10 Things I Thought I’d Know By The Time I Was 20

I think 20 is that age that really makes you realise you’re an adult. 18, sure, you’re legal, you can go out, clubbing, drinking… in the UK anyway. But at 18, you’re still excused for, like “oh, she’s only 18, she doesn’t know any better!” whereas at 20, it’s sort of more frowned upon when you do something that perhaps you should’ve grown out of… or known better. But really, I don’t think we ever know better. We sort of just.. adapt. Pretend, even. We create this perception of adulthood through movies and education. But half the time I’m pretty sure I’m questioning what other people my age are doing, and trying to understand it, let alone actually doing it. And here’s a few things that I still can’t get my head around, that I really assumed I would’ve learned by the time I turned 20…

By the time I was 20, I thought I’d know how to handle money. I grew up spending my pocket money the day I received it, never thinking to save up to get something really cool, often spending it on sweets. Now, as I receive each monthly pay cheque, I seem to somehow forget about the rent that’s due two weeks after, and accidentally my wardrobe gets more and more crowded.

I thought I’d know how to make friends. I was never great at meeting new people, I was never completely shy, but I was just a little socially awkward. I assumed I’d get over that 10 years later. But nope. Here I am, alone at my computer.

I thought I’d know how to pay bills. I live on my own now, with my partner, but I STILL do not understand bills. Or rent. Or invoices. Or anything like that. And I blame it on my education. Like WHY did they think it was relevant to drill the Pythagoras theorem into our heads, but avoid teaching us HOW TO ACTUALLY RENT A PLACE?!

By the time I was 20 I thought I’d have it all figured out. I thought I’d know what I want to do. But nope, here I am, sitting with my two cats wondering where I want to be in another 10 years time.

I thought I’d know how to be confident. How to stop myself picking out flaws and actually accept myself. But it’s harder than you think to do that. I still look in the mirror daily and frown at certain things that I’m just too lazy to change about myself.

I thought I’d be a little more independent. That I’d be able to stand on my own two feet with nobody else’s help. I thought frequent calls to my parents for help with money, food and laundry would be pretty much non existent. I mean, sometimes they are. For two days at least.

I thought I’d know better by the time I was 20. That I’d learn to go with my head instead of my heart. But countless wrong decisions that at one point I’ve felt so deeply passionate about have left my crying under my duvet with a tub of ben and Jerrys watching Bridget Jones over and over.

In fact, I thought I’d know MORE. But it’s okay because we have google. I mean where else are you going to go when you want to know how many calories are in the large pizza you just comfort ate to take away your troubles.

I thought I’d know how to cook. I’d never learnt before I moved out, and I just assumed it kind of just came to you when you decided to flee from your parents nest. But apparently not. I swear I’d never eaten so many microwave meals and beans on toast than I did the first few months of living independently.

I thought I’d still know the people I hung out with 24/7 in school. But these people have since become distant strangers. I think that’s the hard part of growing up. The people you felt you knew so well suddenly aren’t there anymore, but you just have to deal with that and move on.

Approaching adulthood isn’t all bad though. You begin to appreciate how much your parents put up with, and kick yourself for ever leaving your room so dirty. You can stay up all night without your mum knocking on your door reminding you you’ve got an early start in the morning. And if you don’t feel like doing the dishes, that’s no pressure. There’s also the pros of having an ID. I love being asked for ID when buying a bottle of wine (that’s something I never thought I’d drink too!) – with the shopkeeper looking me up and down, trying to determine whether I’m over 18 – only for me to hold my awful mug shot licence up against my smug little face. It’s the little things.

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10 Things NOT To Say To Someone With Crohn’s or Colitis

You may know that I’m on a few groups where people with IBD or ostomy can look for support. It’s helpful for a number of reasons, and some of the stuff posted can give you a great laugh. I’ve seen quite a few posts where other ‘sufferers’ have posted about the most ridiculous comments that have been made to them that day. Some can be quite innocent, generally people trying to help, but also, some leave you questioning…. why?

1. Isn’t it just like a sickness bug?

If you count a sickness bug as an incurable life time of medication, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bad joints etc etc… then yes! It so IS a sickness bug! Duh!

2. You’ve really put on some weight..

Well it was either get more sick or suck it up on steroids. I took the more painless option, obviously.

