Saturday, March 15, 2014

I had a very disgusting night.

I'm giving everyone fair warning. I'm about to talk about some gross shit. As opposed to not gross shit I guess. Whatever.

It's been a month since I've written. The one fabulous thing I did was get LASIK!! OMG! So freakin' great. My eyes weren't bad to begin with but to me they were. I was about 20/40 and -2.50 in contacts. My last checkup was 20/10!!! It is unreal to wake up and be able to see, and shower and not be blind or me to think I'm going to get some bacterial infection every time I would shower with contacts in. Yes, I know, but it happens. So now I can SEE!! I have a part of my body that isn't failing and causing me issues. I don't even know what to do about it. Wow. And daughter #2 broke my glasses the day after surgery. And I didn't even care!! =)


*** Grossness beginning***

So aside from my spectacular vision,  I have had the usual nonsense with living with a temporary ileostomy. Trying to figure out how to slow my output so it's not nasty water pouring out of me but not so thick that it'll cause issues. Yeah, I haven't found the right fix yet unless you count eating potato chips everyday. No kidding. The lomotil I have as a Rx doesn't quite do it. The Imodium is a joke. But if I eat chips everyday I am the closest thing to comfortable as I can get. Sleeping with an ostomy bag full of liquid is impossible. It sloshes around. It weighs 2lbs. No joke. It is truly disgusting and you are aware of it for every single second you are trying to "relax" and get some sleep. It doesn't go together well, hence I'm a #tiredhag.
Traveling with an ostomy is a nightmare for me. We went away for spring break for a week and I have to plan and think about so many things with an ostomy. I have yet to find wafers that don't blow and leak constantly so needing to travel and carry with me enough supplies by guessing what I could possibly need is a lot. You can't get anything at a drugstore. So I get paranoid and half a suitcase is ostomy supplies. I came close to not having enough this time. I started to panic over the weekend and came up with a plan to contact an ostomy nurse at a hospital in town. It would have been my only option in a pinch.

My ostomy was at the forefront of my mind every minute I was away. At the beach(especially), while we spent the day at a theme park, when we went to dinner at my parent's friend's house. Dealing with an ostomy incident away from my house makes me crazy. It makes me neurotic and upset and just so AWARE that I have issues. I love the beach. I could park my ass in the sand for 5 days straight and be fine. It's not the same dealing with this. It's hard to handle a wafer blowout in the sand. My enjoyment level is down. I feel restricted in my life. I know so many of my IBDer friends have permanent ostomies that they chose, or in some cases, had no choice. And I commend them for their day to day. I am amazed by those that scuba dive, run marathons, go camping etc... I can't picture myself doing any of that. Not in my condition. Not with the skin issues I have, the wafer issues I have and the output I have. Some days I'm afraid to run to the store because my wafers have been leaking nonstop.
So vacation was fun. I LOVE going away but at the same time felt the impact of what I have going on with an ostomy. We went to Universal and I had an explosion before we got into the park. That doesn't set my confidence level very high for the day. I hate that. But I enjoyed Butter Beer in the World of Harry Potter. ;)

So we get to the last few days. My rectal spasms are back and are so uncomfortable. They bring me to tears and it takes A LOT of pain to bring me to tears. I've built up a pretty high tolerance for pain over the years. My skin is raw. It's weeping, it's bleeding. My output is water. (Keep in mind "they" say a good output is mush like oatmeal. Yeah, right. Maybe about an hour every few days if I eat chips consistantly.) So I've been going through wafers like crazy. I try to hold off changing them very soon even if I know I have fluid that has leaked under and is eating my skin. The tradeoff is my skin getting eaten off in one small spot, or my skin getting ripped off from the wax in a larger area.(The wafer is wax and it melts onto your skin to seal it. They are meant to stay on easily up to 5 days so getting one off after a few hours is horrible.) It all sounds so fun doesn't it?? Wooooo-friggon-Hooooo!
All of these supplies are VERY expensive so making them last is important. I spend way too much money on all these supplies. So sometimes I suffer through the pain of a leaking wafer just to get another day out of it. I know that sounds nuts but I've become so accustomed to some sort of pain or discomfort that it isn't a big deal anymore.
Well today was just the suck of the suck. Burning skin. Spasms. Water output nonstop. Those things and changing a wafer DO NOT MIX. On a good day, once I get the old wafer off I can get cleaned, prepped and a new wafer on in 60 seconds. On a day like today I have no chance against the power of the small intestine's peristalsis. It won't stop. And with it being all liquid it makes it impossible to get the area dry before putting the new wafer on. So tonight with my skin burning so bad I couldn't take anymore, I managed to peel the wafer off, taking some skin with it. Here's a nice visual.


