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.
But 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.