3. My sisters boyfriends cousin’s friend has that, they’re cured now.
That’s great, she must feel amazing to be the first person in the world to be cured of IBD. I

4. Have you tried this new product? It has amazing results and cures IBD.

Wow, why didn’t the doctors think of this shop bought product instead of making us have intense surgeries?! I bet they feel so stupid now. There is no cure. Even after an ostomy, you are still prone to disease and symptoms.

5. “I have IBS though, it’s not that bad.”

Please do some research and rethink what you just said: http://www.webmd.com/ibs/ibd-versus-ibs.

https://i1.wp.com/healthyhomeopathy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/woman-on-toilet.jpg6. I’m so jealous, you can eat what you want and stay skinny.

Yeah, I love spending most of the day on the toilet not being able to leave my bathroom. My frequent trips to the hospital. My emergency surgeries. It’s all so worth it to stay skinny. I’m so lucky.

7. You shouldn’t be using the disabled toilets.

Just because you can’t see a “disability”, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

8. You don’t look sick.

And you didn’t look ignorant, I guess we both learned something new

9. “This may have caused it…”

We have enough (literal) shit going on without being made to feel guilty about it. There is no studies that suggest anything can cause IBD. Again, please do your research before attempting to be a doctor.

10. But you haven’t done anything… why are you so tired?!

Fatigue is one of the most debilitating symptoms of IBD. It’s not just being “tired”.

The Ins & Outs Of My Ileostomy Reversal & Setting A Date For The Surgery

Tomorrow i’m meeting with my surgeon to hopefully set a date for my reversal surgery. I’m not exactly sure how soon they’re looking at doing it, or when I feel is going to be a good time to do so either, so I’m hoping they can be quite flexible, so that I don’t have to rush into doing anything. There’s a lot of things that need to be talked through (which I will write about either tomorrow or Saturday) and a lot of things I need to decide on.

As I don’t think I’ve properly written about it before, I thought I’d just tell you a little bit about what the reversal surgery entails. Apparently it is a much more minor operation as opposed to ileostomy surgery, but still entails a hospital stay of up to 10 days. I’m having a straight forward rejoin. What this means, is they will take the end of my intestine, (my stoma) and place it back into my body. They managed to keep the whole of my rectum – a lot of the time rectums can also be diseased and inflamed and have to be removed with UC – and so they are literally going to reconnect me, small intestine to rectum. Of course my digestive system will still be different to a “normal” functioning system, as I have no large intestine. The large intestine is what solidifys your stool. I will probably use the bathroom more often than others, they mentioned 2-3 times a day. Which to be honest I don’t actually think is that bad – my boyfriend goes more than that!!! (Sorry Angelo)

They’ll wait to check my digestive system is fully functioning again before releasing me, and hopefully that will be the end of my illness… Although, there is a 70% chance of me getting ill again. What I didn’t know, and I feel a bit silly for not knowing, is that UC isn’t cured by ileostomy surgery. You still get all the symptoms such as fatigue, achey joints, sore skin, irritated eyes etc, as well as my rectum becoming diseased. Should my rectum become diseased, I will be back to the hospital for a more major J Pouch surgery. What they do in this case is remove the rectum, and form a pouch out of the end of your small intestine in the shape of a ‘J’. This then works as a rectum. If some of you are unsure of what your rectum does, it is what gives you control over your stool. It stores your stool and helps you keep it in when you feel like you need to do. So yeah, it’s pretty vital that you have one if you want to use the toilet like everyone else.

Anyway, I hope this explains a little if you were unsure as to what to make of my previous blog posts. I’m sure lots of you know already, anyway.

I’ll let you know how I get on tomorrow, anyhow!

My First ‘Festival’ Experience With An Ileostomy Bag

I didn’t expect to be writing a blog about a festival, as I’ve been to a few in the past and never had a bad word to say. I didn’t actually think I’d have anything at all to comment on in regards to the day. I didn’t expect to encounter any issues. But I was so, so wrong.

One of my best friends had kindly bought me a ticket for Mutiny Festival in Chichester, which was so lovely of her. She really wanted to cheer me up and help me forget about everything that’s been going on recently. I really appreciated the gesture and went along with her to the festival yesterday. I’d worn a high neck vest and dungarees and some boots, something I knew would hide my bag should it blow up a little and something I was comfortable in.