 So my skin's bleeding. I'm trying to get everything ready with one hand and deal with my skin with the other. Well, then the explosions started. I am not kidding when I say the force of the smooth muscle in your guts is insane. You will never see it unless you are *lucky* enough to have part of it sticking out of your abdomen. Mind you, you can't feel it doing it. It's creepy. There are no nerve endings. So I don't know its leaking until it hits skin or I see it. Tonight I was lucky enough to have that pain in the ass spray 2 feet across the bathroom. More than once. Absolutely amazing and completely disgusting at the same time. There is nothing to do to stop it. It was everywhere. Like a gross horror movie.
So after showering, barely getting the new wafer on before it sprayed again, I had to bleach the bathroom. I'm living the dream. Some days, like today, it is so apparent that this is my life.
 I will never NOT have issues. I know that sounds so negative but even getting reversed to my JPouch will not be fool proof. If it was I wouldn't have this ostomy again. It's a crap shoot, so to speak, and some days it feels like I have a short term issue and I'm just waiting for it to resolve itself. But the truth is, I have an autoimmune disease, I'm missing a major organ that you need to live well and be healthy. NOTHING will replace my colon or do it's job. And most people don't realize how important digestion is to their health. They don't know the impact of IBD. I know I've said in the past but, I've had people ask me very confused HOW I was anemic. Shitting blood in ridiculous amounts for months straight isn't something that occurs to people and even if it did they don't really get how much damage it causes.

But to all my healthy readers, how horrible do you feel from one night of diarrhea? From a week of the flu? Run down. Weak. Fatigued. Hurting internally. Imagine that every day of your life. With blood. With abdominal pain that sears through you like a hot poker. It's devastating. It's debilitating. It can be embarrassing. I'm generally a pretty confident person, but I will say my ostomy reduces that. My weak, fatigued body reduces that. My poor body image from weight fluctuations reduces that. And for me that is huge. SO when I have to fight with an ostomy, and have it halt my life the way it can, I know pushing to get reversed is what I need. I can be in pain anywhere. I can deal with that. I've done it. When an ileostomy wafer blows, and you have a mess and you are in the car, in the mall, at the beach, in a plane, that's what is halting and what is beyond my scope of handling.

I've been dreaming of my reversal. I'm so miserable like this. Hoping to get scoped in April. If it looks good, I want my reversal as soon as my finals are done. I'll leave school and drive to the O.R.
Sorry for my long windedness. Sorry for being Josie Grossie. I guess sometimes I glaze over the reality and how much it can suck and I just needed to put this out there. I smile and live my life and TRY not to let this whole mess of my life hold me back. I think I do pretty well, but tonight just hit me too hard. When you have a moment when you are alone and feel humiliated to yourself, you know that's something big.
Live well everyone. Be well. Love your guts and don't take your health for granted. Don't take having nothing hindering you for granted. Thanks for reading. XO.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"Perseverance, secret of all triumphs."

