After 3 years of living with Ulcerative Colitis my body decided to reject every medication available to me at the time, in 2014 I was told I needed surgery one day and a few days later… I was giving my consent for the operation and wearing the trendy blue gown to be wheeled down to theatre. I was not scared at this point, but was hopeful of what life I was going to live with my stoma. I didn’t have much time to think. My only thought was getting back to playing sport, as long as I could do that with a stoma I was happy. Adjusting to life with a stoma was no problem, it was recovering from the surgery gaining strength and mobility was the challenge for me.
When I first had my stoma, I was on top of the world jumped at every opportunity I could, I took part in a marathon, got involved with charity work, back playing my sport again and starting a new job. I had my life back for the first time in a long time. When you get that feeling, you just cram all the things you missed as a teenager in. Having a condition such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease can take years from you as you become so ill, your life was around toilets, medication and hospitals. But I was desperate to get them back, do the things I missed however…
I am now 23 years old, two more surgeries later in 2016 and 2017. My recent surgery was planned unlike the other two. I personally think having a planned surgery gives your mind more time to go into overtime, thinking about every little detail whereas before I just went along and didn’t ask many questions. Having that trendy paper blue gown on again I was scared, more anxious and of course a real grump to my family. I still smiled and waved good bye to my mum, dad and sister who are always there before operations even though I was petrified. Operation went well, new stoma was made, but things this time are different for me, I am more cautious and nervous about this stoma. Is it because it was planned? Is it because it has been my third in 3 years?
I personally think that planned surgery effects your more mentally, in terms of more time to think raises anxiety levels and in some cases planned surgery could be done key hole. My planned surgery didn’t involve a laparotomy when my 2 previous surgeries that where not planned I was cut open twice in the same place which leaves quiet a big scar on my abdominal.
Everyone’s journey is different, like I lived life to the full and still continually do, but being at this point you realise you don’t have to do all these fantastic things, just doing day to day activities being with family, friends and partners is what it is all about.