We’d arrived at the venue and whilst waiting for others to join us, went to the pub. By the time we’d gotten back to line up, the queue was massive. So badly organised too, even the security guards and policemen commented on how poorly arranged it was. It was baking hot and we were squashed up in a forever expanding queue for two hours. It seems people had completely forgotten their self awareness and respect for others as they pushed in from the sides, groups at a time fighting for the front against those who had been standing patiently for hours. Not fun when you’re trying to protect your stomach from being elbowed by those who are too impatient to line up properly.

When we’d finally got in, I was in desperate need of the toilet. The first toilet we approached had already been completely flooded and shut off. I waited and went and watched Snoop Dogg with my friends, (the only reason we’d really wanted to go) and then went to look for some public toilets afterwards. The first set of toilets were a mess. There were no cleaners around for the whole day, and so muddy tissues (I assumed it was mud anyway – but after the amount I saw yesterday, I really can’t be sure) flooded the floor, preventing me getting my stuff out to help sort my ostomy bag out. No toilet roll was supplied once they had run out, and so it seemed I’d taken up a freelance job of handing out my baby wipes to those in need.

It was getting to the point where I couldn’t comfortably join in with everyone else because my ostomy bag was the size of a beach ball. My friend and I managed to hunt down what seemed to be the only staff of the event to ask for the use of their toilet. Considering it was taking place at Fontwell Racecourse, we’d assumed there would be inside toilets. I didn’t explain why I needed to use them, just emphasized by desperation. I didn’t feel I needed to explain, and to be quite honest didn’t want to embarrass myself trying to justify my situation. But after they denied the use of a toilet, and I’d walked away, my friend went and explained why I needed to use them so badly. They insisted there weren’t any other toilets than the ones I’d already seen, (hard to believe, what were the “VIP” using?) but a woman kindly took me over to the ONE disabled toilet across the whole festival. I don’t normally use disabled toilets as the others are normally clean enough to use, but this time I had no choice. She took me over but it was already full of others who didn’t want to use the other toilets either. The woman explained I had a medical condition to the girl at the front of the line – who didn’t take the information too kindly – and she reluctantly let me in front of her. Once in these toilets, I noticed the toilet was also nearly full to the brim with toilet roll and used tampons. I nearly vomited it was so disgusting. So instead of emptying the bag like I’d normally do, I had to take all my equipment out onto the baby changing area and completely start from the beginning with a new bag. Of course this took time. And it seemed others had noticed that too, as people vastly began shouting and banging at the door, actually threatening to knock the door down – knowing that I did actually have a medical condition, unlike them. It was absolutely disgusting behaviour. I had to leave the toilet as soon as possible, still doing up my dungarees as I left, but before I knew it, the girl behind me had swung the toilet door into my back. No body had let me pass to get out of the toilet entrance, so I’d had to climb under the barriers to get out. I was wedged in between the door and the barrier, shouting at her to stop, but the door was pushed harder into my back. My friend helped me out but I completely flipped at the girl. Her behaviour was absolutely disgusting, I couldn’t believe it.

I desperately needed a drink after that and chilled out with my friend for the rest of the day, watching the acts. But the incident had set off the day on a sour note.

By the start of the evening, two public toilet buildings had been shut off and all that was left for hundreds of people were a few portaloos.

You may be thinking to yourself “it’s just toilets”. But it’s not. When you have to take time out of what’s meant to be an enjoyable experience to change an ostomy bag that shouldn’t have needed to be because the cleanliness was so poor, alongside a group of people shouting at you for withholding their queuing time with it, it sort of makes you feel like you shouldn’t be there. And perhaps I shouldn’t have, but with the amount of live events I’d been to in the past, I really didn’t anticipate any troubles.

I’d never been to anything like this. I watched two underage people overdose on drugs before being taken away by paramedics just two hours into the event. In the heart of Chichester. Seriously? I later found out that as the queues had gotten bigger, they’d stopped checking ID to hurry up the queue. Was this worth it?Rubbish and waste suffocated every aspect of visible ground and in 12 hours not one litter picker had been in sight, and no waste bins were available. Queueing for drinks took anywhere between an hour and a half to two hours. Girls who can’t have been over 16 were begging people for pills. Had it been a midnight rave or worldwide festival, perhaps this was a little more normal, but for a small country town it was just down right embarrassing.

I’d never want to be that person that moans about a festival, I love live music, bands, the atmosphere… The acts were great, but it was just overshadowed by the lack of respect people had for the place, and other people. So many people left early, complaining about the state of the site, the respect of some festival goers and the unhelpfulness of the staff. I joined these people and went off the pub. We ended up having a 2 course meal instead. That was no festival, it was literally just an example of everything we should be aiming to repress.