Hey everyone,
I wanted to write within a month of the last one but, well, honestly it's the same shit. I'M TIRED of hearing it so it seemed ridiculous for me to put it out into the universe. But hey, here I am. Since I last wrote my skin has gotten worse. I'm blowing wafers left and right and they aren't cheap. I'm talking a box of 10 over a weekend and wafers are made to last upwards of a week. I've requested some new products and hoping they work better. Something is off this time where the right wafers are NOT working with my body this time. I know after so many weight fluctuations and surgeries, my abdominal landscape is very deformed. Nothing is flat. So my wafers aren't sealing properly. It blows. I have what feels like the worst sunburn you can imagine, then will adhesive and wax that bonds to the skin that you continually have to tear off sometimes multiple times a day. And it itches. I want to tear into it but I can't. I won't post a pic because it is just awful. It makes a person extremely assholey to be that uncomfortable all the time, 24/7. Yes, no typo. Assholey.
So because of the assholey feeling I'm stuck in, I didn't want to write. I want to hide. Well, I don't truly but I do because of this crap.
My classes started. I'm taking 2 on campus and one online. I feel overextended most days. I could sleep til noon everyday. I sleep like shit. I look like shit. I'm run down and listless. Walking up the stairs hurts. From the amount of output from my ostomy, and the consistency, food is blowing through me and I'm probably absorbing nothing. I've had labs and they all show electrolytes are god but I don't feel right. I don't feel healthy. Aside from skin issues, that's my main issue. If I had energy and slept well the skin issues wouldn't impact me the way they do. I'll take my Jpouch over this. That's saying something because if you've been reading, I was really having issues with my colitis. But they way I see it now, my body HATES ostomies. My skin hates them. My ostomy is like a turtle head. It recesses back into my body and with that, behind the wafer hence mucho leakage and mucho acid eating at my skin. So because I'm a jackass, if I'm going to have discomfort, I want my vanity. I want convenience. I want my JPouch. Yes. I said vanity. I have little for the most part which is evident in me voluntarily getting an ostomy. I will bet 99% off people would not take that route for vanity. But whatever. I did because sometimes I can be a bad ass bitch and I bit the bullet. Well, surgeon says it looks like I'm healing well internally. He'll knock me out and scope me in 2 months and figure out my reversal back to JPouch. Another week in the hospital. Another chance of ileus. Can't wait.
But I'll do it and hopefully PREVENTING the inflammation will prove to be a better option from trying to get rid of it. Because that didn't work. AT ALL. Hence my situation.
I'm thankful for my husband that puts up with all this nonsense from me. I love him. I'm lucky I have him in my life. I'm sure many days he wants to slap the bitchiness right out of me. Many days. MANY.
So patiently waiting for new supplies. I will update on if they work, and hopefully they will. We are going away in March and I'd like to travel somewhat comfortably and not have the trip ruined by blowing ostomy wafers. Springing a leak and having to change in an airplane bathroom sounds like the least fun thing to do on vacation. Nah, I can think of a few more but regardless no fun for Lisa.
Ok everyone, it's time to go lights out. I have an early class that goes long and mornings and me are not besties.
Hope everyone is staying warm. This winter is just dragging. XO

Monday, December 30, 2013

Who's life is this anyway?

Well, it has come to this. I waited a bit after surgery to write because I just wasn't up to it and have not been really happy with everything about myself.
My week in the hospital was HORRIBLE. HORRIBLE. It took forever to get going because my one surgeon AND the anesthesiologist got stuck in another surgery at a different hospital. So I sat around like this, in pain, for HOURS. Hungry. Anxious. Freezing. In asshole Christmas socks.

But then they finally showed up and I got good drugs. Oh and 2 units of blood. Naturally. My hemoglobin was in the 6s. Yeah. How I don't pass out on a regular basis is beyond me. 
****Do me a favor people. Donate blood. Even if it's once a year. I've officially had enough units to replace 100% of my blood volume. And I've never been able to give back because of meds or because it's too close to the most recent transfusion. So please. Go do it for me.****
Then it was go time. Slice and dice. Again. Done. Over it. 



Post OP they could not get my pain under control for almost 48 hours. I was at a 10/10 the first night into the next day. I wanted someone to just shoot me in the head. My PCA wouldn't light up fast enough. My EVA from WALL-E. A little magic button of pain relief. Here I am stoned. Yet still in pain. It just wasn't enough.
I can't even describe it. Internal pain, external incision pain, pain from the new stoma, my stomach screaming at me because it hadn't had anything in it in almost 48 hours. Not even an ice chip. If I could have strangled someone with my IV lines I would have. But it hurt too much to move. Plus it's really tough getting an IV going on me so I didn't want to risk losing one. While I was under the anesthesiologist gave me a "back up" IV because I blow IVs like it's my job with my shitty little veins. Then I crossed into ileus which is when your guts aren't entirely awake yet after surgery. Paralysis. So they gave me the ok for liquids and I couldn't help myself. JELLO!!! The apple juice was the greatest thing I'd ever had. By this time I hadn't eaten or drank in 3 days. Here is what sent me into a personal hell for 48 hours. Mind you that's about all I ate. Maybe 3 tiny bites. And I paid for it for 2 days.

