It’s only been a few weeks after my ileostomy reversal and things have, mostly, been rough. I’m back at the hospital with ileas, a condition where your bowels stop working or “go to sleep”.
People keep telling me that I’m strong and amazing for enduring so much and keeping such a positive outlook but I think that the people who tell me this, though I appreciate their encouragement and acknowledgement, don’t understand quite how this kind of pain can truly paralyze you as they never really get to see it.
I smile daily because God has placed people in my life who are kind and gracious enough to absorb a large chunk of my pain and fear. I’m never alone. If my mother isn’t by my side holding my hand, looking at me through the most loving eyes, then my husband is by my side, petting my head telling me stories that will inevitably cheer me up. These two people are always around, always. But, my support system doesn’t end there; I have an older brother who treats my disease like another kink in the system that we need to fight against. He always makes me feel young again, and he’s 7 years older than me. My father always reminds me that I belong to someone; he doesn’t quite understand what I think about my disease and trial and I often think that my entire mindset eludes him, but he never hesitates to remind me that “everything is going to be ok” even when I don’t need to hear it, and subsequently he is unintentionally telling me that I will always have people who love me so much that they will fight to make this ok.
The hardest thing about this moment is the memory of good health after my first surgery. The most tempting thing to think right now is that this was all a mistake and I never should have embarked on this stupid trip to abdominal perfection; I was content with a permanent ostomy.
But, my family constantly reminds me that we are a team and we are stronger than UC can ever be.
I love my team; they keep me going. And, I got lucky because this isn’t just any team, they’re a winning team.