I’d definitely recommend anybody with a medical condition that forces you to need the use of cleanliness or disabled toilets not to go, it’s more trouble than it’s worth. The amount of people bigging it up made it sound like Reading, but I can assure you, if Reading was anything like this, it would’ve been shut down a loooong time ago.

Or Mutiny Festival perhaps should’ve taken up the offer of help from The Fontwell Racecourse staff. I’d hate to see the look on their faces when they come back to work on Monday morning.1383782_1660777597474277_6520884371984263357_n

I’m sure many people had a great time, and of course, I had a great time spending time with my friends. But, having overheard a nearby conversation whilst in the pub, a girl summed it up right – “would they act like that at home? No. So why in the hell would you act like that in public?”

I think perhaps if they’re aiming to pull this off next year, after failing miserably this year…. They should probably have a rethink. Oh, and on the left you’ll see a picture of me smiling. And yes, it was taken before we entered the festival.

“There’s A Strong Chance You’ll Need IVF To Conceive” – The Ins & Outs Of My Reversal

You may have seen my recent blog post regarding my decision on reversal surgery; and if so, you’ll know that the subject of IVF was approached.

I was in a weird place when I wrote that post, and I think it created some confusion as to what was actually said. There were a lot of people who commented telling me about their story, their miracles and how IVF is not always a last resort.

So, just to go into a little bit of detail now that I’m coming to terms with things and feel a little stronger about what’s going to happen…

Basically, there’s a lot of theory as to what could potentially happen after my surgery. I am going to be having a straight rejoin, as they managed to leave the whole of my rectum when I had surgery for an ileostomy. So what they will do, is reconnect my small bowel to my rectum. I will be able to go to the toilet “normally” again and they said the chances are I will only go around 2-3 times a day, as opposed to the 7-8 times I empty my bag. That was fab news, as I had assumed it would be a similar situation, just without a stoma.

What I had also been told is that there is no cure for colitis. Again, I assumed that having my colon out meant the colitis had cleared. But I will always be prone to the symptoms, and there is a chance it could become active in my rectum again. I will still have symptoms such as fatigue and achey joints also, but there will not be a need for any emergency surgery. It won’t get to the point where I’m fighting for my life again.

There is a 70% chance that the colitis will flare badly again and I will become ill, and if this does happen, I will be moved in for J-Pouch surgery. This is where they take out your rectum, and create a pouch out of the end of your small intestine, which is pretty much a replacement rectum. You can then continue to go to the toilet normally.

Of course there is many risks in the surgery, and I could eventually end up with another stoma. But I am prepared for that, of course.

2dscanIn regards to IVF, I have been told there is adhesion on my bowel. This lessens the chances of getting pregnant, as it makes it more difficult to conceive naturally. I can however carry a baby and give birth. Of course, they give you the worst case scenario and by law need to inform you of all potential risks.

By having the next surgery, I will be increasing the amount of adhesion on my bowel, and there for the chances of conceiving naturally lessen again. If I do become ill again, and therefore need a J-Pouch, I’ve been told the chances are I will have trouble conceiving naturally and will definitely need IVF.

Of course, I completely appreciate that lots of people have conceived naturally, and in no way am I saying it was impossible. At first, I was scared it would be impossible for me, but after hearing all your wonderful stories, many of you have really given me the hope and support I needed. So I just want to thank you for everyone who has taken the time to send me over their stories, and any other positive information that has been sent my way.

Right now I think I’ve just got to focus on what’s right for me. I fear I’m really going to miss having a stoma, but there’s no way I can go through life thinking “what if”. For me, I’m just really excited to not have to deal with my burnt and sore skin! I’m extremely grateful though that my skin problems are the only problems I have had with my stoma, as it will leave me going into my reversal with nothing but appreciation for the life it has given me. And if I need one again, then this time round, I will be more than ready for it!


On another note, I am currently looking for contributors for the blog, this time those who have had or are facing stoma surgery, or reversal surgery. I’d love to read and post your stories for others to see. So if you have got any stories you’d like shared, please email me at hattie.gladwell@morethanyourbag.com.