 The intestinal pain started because some things were working and some weren't. Then I started barfing my brains out. Violent and disgusting. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced and I'm pretty sure I wanted to die. Again. I missed getting an NG tube by the skin of my teeth. That's when they put a tube down your nose and throat into your stomach and suck everything out so you aren't getting sick anymore. I just couldn't handle that on top of everything else. So I kept puking and crying and dealing with the pain and sickness hoping it would stop. My colorectal surgeon gave me until the next morning and then I was getting one put in. The ileus has the same symptoms of a blockage so he was getting worried. My nurses must have thought I was nuts. They told me to get one. Easy for them to say. Luckily it passed. I could sip a little bit while on Zofram and Phenergan and be ok, so I got through it without one more invasive event happening.
So then finally after the 5th day I felt like I was moving toward recovery. I was finally walking and Hubs and Daughter #2 joined me with her balloon gloves.

Anyway- I've been crabby. This hospital stay crossed some emotional line with me. Maybe because it was multiple procedures in one. Maybe because I thought the hospital sucked. Half my nurses thought I'd only had a hysterectomy. The other half an ileostomy. In my week there I didn't meet one person (aside from my surgeons) who were aware I had multiple procedures in my surgery. One shift of nurses didn't even acknowledge my OBGYN as a doctor. I needed a new gown and was so out of it. So on one of her visits she buzzed and asked them where the gowns were. They pointed. Oh yeah. Pointed. That went over like a lead balloon. She proceeded to stay with me for an hour just talking to me. Changed my gown herself and took care of me. She is seriously the best doctor I have ever met. Popped in on her off Saturday with her DAUGHTER to check on me. Her partner was on call but she came anyway because she was worried about me. She's amazing. But I digress. I've been feeling beaten and defeated. I don't want to do this shit anymore. I've had it. I've had it with recovery. With being cut open. With scars and pain and hospitals. HAD IT. My FrankenBelly is worse. It is hideous. They cut through scar tissue so it just aches. My stoma is bleeding around the outside. Here's my new Stupid Stoma. I will say having already had one, the adjustment to it has been leaps and bounds better. I'm emotionally removed from the event. I am having some minor skin issues but I think I'm top of it since I've done this before. He moved it closer to my belly button this time which kinda pissed me off because it's really hard getting a good seal on your wafer with the crevice of your belly button so close to the stoma. But I'm small and he has to put it in a certain spot based on abdominals (that I barely have anyway) so his choices are limited.

