I feel like I’ve lost little pieces of myself along the way, literally and figuratively. Maybe they were pieces I didn’t need because I don’t feel as bogged down as I did a year ago, but it hasn’t been an easy road.
Ulcerative colitis took my health and my running for almost two years.
Poison in my body for a year.
One year spent almost entirely on a treadmill because I was so sick.
Married to the treadmill.
And then came the big one. My colectomy. My colostomy bag. The end of being a whole person (in body, not in spirit). No turning back.
Little, innocuous purple spot.
Post-op surgery #1. That purple spot seems A WHOLE LOT bigger now.
4 drains coming out of my body. A stoma I couldn’t look at for days. Barely able to walk. My life changed forever.
Mom took me for a walk every day until I could walk far enough to see the beautiful mural on my floor.
I felt like a freak. I didn’t want anyone to see me, see my stoma. But then my loved ones asked and I suddenly didn’t seem to mind. They marveled at my new “gear” and how fast I was recovering and I started to find my strength again, without my colon and with my new bag.
Ladies and gentlemen, this was Rosebud. She gave me my life back.
I ran outside again. I started my doctorate program. I got back to the business of living. The love of my life gave me the confidence and support I so desperately needed to push forward.
10 mile race? Piece of cake!
And I finally showed the world what colon-free and kicking ass looks like!
Catch me (& Rosebud) if you can.
I felt brave and strong. Until I was in the ER. Until they didn’t know why. Until I was faced with surgery #2 before I was ready.
The ER is not the place to be with a stoma, I promise you.
And then I was back on 14 North. And my Mom was here again, holding my hand, brushing my hair, protecting me. It was like a nightmare.
And she walked me again. And she and my Dad and JB talked me down from the ledge day after day. No matter what anyone said or did, I felt broken.
Back to the drugs.
Here I am. Two months post-op from my second surgery. Five weeks from my last procedure. Feeling like myself again.
No bag. Just scars. Getting healthier every day.
I feel like I’ve been to Hell and back. Back for all the world to see. To tell other patients that there’s life after surgery. That this disease DOESN’T have to hold you back. That only YOU hold you back.I would have never gotten through it alone. I tell everyone about my disease, my surgery, my journey because I refuse to hide. I will NOTbe silenced. I will NOT be ashamed of my disease. I will NOT be the reason someone else suffers. I have colitis. I had a colostomy bag. I have a J-pouch now. And I