Monthly Archives: April 2012

Ready to go

One week from today. Wow, that makes me a little nervous even typing it. But it’s really OK, I’m doing so much better as far as how comfortable I am with the whole idea, that a week even seems a little long.

This weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting with a lady who had this surgery when she was my age. It’s now 20 years later for her and she’s a mom and living her life pretty much without any restrictions.

Having the chance to speak with her really helped put me at peace with everything. I think that was the last piece of the puzzle that I was missing… actually talking to someone who knows what it’s like to go through this. I appreciated that she told it like it was and gave me some worst-case scenarios so I could be prepared, but she encouraged me that she thought I was making the right decision and was confident that I would never regret it.

She told me it’s not easy, but it’s just a bump in the road. She said after the initial recovery and giving myself some time to get acclimated to things, that I would be feeling so much better that it would make it all worth it. I went through my typical symptoms with her and I think for the first time I really tried to imagine how it will be without those things tying me down. I start tearing up even now thinking about it, because I don’t even know what that’ll be like. To not have the constant worry of knowing where the nearest bathroom is or wondering if I’ll be able to make it fast enough makes me ready to do this.

Even when I think about the potential complications she mentioned, they are definitely no worse than what I’m dealing with on a day-to-day basis right now, and even seem much more manageable. As she told me, this is an adjustment, it’s not something that will drastically change how I live my life. Once I’m past that initial recovery period, there really shouldn’t be anything I do now that I won’t be able to do then.

So now I say, bring on May 7th and let’s get the healing process started!

This decision was not made lightly

Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t just jump into things without thinking. I’m very methodical and like to have things planned out. I don’t take major decisions lightly.

I have several people make comments about me rushing into this surgery and telling me to take some more time before making this decision. Things have moved quickly in the past couple of weeks since my most recent hospitalization. But that doesn’t mean that Jarrod and I haven’t been taking this very seriously and looked at all of our possible options.

I have long had an anything-but-surgery mindset. But it was about a year ago that I first went to see a surgeon and talked about my possible options. At the time, I pretty much just went to appease my doctor and told the surgeon I wasn’t interested in surgery. Then in February of this year, I had my most recent colonoscopy and it was at that point that my doctor told me that surgery looked like my only option. I still wasn’t ready to accept this at that point, but went to see the surgeon again.

Things came to a head during my hospitalization earlier this month when I think it really hit me that I could no longer go on as I have been for many years. I’ve sort of just kept pace for years now, making due with what I have. But when it comes down to it, when I was asked when was the last time I felt really good, I didn’t have an answer. And now I’ve had a number of dangerous infections and painful joint inflammation pop up that have made me realize it’s time for a change.

So yes, things have changed quickly. Last month I would have said “absolutely not” to surgery. Now, just weeks later, I have a date already set. But this has been more than a year in the making. (Honestly, I guess it has been 13-years in the making.) It’s just taken me that long to come to terms with it. And now, I’m feeling good about my decision. Actually, I sometimes wish it was sooner than next week. I appreciate the concern and want to assure everyone that I have thought this through and am convinced that I am making the right decision.

Taking steps

I had a great time today volunteering for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America’s annual Take Steps walk. It’s a 3 mile walk that took place on NCSU’s Centennial Campus this evening.

ccfa crohns colitis take steps walk stolen colon ostomy blog

It was a very last minute thing that I got involved. I knew about the walk for a while, but in all honesty, I’m not a big walk/fundraiser person. They just don’t get me excited. However, since there are no other major fundraisers for Crohn’s Disease research in the area, I probably will get more involved in the future. But it was about a week ago that I thought about the fact that I just want to be more involved in the local Crohn’s community in general, so I looked up the walk and found out that it was this weekend. I got in contact with the coordinator and she told me they could definitely still use some volunteers.

It’s probably a good thing I wasn’t signed up for the walk because my ankle has been especially bothering me the past couple of days. I was actually concerned last night about being able to even make it to the walk because I was having trouble putting any weight at all on my ankle. But it was feeling better this morning and I’m glad I was able to help out today.

I started by helping with the bounce house, making sure the kids take off their shoes and don’t trample each other. But then they posted me along the route to help direct those walking. Not a lot of action, but glad I could be involved.

I really wish there were some other fundraiser options for Crohn’s Disease, but at this time, I don’t know of any others. That’s actually something I would be interested in for the future. Maybe I can put together some sort of charity. Hmm… ideas, ideas.

But today makes me think about the future of Crohn’s research and it makes me excited. Just the other day, one of my cousins was telling me about research being done in a lab she works at in Colorado. I think in the coming years, we’ll see some breakthroughs. I wish I had the time to wait for those to come to fruition, but unfortunately, time is not a luxury I have.

I’m proud to have been able to be a part of an exciting event today that raised over $84,000 for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis research. I look forward to being able to take even bigger steps in the future.

For more information on the CCFA, check out my Crohn’s Resources page.

The daily grind

Today is the first full day of work I have done in probably 3 weeks now and it made me realize one thing: I’m tired.

It was the weekend before Easter that I started feeling really lousy and left work early a couple of days that week and eventually admitted myself to the hospital on Good Friday. I spent the next week in and out of the hospital, finally heading home for good last Sunday. I went back to work the next day and for the most part I was doing pretty good, but by early afternoon, it would suddenly hit me how exhausted I was.

This week, I’ve had appointments in the morning, so today was my first opportunity to actually work my normal schedule. Now, it’s about 10 p.m. and I am barely keeping my eyes open to write this post. And I haven’t done anything since I’ve been home. We even had leftovers tonight, so I didn’t have to cook or really clean up anything.

This is another reason that makes me think this surgery is the right thing. I don’t think I can keep on going being this exhausted all of the time. I’m in my mid-20’s, this is the time of my  life that I’m supposed to enjoy my free time, not having to worry about kids and always getting enough sleep. I’m looking forward to having more energy and finishing up the day ready for more, not dragging myself into bed. I’m sick and tired of being, well… sick and tired.