What gets me wound up is when people say how easy it must be to have surgery. Or why do I need to have two surgeries in the space of three months, isn’t that greedy?
Well no actually, it’s not.
The first one – my right hemicoloectomy I had done in May – was at least six months in the planning. It became a real possibly in the new year, when I finally saw a surgeon to discuss my surgeries options at that point in time with where my Crohns Disease was. Then there was testing and obviously the surgerical waiting list to contend with. Being unemployed meant I was flexible with dates so I wasn’t really bothered when it would happen. But I was bothered about why. I had a 20cm narrowing in my small bowel which was causing pain, my medication to no longer be as effective and nothing would be effective in giving me remission of Crohns until it was resolved. And only removing it was going to help, I NEEDED surgery.
I have always been told SURGERY is the last resort and I was at that point at the start of 2016. I wouldn’t have imagined how surgery would actually go nor would I have imagined I would need another one so soon afterwards. But again, I wouldn’t even realise how well I would feel after the second surgery either.
When my recovery wasn’t going to plan and I was in more pain than before surgery, my medical team finally decided to admit me to find out why. Turns out my first surgery sparks a resurgence of Crohns in my colon and it has spend the last ten weeks completely destroying it. I feel foolis for ignoring such a massive issue but did I really know about it? How would I know my colon was ulcered, full of blood and completely unresponsive? Only a scope could tell anyone that.
Two surgeries in the space of three months was tough. Not only on my body but on my mind too. I was determined that surgery wasn’t going to make me ashamed or change how I felt about my body but it did. My scars from my first surgery are tiny compared to my new 5 1/2 inch midline incision from my subtotal colectomy and the addition of my ileostomy bag is a big adjustment. I know it has given me back my life in more ways that I could have even imagined – and it continues to do so – but a bag of poo on my abdomen is a fact I still have to take time to get used to. Recovery from surgery is hard and tough and feels like it never ends – it’s beyond the physical that is the most work, the hardest to explain and the worst to grapple with – but it something I need to get through.
So why do I need to deal with other people’s expectations of needing to have surgery? How can they determined what is best for me? How can they even comment on my own personal circumstances? Why do they need to?
I know I shouldn’t let it get to me or consider responding but it just gets me worked up. People are far to quick to judge and pass comment on people from just looking at them.
How can having to have two surgeries be greedy? Why aren’t they thankful that such surgery exists to get me better? Why aren’t they proud I am embracing my new lifestyle and challenges with such a positive attitude? Why do they think these choices I’ve made these last six months are easy? They have been anything but! Dealing with crippling pain every day, vomiting, diaoreeah , lack of appetite, fatigue, no sleep… versus a very major surgery. It didn’t take me long to decide once I was in hospital to agree and consent to surgery but I dealt with its prelude for months running up to it. I always wanted to make the right choice, the righ decision, at the right time. I still believe I did the right thing. Regardless of what anyone says or thinks.