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.

7 thoughts on “This decision was not made lightly

  1. Lori Hostetler

    Praying for you and Jarrod! Let me know if you need anything! Chris and I are right around the corner!

  2. Anna Aycock

    I think you are so brave! I will be praying for you and thinking of you. If you haven’t felt good in who knows how long, I am excited to see you when you do feel good! You have seemed so happy and pushed through so many of life’s chapters with this trying to keep you down. I support you 100% and will be here if you need anything at all!

  3. carl

    People dont get it … I suffered for years with out a diagnosis then when I got one my small intestines had so many strictures that nothing could go through , and the I got a fistula and that was my turning point.. I fought surgeries .But now Im so glad i had it done .. not the ostomy but .. The relief From pain and being able to eat with out fear ..

  4. Andrew

    My heart goes out to both of you. Patience love and understanding aswell as faith will be apart of recovery. You will be a different person after the surgery. And saying that accept the person you become and then build and push realistically from there. I ll pray for you. I’m following you because even though I don’t know you I feel akin. And if I did know you you’d have a world of support both you and your husband Harris. Smile it ll be fine in the end.

  5. Matthew Dobos

    Hey Steph,

    I’m glad you had a doctor who said surgery looked like your only option. My doctor’s view was different. I had been hospitalized 3 months after being diagnosed, went home after 2 weeks and started to recover. But it was one step forward, one step backward for 6 months. Couldn’t get off prednisone, and was down to taking 20mg every other day. At one visit, my doctor asked if I had thought about surgery, and that’s when I first told him how I felt about it- in short, I knew I was in the grey area and something had to give, for the better or worse. No way I was not going to spend the rest of my life at this current level. Months later I had surgery after being hospitalized with a high fever. As I was recovering and following up with my doctor, I asked him why he never shared shared his thoughts about me having surgery- his response was that surgery has to be my decision, and patients do best when they decide on their own. Old school, definitely. i don’t resent it, but it would have been so much more helpful to have a proper frame of reference from which I could use when deciding to have surgery or not. How does an 18yr old kid know he’s not ever going to get better? It all worked out in the end, but I like the process you describes so much better. Not easy to decide by any means, but many times the decision makes itself and we don’t realize it until later- that’s what happened with me anyways.


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