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I’ve Finally Made A Decision On Reversal Surgery…

I can’t quite believe it’s been six months since my surgery. Having only expected to have a stoma for four months, these two extra months have pretty much gone by unnoticebale. I can’t say they’ve been easy though.. I think I’ve managed well, and I definitely adapted quickly. I’ve learned how to accept my body, I’ve accepted my change in weight and for once been grateful to my change in appearrance.

After having an emergency surgery for a stoma, I thought my world had ended. I was such an insecure person, I was convinced I’d want to hide away forever. But I can’t have dealt with it more differently. I got over my fear of judgement and showed myself off for the world to see. I got some negative, but mainly a postive response overrall and accepted that nobody would ever share the same opinion. But suddenly, the opinion of the outside world didn’t matter to me. Oddly enough, I became the person I’d always feared of acknowledging. I became confident.

Isn’t that funny? How I’d spent my whole life worrying about my image. Worrying about my weight; for it to eventually take the mentally deemed unacceptable to face the ultimate acception. An acception that has allowed me to live a normal life.

My loved ones feared for my mental health in the beginning, concerned as to how I’d deal with such a change to my body. I definitely surprised them when I started this blog, and opened up to what became a wide audience. In fact, I surprised myself. What started out to be an open recovery diary eventually became an insight to my life. A passion to help others and to raise awareness. It gave me meaning. It allowed me to do what I love most for a living – writing. It’s let me meet and work with some truly amazing and inspiring people. I am so grateful for all the support I have received over the last 6 months.

But for me, I feel I’m ready to continue with my journey, by taking a slightly different path. I have decided to have a reversal.

I am filled with many different emotions as I write this, but after a lot of thought, I feel I am ready to say goodbye to my stoma. It has been an experience I’ll never forget. One that honestly, I’d never have wanted but one that I’ll always be grateful for. It saved my life and showed me a different side to living. It changed me as a person. I am more truthful to myself and others around me and I feel I have learnt to be a better person. I have subsided any judgement and experienced the passion of helping others.

Lately though, I feel my mental health has deteriorated a little. As summer has approached, my ostomy bag has become uncomfortable and I have been dealing with a lot of leaks and burnt skin. I have become agitated from lack of sleep from the emptying of the bag and to be quite honest with you, I miss not having to wear support pants all the time, to fit into the clothes I didn’t want to throw away. I cry a lot when changing the bag because I am an impatient person, and my stoma is extremely active, meaning I’m getting through a lot of bags a day. There’s a number of reasons for me opting for reversal, but I can honestly tell you now that my appearrance is on the bottom of this list. Of course, I miss my old scar free stomach, but lets face it, my scars are going to sit on my abdomen for the rest of my life, and I shall forever be proud of them.

It’s important to remember that stomas are lifesaving. And I do not regret a single ounch of what my stoma has given me. It taught me everything I know now. It taught me what’s important. Love, family and happiness. It’s really not about making a lot of money and being the best at your job – I can tell you that for a fact. As I was rushed into theatre for emergency surgery, the only thing on my mind was to make sure I told every person in that room I loved them, in case I didn’t make it. I wasn’t thinking about anything else but love. And now, I will do everything I can to make sure everyone important to me knows that they are loved.

My reversal could go one of two ways. It could be great and I could live a long, comfortable life. I could get sick again and end up having a more major surgery. I could have issues conceiving naturally, but that may be a possibility with my stoma also. But, all of these ‘coulds’ are not a definite. And I can’t live life being scared of “what if”. I need to live with an open mind and take risks.

I will be continuing with my blog, and updating you as I approach reversal surgery. I am awaiting another date with my surgeon to agree on a date for the reversal, and will let you know how I am as time goes on.

I hope to keep writing over the next coming weeks, to document my last couple of months with my stoma. I will continue to work with charities and connecting with those going through a similar situation. I hope to have helped even just a few people over the last 6 months, and to continue helping as I continue on my journey. I think it’s important I keep writing, to relieve myself of unwanted stress and to keep myself sane. I want to document my reversal and my life afterwards. I hope to compare, and be some sort of indication to others struggling to make a choice between ostomy and reversal.

I still have some really exciting projects and charity events coming up, and will be selecting a date that allows me to complete what I see as an experience of a life time.

