been a fundamental pillar to stay on their feet. “My dad, my mom, my older sister, her husband, my younger brother, my immediate relatives have given me a lot of strength”, he says, adding to his friends that “they have always been helping me get ahead, sometimes getting up from my bed, so that I want to live,” he says.
Another important support comes from the Fundación Crohn Chile, which provides help in this type of case. “They have been a seven with me. They write to me every day and now in a pandemic they leave me the remedies at home. Their help has been incredible ”, he thanked.
For now, and as explained in the video, Constanza needs a colostomy to lead a normal life. “There are three to four operations that first consist of removing the entire colon, leaving a bag. Later, they would take out my rectum and if everything goes well, they will rebuild my small intestine in a third operation, “he explained.
Although for this you must overcome another obstacle: the cost of such operations. “It is a lot of money and my isapre is very bad, it covers almost nothing. And I don’t have insurance, because as I have a pre-existence, nobody accepts me ”, he comments.
Likewise, he added that “my parents are very indebted, they have had to ask for several loans for my hospitalizations, emergencies, colonoscopies, endoscopies and blood tests ”.
For the same reason, a friend motivated her to create an Instagram campaign and thus raise funds for the surgeries, where the video was the beginning of a solidary chain and achieving unsuspected results for the woman.
“I said, maybe some people will see it, a maximum of a hundred. And it began to increase, increase and increase. The support I have received has been enormous. I never thought it would be this way. A financial support and a lot of love. This has been incredible, ”she said.
Too there are several entrepreneurs from the Araucanía region who have squared up with the young woman, to offer your help through social networks. While she shared the details of her father’s account, where anyone can make their contribution. “Even 10 pesos serve”, she concluded gratefully.
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Nelson Canales Vasquez