thefirstcaro: (lois & clark)
So like I said, I had my surgery on January 10th 2008.

What they did... )

How I live now... )

A stoma, whethere it's an illeostomy like I have, or a colostomy (where is when you still have some of your large intestine), is not the end of the world. It's not a bad thing. I know, you're might be thinking I've only had mine a year, it's a bit early to be telling other people how to feel. And I would never deny anyone their feelings about it because it is a big deal and does take some adjusting. I suppose in my case, it helps that it wasn't an emergency thing. I had time to think about it and realise that this was the only way I could ever get any semblance of a life back. I suppose the biggest thing it's given back to me are oppertunities and hope. It doesn't define me. I have a stoma. It doesn't have me. The scar on my stomach and the beige coloured bag to the right of it are actually things I'm proud of and I don't mind looking at them because I think they just make me a bit more interesting. Sure, some people might be put off by them but that's their problem. It'll make things interesting in any future relationships, and I have no problem in explaining them, but if any guy feels it's too much to handle, then fine. Go away. Because as upsetting as that kind of rejection is, the bigger picture says that I've been through too much to settle for that kind of nonsense from someone who wasn't around for the main event and would be benefiting from my awesomeness since the cure!

Like I said, the point of these posts isn't to be all TMI, but to show just because something isn't always talked about, that doesn't mean it can't be a positive thing. Information is power, after all. And maybe these posts will go out there into the ether and have a knock on effect and do some good. I don't know. But I do know that I got the chance at life that I prayed for on some really bad days and nights and I want to make it count. I want to make something good out of what happened to me. Because that way, it's my bitch and not the other way around.
The thing about Crohns is that it's a chronic illness and can affect anywhere in the digestive system. So it might come back in another place. I can't control that and I'm certainly not going to sit at home fretting over it. I don't have the time anyway because I have things to do. And it's a really brilliant feeling.

thefirstcaro: (little women laurie jo proposal)
Today is January 10 2009. On January 10th 2008, I had my panproctocolectomy and I got my life back. It's hard to believe that a year has passed since that surgery because I've managed to get back so much of what I had lost in the previous three and a half years. I'm going to post about this because without seeming like I'm tooting my own horn here, I'm proud that I came through those years of hell with my sense of humour intact and my sense of self. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't let it break me, that I'd somehow keep my spirit alive so that when I did rejoin the world, I'd have a better chance of getting back in step with it. I didn't want to be bitter or broken by it, I wanted to be able to appreciate what I had gotten back. If that sounds like teal deer, I'm sorry so I'm putting the rest of it under a cut that people can just scroll by. But another reason I want to post about crohns and life with a stoma is to maybe show that just because you have sometime different about you, it doesn't mean you don't have something to offer or that you can't have a life and go out there and do what you've always wanted to do. Crohns didn't hold me back until it got very severe which meant I had to have a permanent stoma. But that doesn't mean the end of me, it just means the beginning of a different me who has a different perspective now on things and maybe that's good. It's no harm to see things differently. Though if there had been an easier way to gain this perspective, I would not have minded that at all!

So here's how it was... )

This is a bit long so if anyone cares to read part 2 about life with a stoma, I'll do that in another post.

thefirstcaro: (superman returns icon 1)
Both wounds are now completely closed! The nurse came and said it needed no more bandaging. She was also very impressed with how quickly it closed considering that the bigger of the two wounds was 10cm by 10cm and 5cm deep when I came out of hospital in February. We honestly did think that it would be the middle of summer before they closed. It is by no means an aesthetically pleasing scar. There is a thick angry red line that starts about half way in my mid section, then becomes a smallish dent (where the smaller of the two wounds was), then more red line until you get across from my belly button where there is a deep dent (the bigger wound and the line continues down to my pelvis. So not pretty but the dents should sort themselves out in time and anyway, I think it's beautiful. Because it's me and it just makes me look more interesting. The redness will fade over time and I have bio oil to put on it so a bit of TLC will help that baby well along! And I much prefer to have a scar than to be housebound and in pain.
And no more bandage meant that today I was able to have a proper shower. The waterproof dressing used to irritate my skin so I had to have the ordinary dressing and I couldn't get that wet. I don't want to make it sound like I haven't washed in months, I have. It just took a bit of organising and care. Of course then after the shower, I kept checking to see if the ostomy bag was peeling off and about to leak after getting wet. I heard it could happen but so far so good. Anyway, when I was drying my hair, I made sure to dry the bag with the hairdryer as well so we'll see. And anyway, it's easy enough to change if it does leak.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to do one hell of a happy dance!


thefirstcaro: (Default)

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