It hurts all around it internally. I have sharp internal pain where my sausage fallopian tube was. It's probably just tissue that's healing but it hurts likes a bitch. I don't know. Sometimes I seriously don't know how the hell I continually go through this crap and keep it together. I'm close to losing it I think.
I was going to go to NY after Christmas to go to my Aunt's wedding. Then the surgery got pushed to December so I couldn't. The wedding was last night and seeing the pictures today have made me really sad and really prompted me finally writing this post. I'm sick of things interfering with MY life and what I want to do. So I missed my Aunt's wedding and I'm sad about it. I don't DO anything. My pain and surgeries and issues rule my activities, or lack thereof. WTF am I doing? I know I've said it before but it seriously like years of my life have slipped away. There's always something that is a roadblock to me living. This year Christmas was a wreck because I was in recovery mode. So I couldn't do what I wanted. I've lost almost 10lbs and I'm tired. I'm dehydrated. Making dinner killed me for 3 days. I definitely overdid it last week with my mom and stepdad here. I didn't even do much but I overdid it. What was I supposed to do? Lay in bed with people in town? I mean what the hell. Something has to give. Not to mention what I spend on meds and now will be spending on ostomy supplies for the next few months. I'm in a funk. I hate myself. I'm exhausted. I'm hurting. It's another month gone. Another winter I didn't go to a tropical island with my husband. Another event I missed.
On top of it, I have incompletes in my classes because I couldn't take my finals. So I will have to deal with that in the next few weeks. Kind of nervous. The hiatus probably did nothing for my retention. Sucks. Just sucks.
So yeah. That's me. Crabby. Cut up. No motivation. I feel more broken than ever. And you know what literally feels like a stab in the chest? I shouldn't say it because everything is relative but that fact doesn't change how it makes me feel. It kills me when people complain about the smallest thing. It's really hard to hear people complain about how absolutely miserable they are with a head cold, their flight is delayed or whatever when I'm stapled shut AGAIN and my kids and their holiday impacted by that fact. People take their health for granted so much. Take their abilities for granted. Jumping up and playing with their kids. Spending hours making cookies. Shopping for that perfect gift. Actually being able to get on a plane to travel. I'd take a 7 hour delay to be able to go away but it seems I never can. Pop some alka seltzer for your cold. Have some drinks at the airport and people watch. Be grateful you don't have chronic pain. Or have been gutted more than once. Or have kids who are used to you being sick and in the hospital. =(  Sorry, like I said I know everything is relative but I can't help it. I would have killed to have had some of the "problems" some people have had over the holidays. That's my reality. I don't know when it'll change or if it ever will. I don't know that this temporary ostomy will work. Maybe my guts don't know how to be healthy. Maybe my pouchitis and flares will come back after my NEXT surgery. It's all a crap shoot. I know this though... at some point I will do what I want anyway whether it be while in pain or during recovery or whatever because I have had it with my life not feeling like mine. I go days without going outside. I've become the anti-Lisa. I am so far from who I was and I can only hope that these years of bullshit haven't erased all of it. I already feel a big part of me not caring. Of letting opportunities pass by because it will take so much out of me to make it happen. That was never me. If I won a vacation tomorrow there is a part of me that wouldn't care. That would assume I couldn't do it, or it would be too much work or I'd get there and not be able to do what I wanted. It sucks. That negative fog just keeps trying to creep around and win. I just need one good stretch of time where I don't have any issues and I know it would go away. I just need to get there. Maybe in 2014.
Thanks for reading. Hope everyone had a wonderful whatever holiday they celebrate. Happy New Year.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Deja vu all over again.

It's been a few weeks since I wrote. I have been hesitating to write until I figured out everything with my surgeries and could just do one post. It is also Crohn's and Colitis Awareness week this week and I've been blasting Facebook with posts nonstop with facts and articles and pictures.
I am a few days out from another surgery. Monday at 1030a I will be having an O.R party with not one, but TWO surgeons. Hey, when I decide to do something, I do it big. So my OB/Gyn will be there to take out my girly bits that will no longer be baking anything and are not faring well with all my GI and autoimmune issues. If you've been following, my immunosuppressants have caused advanced precancer cells to form faster than normal and something has caused my left fallopian tube to blow up like a sausage. So that's fun. You don't think about the relationship all your organs have with each other until one is missing. They are all millimeters away, support each other and share connective tissue. Take something away and that change in anatomy and that void causes things to shift, no longer sit in the same position and can cause issues. For many women, their uterus' tip dramatically post colectomy because that support is no longer there. That can then lead to horrible periods with extreme pain and blood loss. So all things considered, it's coming out. If they would take my spleen and gall bladder I'd let them do that too. But they won't. =(