Thank you for all your kind words, support and lovely messages. Thank you for reading into my life and taking an interest in me. And most importantly, thank you for helping me love myself. I hope you’ll stick by me through the words of my next surgery experience. x

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I Met My Surgeon Today To Make A Decision On Reversal Surgery… And My Heart Feels Broken

I’m writing this blog post without the intention of posting it. I’m not sure if I’m ready to, but hopefully by the end of this post I’ll feel a little bit better about my situation. I was scared to write today, for the pure fact that I am extremely emotional, and after just a couple of hours sleep last night – very tired.

As most of you will already know, I met with my surgeon today, to discuss reversal surgery. I was extremely nervous and couldn’t fall asleep last night until around 5am, and ended up getting up at 7am to go for my consultation.

I was nervous because I assumed I’d be making my decision today, on whether to go ahead with further surgery or stick with my stoma until I knew exactly what I wanted to do. But it turns out, today was a huge information overload. Information that truly broke my heart.

And as I sit here, trembling, trying to keep the tears back, I feel angry, and lonely, and hurt. I was really hoping for some good news today. All I wanted to hear was that I was healthy. I was pretty sure I was going to go ahead with my reversal, to avoid the “what ifs?” but I’m more scared now than ever before.

I know it may seem like I’m dragging this piece out but I can’t bring myself to actually type out what I was told today. But I’m going to try my best. I’m sorry if it doesn’t all make sense but I’m struggling to get my head around it all. And to those of you reading this, with all due respect, please, PLEASE don’t send me messages telling me your “sisters friend was told this and she is fine” or that “other people have it worse”. Just please. I know that I am not the most unfortunate person in the world, and perhaps somebody you know has been through a similar situation. But this situation is unique from my surgeon to me, and is information for my body only, not a generalisation on what could have been. I appreciate every lovely comment I get, but I’m struggling to get my head around all of this, and really don’t need other thoughts and conclusions running through my mind.

Anyway.

Today, I nervously entered my surgeons office, getting ready to hear about plans for a reversal. Instead, he drew a couple of diagrams and gave me examples of two reversal surgeries. The preferred surgery is where I am just joined up from small bowel to rectum, compared to the more complicated J pouch surgery. He said for my body, this would be safest and easiest.

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But.

It turns out I may still have active colitis in my rectum, and with this surgery, there is a 70% chance I will flare and become sick again. In which case, they will then have to remove all of my rectum and perform another surgery on me.

And, I mean, I can deal with that. I’m scared, but I can deal. I need to prepare myself to become sick again and expect any occurring risks.

What I couldn’t deal with, and what I wasn’t expecting… is this…

After explaining the complications and the health risks. The surgeon then informed me of something else. And I can’t help but scrunch my face up in anger and devastation as I tell you, that today, as a girl who has only just turned 20, who has undergone emergency surgery for an ileostomy bag after being misdiagnosed for so long, has now been told that most likely, my only chances of getting pregnant will be through IVF.

The adhesion’s in my abdomen will make it too difficult for me to conceive naturally, now.

I understand people have IVF and it is a common procedure. But it was one thing I just wasn’t prepared for. And I don’t know how to deal with this because I never thought I’d have to. It really hurts. It hurts so much to be told that I won’t be able to conceive naturally. I’m sorry if it sounds selfish to anyone, but I can’t get my head around it. I’m literally sobbing, I just feel completely lost. I just wanted some good news. I don’t understand why I can’t just have some good news?

Of course I am grateful that as far as I know I can have children. I don’t want to sound selfish or ungrateful to those that aren’t able to. But for me, this news was hard. I hadn’t gone there with the intentions of this being a part of the conversation. For me, I feel like I haven’t been given the chance. A chance that one day I would’ve liked to have taken, a chance to try for a baby… naturally. I feel like I’ve had a part of my womanhood taken away. Maybe these feelings will change. And once again I really don’t want to cause any offense. But, it just feels like, every silver lining has a consequence. I can be healthy with my ileostomy bag, but I have to deal with leaks, burnt skin, soreness, swelling, and pain caused by clothing I don’t want to throw away. I can have a reversal, but that means a huge chance of ulcerative colitis coming back, of which will result in a more major surgery. And ultimately, this experience will leave me unable conceive without IVF.

I feel scared and I feel like I can’t trust anything anymore. I’m scared I’m never going to get over being ill, or in pain. I worry I’ll never feel “whole” again.

Will somebody please just pray that I will eventually come through this?

Please?

I don’t feel better yet, not from writing this anyway. But at least it’s out in the open now, instead of all bottled up. I’m just hoping time will heal.

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