Digging deep into the past is something Ive always avoided. This illness has taken me on such a journey I sometimes find it hard to express how I feel about it all..
Ever since my 1st ever hospital admission Ive always focused on bodybuilding. Being the best I can, it never occured to me how ‘strong’ Ive managed to be whilst dealing with everything.. I always find myself relfecting back onto things. I find myself wiping away tears of a thousand emotions, tears of devastation, pain, weakness and tears of happiness. I find motivation from this, I find focus it makes me so determined, to better myself.
I never forget the 1st time I was admitted in, being wheeled into a ward full of women.. everything in the room just stopped I started to panic, I couldn’t breathe …. everything become REAL. I was begging my mum not to leave me. The feeling of not knowing is always something someone with a chronic illness has to deal with, I mean I was terrified and was yet to find out that colitis in fact was a life long illness with no cure.
I had many panic attacks during this admission and I really felt after that hospital stay i was strong, especially after counselling. All my other admissions I hadn’t been faced with a panic attack… until my latest hospital stay with my ileostomy surgery.
I had the biggest panic attack, it came on so quick I didn’t know what was happening to me.
My stoma nurse suggested it was time for me to change my bag on my own.. with a mixture of sickness, nerves and pain which wasn’t controlled.. bang a panic attack happened and wow it was very hard to clam me down.
After curling into a ball with all my curtains closed i remember thinking how has this happened? IM STRONG, im emotional strong.. clearly I wasn’t. That night I just broke down uncontrollably my body image was destoryed, my feminine body had been cut into and a bag had been slapped onto my stomach I spent the night feeling very down, even though my partner was telling me how beautiful I was, I didn’t feel it.
I woke up the next day and just faced my fears, i peeled away my bag and looked down at my swollen stoma with stitches all around it and felt sick.. like how is my small intestine now outside of my body? i took time cleaning it.. worried sick Ill never be ‘myself’ again. I thought Ill never bodybuild again how could I with this? I was regretting agreeing to the surgery….
I looked up, around at the 4 closed Curtains, the hospital bed, my hospital bag and my portable dvd player and it just clicked no matter what the future holds ill never be in fear of being admitted into hospital with a crippling flare, and putting my health and life at risk.
(Heres little Dory now ! 5 months on!) 1st ever selfie … Never thought I would post this!!
My dieased bowel was gone.
I smiled, I felt a overwhelming feeling of happiness, tears rolled down my face. I looked back down to my stoma and whispered ‘thank you’ I may not have my back right now but in time ill be healthy, happy and hopefully achieving everything I want to do in life. Im close to 5 months post surgery and Im healthy, happy and achieving so much more than I could even before my surgery.
(Im now a fitness ambassador for a http://www.protimefitness.co.uk … yes with a bag toooooo! )
No regrets, my bag has given me my life back and im proud to wear it.
Ive come to the realisation that I now know why I only had panic attacks on my 1st and recent hospital stay, and it was the unknown, the vulnerability, the fear of what will happen next?
Accepting your stoma can take time, adjusting with it can take time. Don’t rush it.
It will come, never let this illness stop you in your path.. knock that wall down and smash them goals!