Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Comfort Crohn

 When I started writing this blog, about 2 and a half years ago now, it was to fill my time.
To keep me amused after my surgery and to keep my mind active and focussed on something more constructive than daytime TV. I was mind-numbingly bored and recovering at home after having had my first (to date) major Crohn’s surgery. I had a bowel resection; which to the uninitiated is a procedure whereby the surgeon removes a small part of the patients’ bowel and intestines, the aim being the subsequent removal of the most badly affected area of disease.  In my case the operation was thankfully a success and the most badly affected part of my insides ended up in a surgical waste disposal somewhere rather than killing me from the inside out.

It was a terrifying time in my life and being in and out of hospital was a whole new world which was relentless and depressing in equal measure. I was unbelievably relieved to be granted this operation which I’ve been consequently advised after the event; proved to save my life. I was expected to come round from the operation with a stoma; I didn’t, another fact I took as a victory. I was gushing with joy (and the morphine was wearing off…) at the outcome of my surgery. My scar now remains to show how far I’ve come since then. It’s more like a proud battle scar in my mind now than something I initially saw as a repulsive eyesore. It all seems a lifetime ago at this moment and I am incredibly grateful I’ve been nowhere near as ill as I was back then. I’m not under any illusions that I won’t be in the same position in years to come. I’m very aware that due to that pesky incurable aspect of my condition, I will most likely get worse rather than better and that any further surgeries I may have to undertake will be decidedly riskier than the first. But I know how determined I have become, and that I will run the risk of anything to make sure I can be as healthy as possible and can make the most of the life I am so lucky to have.
The reason I’m reliving all this for you is not to be maudlin and self-pitying, but to reiterate to anyone reading that there are always going to be trials in your life. However small or insignificant they may seem compared to others, and you will always be tested. How you deal with those tests is truly in your hands. You can allow yourself to lie down to the challenges in your life and let yourself be steamrollered into the ground, or you can choose to be bolder than you thought possible and face hard times with enthusiasm and hope.

In the last few years I’ve been uploading these posts it’s become apparent that many of you enjoying reading my writing. Being Scottish and therefore practically incapable of accepting a compliment this in itself is a bold move for me to admit. I’ve discovered how much I love writing; and this blog in particular. It’s like a public diary for me (without all the explicit stuff, and by that I obviously mean how many Jaffa Cakes I can eat in one sitting) and a form of therapy in a way; to know many of you feel as I do, disease or not, serves to remind me I’m not insane. And that I’m not alone. So I suppose this post is really just to remind you all the same thing. My wonderful friends and family have shown me in the last few weeks that I am truly loved. It feels good to be reminded, because sometimes its necessary. I want to spread some of that warmth your way. Whoever you are, you are not alone, the feelings you feel are real and things are never as bad as they seem. There is always someone willing to listen if you are willing to talk. Open up and let someone in. I mean that in the least sexual way possible of course. My Dad might be reading this.

And it’s 12 by the way.
12 bloody DELICIOUS Jaffa Cakes. My proudest achievement to date.

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