Hello again. It’s almost 3years since I had life-changing surgery for Crohn’s Disease. Around the start of 2011 as a new year had begun, for me it seemed like the end rather than a new beginning. I was utterly hopeless and the idea that I would have to go through horrific surgery with the possibility of months of recovery, a colostomy bag and a life-long scar was almost too much to bear.By the arrival of my operation I was seriously ill. I had, within the last 6months prior rapidly gone downhill. I was not eating (it wasn’t physically possible) I was in gut-wrenching agony every day (no form of pain relief could touch it), I couldn’t sleep, or walk further than a few steps without almost passing out, and most vitally; id mentally given up. Now don’t get me wrong here, I was depressed yes; but I hadn’t given up on life. At least not on the lives of others anyway. I was completely in love with my partner and adored those around me to the point of stalker-ism, there was absolutely no way on Earth I would have considered doing anything to cause them heartbreak or upset. What I mean is that I had reached a devastating point of acceptance. I had come to see that nothing would change for me – no medication or treatment had worked, in fact things had escalated to the point I couldn’t bear getting out of bed in the morning, so I couldn’t see what the point in moaning about it was. This in my mind, was my unfortunate life now and I simply had to get used to it.
The pain was unbearable and frequently reduced me to tears, I felt I had to try and find a way to fit my life around my illness – get to and from work, hold down my job and maintain some semblance of a social life, all the while trying to hide the fact that I felt that something was slowly but determinedly ripping my insides out from the inside.
Everyone knew. I was and always will be; a hopeless liar.
I gradually came round to the idea that not only was this operation essential; it may actually serve to make me feel better. This seemed such an unlikely resolution that I chose not to focus on it and instead worried intensely how I would cope with a potential colostomy bag and how brutally unattractive I’d be with a massive scar down my front. I really needn’t have worried; on either front. I didn’t end up with a colostomy and my scar hasn’t put my partner off the idea of jumping my bones on a regular basis no more than perhaps having my head and limbs removed might. (That wouldn’t either). I’ve come to accept my scarring as a part of my body now, much like my long and decidedly repulsive E.T style toe. (Although that particular toe-acceptance took more than 3years).I relay this story to mainly remind myself that giving up never solved anything. I have felt low since, and I’m sure I will again, but accepting those feelings is where I will always fall down. And stay down. Myself, and anyone else in my similarly diseased boat must remember never to give up hope. It may feel that you are fighting a losing battle with your body but try not to think of it as a fight – that way you are constantly setting yourself up for a fall. Crohn’s is an incurable disease – it will always have the upper hand, but YOU have a functioning mind and, (depending on your religious persuasion), soul; if you choose to use them positively they will always win out.