So on Monday, my Colorectal will open me up and separate everything from my guts and Jpouch then my GYN will take out all my cash and prizes, leaving my ovaries so I don't turn into a menopausal maniac. Although, hot flashes would be welcome as I am always freezing. ;-)
After she's done, my Colorectal is coming back to give me another temporary loop ileostomy. I'm not really happy about it because the goal was always to have a Jpouch but my chronic pouchitis has progressively gotten worse and is antibiotic resistant plus the cuffitis causing pain and bleeding has gotten to be too much. My pouch needs to rest and heal and it just can't while I have all my plumbing hooked up. As long as I have that 2cm of tissue left I am prone to flares. So essentially I'm having a UC flare in 2cm of what's left of my colon. And my mouth is full of canker sores again so that's pretty typical of my colitis flares. Not fun right now for me. Not at all.
So Monday will be a little tag team surgical party. I know how to be sick people. I do it UP!!!!! On a positive, the weather is downright freezing so I'll be nice and stoned in the Hossie.
My surgeon is hopefully going to go in through my old ostomy scar. It worked ok, I wish it had been a bit lower but oh well. Needless to say, the ostomy nurses at Pre Op marked me. Over my scar. Phew. Good thing. Now my surgeon will know where to go in! :-/
If you have time, check out all the stuff online regarding #IBDawarenessweek. There is a lot of info out there and awareness=understanding. There is a lot on FB, twitter and Instagram. Tomorrow is the last day so it's been nice timing for me to reflect on what I've been through and how my struggle continues. I can't help but wonder at what point will I feel normal. Not have doctor appointments be every 6 weeks. Not have a bathroom drawer full of meds and topicals. Not spend hundreds of dollars on Rx copays. Not have to choose between my pain and pain pills because I have to drive, or do homework or be alone with my kids. Not have guilt because I'm a sick mom. Not look like shit because I'm a #tiredhag. Not have my hair fall out because my nutritional absorption sucks. Not be anemic. I could go on and on.
All I can think going into Monday is that this is what's going to work. I'm not nervous because being cut open doesn't phase me anymore, but I'm upset. I'm upset I have to go through an ostomy adjustment AGAIN. Mentally it will be easier this time, but physically it will still suck. And how many times can I get cut open. I was lucky that my scars healed so well, but there's no telling what the rehealing will do to them. FrankenBelly part deux. My weight will fluctuate again. I may be chronically dehydrated again and almost be blacking out every day. Plus, there are no guarantees. I could get reversed in a few months and all the pouchitis and cuffitis could come back. And then it was for nothing. And we don't have a plan if that were to happen. I refused to discuss anything further than this surgery and letting my guts heal.
I planned on spending this weekend doing last minute holiday stuff before I went into the Hospital but we got hit with nasty weather so there won't be much driving going on. I really need a pedi. And a bang trim. I can't get admitted looking all crazy!!!!
Ok everyone...I will be back post Op. I'll easily be in 5 days and I'm sure I'll have lots to share when I get out. Have a great weekend everybody! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thankful November

There seems to be a thing going around on social media where every day someone writes something they are thankful for this month. The idea is great. Truly it is. I don't have the dedication or attention span to do something every single day like that. I tried the October photo challenge on Instagram and failed miserably. Day 5. Oh, Day 17? Ok.
I will say this for this post. I am thankful for a lot. Despite the shitty hand I've been dealt and continue to get dealt I have some very wonderful things going on. There are so many days it is hard to see them through the fog of pain, the reality of illness and doctor's appointments and focusing on the negative. I'm sick of being tired and in pain. I'm sick of not going to beautiful places and traveling. I miss the salt air. I actually miss working out. I hate running one errand and being wiped out for an entire day. Then there comes a day that pulls the veil and makes everything feel so wonderful and in that moment, I forget I have anything to bitch about to begin with.
As much as I'm thankful that I had many years without so much as a sprained ankle, migraine etc... the last few years have definitely made up for it. So I'm thankful for a pain-free childhood and lived my 20s like I had to burn myself out on purpose.
I have my supportive husband who puts up with all this drama, and me being crabby and in pain, and not fun on many occasions. We don't go on vacation because I suck. Our outings are short lived. I'm pretty useless with heavy lifting situations and I'm usually in a drug induced coma at night if Daughter #2 wakes up. I have two healthy, beautiful, perfect girls. They are goofy and crack me up. I have a great family that I don't see nearly enough because we are scattered all over the country. I have childhood friends that I will always have a bond with and no matter how much time or distance, I know they will always be there.
Since moving to Texas I've met some really great people. I have friends I've met through my kids and through my Husband and I love those couple of gals. They know who they are. I enjoy the sunshine almost everyday, and Daughter #1 loves her school and all her friends. If this state wasn't run by a bunch of conservative, Republican douchebags and was on the ocean it would be perfect.
Specifically, today I am thankful for the internet and my IBD struggle. Yes. Thankful. Friday I got to meet up with a fellow gutsy girl that I met online through a support page. We slowly formed a friendship and we came to realize some similar interests outside of our guts.
Both of us being JFK nuts was one of our common threads. We met to see the movie "Parkland" and seriously it couldn't have been a better way to transition to "real life" friendship. It was like we'd been friends for years. We went to lunch and we probably could have sat there for 3 hours shooting the shit about whatever. And yes, we DID talk about our issues, but the best part is we didn't HAVE to. In fact we talked about that at the very end. After lunch, she left and I wandered around some shops killing time before a doctor's appointment and I realized, at one point, I felt really light. I just felt GOOD. I mean, I was still in pain and what not but I felt this weird sense of completeness I haven't felt in a while. Then it struck me that this was someone that understood me on more levels than anyone I'd met or known in a long time. There wasn't just the our-kids-go-to-school-connection, or the IBD connection, or the our-husbands-know-each-other-connection. It was really that sweet spot of both of us having this illness that brought us together and yet, if that illness disappeared we'd still be cool. It was almost as if you have this friend and then you both get diagnosed with the same thing so you just "get it". But you can still just be because you each understand so you don't need to explain it. I don't know. I hope that makes sense. Whatever I'm saying is, I'm thankful for my IBD and the internet for bringing me to this point where I have this friend I never would have known otherwise. She's not the first "friend" I have now because of my illness, but she's the first I got to meet up with. I had a pretty shitty couple of days around that pocket of a couple of hours, but somehow it wasn't so bad. I won't even get into those details right now. Thanks, Casey. Glad to now really know you in real life, so when I say "my friend" it doesn't just mean a name or face in my laptop. So I'm thankful. =) Have a great day everyone. Happy Birthday to the USMC today and a big thanks to all the Veterans tomorrow.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Broken. Just broken. For now.

