Saturday, 5 November 2011

5 things (well 3..) that changed my Life

I'm cheating a bit here with this post as I'm in my sickbed and shattered and have already written too much for the first 3. Forgive me and my fuzzy head if this is all a jumble of emotions :)

1. Being diagnosed with Crohn's.
Obviously this badboy has to be top of my list (for now anyway) as i'd say getting this disease has been the biggest 'life-changer' for me so far. I was devastated when I found out this disease is for life, felt like I'd been handed a life-sentence. Suppose I have really, without the bars and the lack of decent toilet facilities. I'm still not sure I've accepted the 'life-long' aspect, only a year later, that will come eventually I'm sure but I'm still definitely not quite there yet.
However, being diagnosed with Crohn's changed my life for other reasons too. It's made me realise why I've had these problems pretty much my entire life, and that it wasn't my imagination, something WAS wrong and still us. It was such a weight lifted in a strange way to finally have an explanation for my symptoms and although I was saddened it's not something that will ever be easily resolved, it was a relief nevertheless to know exactly what I was dealing with.
Being lumped with a life-long illness has also made it clear who are true friends and who will stick by me through thick and thin (I've been both..) - invaluable information for life.

2. Having my Operation.
I am well aware just how lucky I am to have been granted an operation so early in my Crohn's 'career'. When the pain was at its worst I met with a male surgeon who reduced me to tears by telling me i'd have a colostomy "for life" and I had so many more treatments to go through before I even "stood a chance" of having the surgery I so badly needed.
I was completely physically and mentally broken by this point and this just came as yet another major set back and straight up kick to the colon. My amazing consultant was enraged by this tete a tete and rushed through a surgical meeting where she explained my mental and physical health until they signed on the dotted line. I am eternally grateful for this. And she knows it.
After my op, the surgeon told me I had the worst case of Crohn's she had seen and I would've been hospitalised in a matter of weeks had I gone on as I had been. The pain id been going through was unbearable and the change after a few hours on the operating table has been unbelievable.

3. Meeting 'him indoors'
I met my beloved many years ago when we worked together in a restaurant. We became friends not too long before we eventually became a couple. The transition from mates to 'mates' seems pretty seamless in my memory but if I linger on it too long I remember it really wasn't that straightforward. Irrespective of our beginnings we are now sharing a home with a cat over 6years later. And no it's been far from plain sailing but who's relationship is? Im still stupidly smitten as is he. Well I don't want to speak for him but he says he is and I'm pretty awesome so all the evidence is there..
The reason I say he has changed my life is mainly down to the happiness he has brought into it. I was far from a misery-guts before him, but I didn't quite realise how happy another human could make me. He makes me want to be the best I can, for me and for 'us' and the fact that I've brought Crohn's into the relationship is just, as he says, something we will have to deal with.
I'm well aware it's not the end of the world to be alone, and if the worst happened I know I'd survive (almost straying into Gloria Gaynor territory there..) but the pleasure of coming home too, and building a life with someone you love is a pleasure and a privilege too addictive to give up. Besides, his cooking is far too good for me (and my Crohn's) x

This post was written as part of NHBPM - 30 health posts in 30 days


  1. Great stuff. I feel like I could have written it myself. Good luck with the Crohn's. :-)

  2. Kathleen,
    Thanks for sharing your story and your love of writing. As a Family Physician who hears a lot about pain, it's always helpful to expand my understanding about the human side of the misery and never surprising to read of the strength of the human spirit (after 160,000 patient encounters). Blog on!

  3. Kathleen Nicholls9 November 2011 at 11:49

    Thank-you both!
    Really encouraging to hear another way the writing can help. I shall indeed Blog on!
    Hope you are both well :) x