I’ve been quiet for a while now and I wish I could say my silence is because I was so busy with life and doing so well with treatments, had adjusted to my ileostomy beautifully, that I simply didn’t have time to write. Unfortunately, that isn’t what happened. I nearly became just another statistic in this fight against chronic illness. Too many of us have read the obituaries of others with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis that are supposed to be life-altering but not necessarily fatal. Nearly all of those obits say the person died of “complications” surrounding their disease, not the disease itself. Is there a difference, really? Yes, there is. Every fact sheet I can find says that although there is a higher rate of colorectal cancer and some other cancers in patients like us, none recognize the deaths from the increased risks associated with surgeries, drugs, etc. Under complications you will find things like eye irritation or mouth sores but not complications that might lead to death or needing an organ transplant.
That’s where I found myself these last two years, fighting, struggling and living day to day with those complications. What started out in April, 2014 planned as a relatively simple surgery turned into a complicated surgery with 10 day hospital stay after more than one “hiccup”. Things snowballed and 2014 turned into the year of nine hospital stays, two major surgeries, two minor surgeries, four other surgical procedures, four different antibiotic resistant infections, three picc lines, seven CT scans, stays in the ICU, acute care unit and telemetry unit. So many antibiotics and tests in so many different departments! Then there was the home health care nurse and physical therapist and insurance changes, not to mention drug changes. It was all completely overwhelming and unbelievable, even while I was there, living it.
I spent 2015 trying to get some semblance of my health and life back together. I’d been left barely able to sit up, not able to walk through the grocery store and in major pain. Fear crept in. Getting back on my feet enough to simply dress, eat, nap, make some dinner with my family or go out for a meal has taken a lot of work. I have panic attacks over everything and nothing.
When I started this blog, I wanted to help others, raise awareness and hopefully let others know that you could do this. You could still live in spite of chronic illness. Now I need to know that myself again. It’s time for me to tell the whole truth of all those complications, even if they are ugly and might not be very inspiring, because in the end, I survived. Knowledge is still power. Knowing what can happen, why it happens and what we can do about it may help someone else
Stay tuned . . .
|A few weeks before the 1st surgery in 2014. I told everyone I was having "just a|
little surgery" and made plans for a girls lunch in another month or so. I had no idea
the dangers ahead or the changes in store.