I guess my goal lately is to go at least a month in between posts. Not intentionally but it keeps happening. Pretty much health wise things are chugging along. Got another scope by a different doc to tell me the same thing as last time. Severe ulceration still. Some nasty fissures causing pain. Muscle spasms are back to piss me off. Couple that with the abdominal pain from my engorged fallopian tube and I'm just in pain daily. Basically nonstop. Discomfort in so many areas. There are days I'm not leaving the house unless necessary. My pain pills dull it and I'm content to be under my electric blanket and zoning out. Some days it takes everything out of me to go to class. Running errands wipes me out for the day. It's just so pathetic and ridiculous. I had to take Daughter #1 to the doctor and it struck me how much time in the last four years has been eaten up by my medical issues. I've put in some solid time. Time I could be traveling. Reading. Hell, vacuuming would be better. Ok, maybe not, but it's just such bullshit. I was driving along thinking what do I have to show for four years? Let's not reduce the importance of having my child, naturally, but really. Not much. A lot of laying on my ass with zero drive or with too much pain to accomplish anything. I got pissed. Just that angry, upset pissed and the tears just come.
I'm 36. My time has slipped through my fingers. So much of it without any joy in it. Just days of pain. Hospitals. Doctors. Driving to doctors. Filling scripts. Getting tests. I've fucking had it. There's nothing I can do either but keep going and keep thinking that there will be a point where I'm just real and whole and healthy and not broken anymore.
As shitty as it's all been, that is still MY intention. I don't look at myself as this sickly, forever disabled person who will be trapped with this crap forever. My reality speaks to the contrary but maybe I'm an idiot. I do feel broken many, many days. It makes me sad. It's this weird feeling of losing life. Your 30s are FAR from old. This is prime time baby, and I don't have the body to make it happen. That pisses me off more than I can describe. You know when you get so drunk on Friday night and you sleep all day Saturday and all of a sudden it's Sunday and you are pissed that you basically missed your whole weekend? Well, that's my life. Saturday night I went out for a friend's birthday. I laid around all day to conserve energy so I would actually make it out(Yes, if I had so much as gone out to eat, run to the store etc... there would have been a good chance it just would have used my reserves and I would have bailed). We met for food(I didn't eat. Just not worth the risk) and then went to a bar with a DJ and a band for 80s night. We all had crimped hair and looked crazy and it was fun. We get there and the music was just so great. Those of you who know my drinking/partying/out all night/dance all night days know I loved it and it was my favorite thing to do. We would go dance for hours! Well, seriously two songs in and I'm lightheaded. I've got pain shooting through my abdomen. I'm just trying, trying to smother it and be ME and have fun. But I can only fake it so much. There were a couple points I thought I may hit the floor either from pain or exhaustion. In the middle of all those people smiling and dancing and drinking and LIVING, I was HATING myself. I just felt so broken. Like who the hell am I kidding? I almost left in that moment but I couldn't. I wanted to make it as long as I could because me being there was so rare. I don't go out and I don't even mean drinking or whatever. I don't really have many friends here or go to dinner or happy hour or yoga class or book club or whatever else normal, social people do.
Not too many years ago I had things to do every night. I was either out doing things with Dillan or out doing things with friends. I was rarely home. I have NEVER been a sit at home person. I was actually surprised I got invited because I had only met everyone once prior to being invited out. It felt nice. I didn't want to be lame and let my defective body win. So I milked my Captain and coke and danced as much as I could and had a lot of fun. I'm glad I went. I miss that part of me but indulging in the old me just casts resentment on the bullshit I deal with now.
Three years after filing for SSDI and being denied three times, I finally won at my hearing in August. So in two years my case will get reviewed to see if my heath has changed. It's a weird feeling. It felt good to win after fighting so long and them being so stupid in denying that IBD can affect a person's life so much. On the flip side, I don't think of myself as being so useless. Even though it's reality. I tried to work part time and I was in so much pain and it was so hard. To be this young and have the smallest things drain you is so difficult. <sigh>  But I guess it's nice to be justified in this way. I expect in two years at the review I'm going to be perfect, and healthy and as figured out and normal as possible and pick up my life where I left off a few years back. I have vacations to take and shit to do, people. Big time. I'm less than a month out from another surgery. I've got issues separate from that that I don't see resolving before then. So this should be interesting to say the least. Nothing I can do but meet it head on but it doesn't mean I have to like it. Thanks for listening to my boo-hooing. I've had over 10, 000 hits on my blog now. That amazes me, so thank you! XO

