Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I am allowed to grieve

Yes, of course I am happy to be alive.

Yep, someone recently told me I shouldn't complain about my surgery or stoma because I should just be happy I am alive.  All I have to say about this is this:

OF COURSE I am happy to be alive. I am thankful that I got through something that some people do not. I am grateful for that. But, and listen to the but, I am allowed to adjust to this new life. It has only been 10 months… and for 3 of those I thought this was a temporary thing… 10 months of dealing with something most people will never have to deal with.

I am allowed to grieve the loss of a major organ that I can never, NEVER, get back.

I am allowed to have days where I am down in the dumps and feel bad about myself and HATE this stoma, this ostomy, this bag of freakin poop on my stomach.  It's not easy to deal with.

I have good days…heck I have good weeks! But, as with any grieving process and any life change, you're allowed to have days where it's just not OK.

And when you think, well, it's been 10 months so get over it already I give you this to think about:

The first three months this was NOT a permanent situation. Only half of my colon was removed and the surgery was a temporary thing to let my colon have complete rest and heal. The stoma was intended to be reversed.

So, we're down to 7 months.

Then, I had my hospital stays (with infection that was almost a month) and then healing from the popped stitches and infection, on a lot of drugs, in a haze, weekly nurse coming to my home… that all lasted until sometime in June.

So, my real REALITY, has really only been about 4 months. FOUR months is not a long time.

So, please.  Before you judge me or tell me what you think is okay… just think… how would you deal with something like this in such a short amount of time? It's not JUST the bag.

  • It's the weight gain from not being able to eat healthy.  Too many fruits/veggies are just not an option for me anymore.  And while I am told that this initial weight gain is expected and normal and should go back down… it's not easy.
  • It's the leaks and the constant worrying that it'll happen somewhere you're not prepared for.  It's sometimes waking up to poop all over your stomach and leg.
  • It's realizing that this surgery, while lifesaving, did not cure all your symptoms…did not cure your disease. (which, I knew it wouldn't but I was hoping my symptoms would be gone for a while)
  • It's the self confidence… or, lack of. My own self image has never been terrific so, this…being different in this way and something that is, quite frankly kind of gross, is not a confidence booster.
  • It's just… accepting everything that happened because, while I've had the disease for a very long time, all THIS…. this feels like it happened REALLY fast.
I know with time I'll adjust and it really will be my new normal. Some days I even do kind of forget for a while. But, it's going to take time. Bear with me - I am a new work in progress here. Help me celebrate my good days and let me cry, complain and maybe get a hug from you on my bad days.