After years of dealing with painful and embarrassing symptoms, on May 7, 2012, I had my colon removed and was given a permanent ostomy.
The decision to go through with this surgery was a difficult one for me. For as long as I can remember, my mantra was “anything but surgery.” But after 5 hospitalizations between October 2011 and April 2012, I began to realize that while surgery was not something I WANTED to do, continuing on the path I was on was something I COULDN’T do.
I had been through basically every treatment available, including several new and pretty intense medications, as well as tried alternative therapies such as acupuncture and strict diets, but nothing seemed to be able to help my symptoms. I spent years of my life just making it through each day, living my life where my bar for “normal” was far below where it should have been. But I had learned to deal with these symptoms after all of those years and convinced myself that the life I was living (filled with exhaustion and constantly worrying where the nearest bathroom was) was my best life. I don’t believe that anymore. After a lot of thought and prayer, I’m now looking forward to a life of feeling whole and healthy, even without my colon.
Having this surgery gave me my life back. I no longer have to live with the daily pain, exhaustion and worry that I dealt with for years. I have discovered a passion for swimming and running that I never had to ability to pursue prior to my surgery. And I am always able to be there for my son.
I live with my husband Jarrod, our son Waylon and our crazy lab-mix Rylie. I take one day at a time as I learn to live with this disease and the repercussions that come with it.