Celebrating my independence

Today is an important day in America’s history. Perhaps THE most important day in its entire history. And whether or not you agree with everything going on in our country today, we are blessed to not be beholden to anyone, we are free to live our lives how we choose (well… for the most part), and we have a lot of opportunities available to us. I am proud to be a part of this country and I am thankful to the men and women who have fought for this country, since the 1700s up until today. We would not be who we are today without them.

stephanie hughes independence day america fourth 4th of july  crohn's disease ulcerative colitis inflammatory bowel disease ibd ostomy ileostomy colostomy freedom 'merica blog stolen colonBut on this Independence Day, I can’t help but think about the independence I enjoy in my health today. I am no longer dependent on the bathroom for hours a day. I am no longer dependent on prescription drugs and medications just to get me through the day. I am no longer dependent on getting enough sleep and rest or having to deal with be exhausted all of the time. And I am no longer dependent on a defective colon that was slowly killing me.

I truly feel that I have been given a freedom I hadn’t known for more than a decade of my life. And I celebrated that freedom and independence today by going for a 4-mile run. I will continue to celebrate my independence by being active and eating and drinking what I want and going out to watch fireworks where there will likely not be easy access to a bathroom. And I’m not going to be having anxiety in the middle of it.

And I know there are many pros and cons for having an ostomy, as there are for living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis without an ostomy, but for me personally, I no longer feel like I’m a slave to something. Sure, my ostomy is always there and it will always be there, but I have never felt like I was unable to live my life because of it. When I was dealing with severe Crohn’s symptoms, I felt like it ruled my life. I had to plan my days around how I was feeling and what my symptoms were like that day.

So on this day, I celebrate Independence. The independence of our country and the independence from being sick. I am so thankful for all of the freedom I have been given.

God bless the ostomates. God bless those living with IBD. And God bless America.

Coloplast’s new ostomy bag

I tried out Coloplast’s new Sensura Mio bag today. I haven’t used it long enough to give a real review, but I wanted to share a few of the features I have found so far. I’m excited to see that new and better ostomy products are becoming available!

If you want to try out the new Sensura Mio ostomy bag, click on the free samples link in the sidebar.

Pounding the pavement again

Ever since my race back in April I have not been very good and keeping up with my running. I think I needed a break after the race, and then shortly after we went to Italy, and once we got home from that it was hard to start it up again. I have gotten in a few random, short runs, but nothing significant.

I said to my husband the other day that I needed to sign up for another race, just to motivate me towards a goal. Unfortunately, since we’re just moving into the heat of the summer, there aren’t many races around here in the coming weeks and if I sign up for something in October or November, there’s not much incentive to start training for a few months. So at the moment, I am left to motivating myself.

stoma colon ostomy ileostomy ileoscopy hospital procedure IV stomach stephanie hughes stolen colon crohn's disease ulcerative colitis inflammatory bowel disease ibd blog ostomy running run jog race train exerciseI feel a little guilty now when I talk myself out of going for a run. I think it’s because I spent so long wishing I could get into something like running, but was unable to because of my Crohn’s, that now that I am able to, I feel bad when I just don’t want to. Plus, the longer you stay out of it, the hard it is to get back into the habit of doing it. I think it’s more about discipline for me than it is about being a good runner or even being in shape… although I would like to be both. It’s really hard to make yourself get out of bed before the sun is even up and go for a run, but I also don’t want to waste a good portion of my life simply hitting the snooze button.
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