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Long and winding road....

Hey there. It's been some time since I've written. To be honest I just didn't want to write the same old crap because nothing has been changing. Life is still going on while I am still in pain, on meds, struggling through my days and trying to participate in life when I generally want to stay in bed. I have felt numb the last few months. Fed up with my issues. Feeling inadequate and like a failure. Feeling depressed and like a burden to my family. My two year old knows to find me in bed a lot. She's already used to the reality of her sick mom.
 Aside from summer life ending(pretty uneventful), potty training with Daughter #2,  Daughter #1 starting swim and school again, it's just been the same bullshit with me. It's really brought out the NY bitch in me quite a bit. I'm definitely no southern belle.


 One big, outstanding thing is that I had my Social Security Disability hearing in August and I won! Yep. After being denied since 2010 and being told I'm not sick despite surgeries, daily meds that make me less than able to function and chronic issues, I finally got in front of a judge who very quickly put forth judgement in my favor. I cried. It was a big deal. I'll finally be able to get some income while I'm figuring out how to get myself back in working order. The added stress of not contributing to my household didn't help my already unstable self worth. I'm not built to be dependent financially on someone. I'm just not that girl. I like my money. I like financial confidence. So this will help.
I feel like the fight went on forever. Redundant paperwork and bureaucratic nonsense. So obnoxious.
I've been having horrible abdominal pain aside from my other issues with the cuffitis and pouchitis. I am going to see some specialist at Baylor in Dallas as the meds and steroids are not doing much. And I'm basically immune to antibiotics at this point. I couldn't begin to count how many rounds I've been on over the last 4 years. It's nuts. There has been talk of a temporary ileostomy again to let my pouch and cuffitis get a time out and heal. So that surgery is looming on the horizon.
I had a CT scan last month which showed a mass and according to my colorectal surgeon it is nothing gut related so referred me to my Gyno. I got an ultrasound with my Gyno and apparently my left fallopian tube is blown up like a sausage and needs to come out. Yippee-- more surgery! I know.. everyone is so surprised. I'm going to run out of organs. A fallopian tube is about the size around as a piece of uncooked spaghetti. Mine is blown up to almost 2cm. 3/4 of an inch. So since she was going in for one, she was just going to take both. Apparently there is a lot of info out now showing that ovarian cancer starts in the tubes anyway and since I've had a tubal there's no point finding out why this is happening so we are just eliminating the problem. We also discussed my autoimmune issues, my dysplasia history and the fact that many women with IBD also have related female issues as a result. If I end up having more GI surgery it will increase my chances of adhesions and could lead to more pelvic issues so in the end my Gyno and I decided to clean me out. Everything but the ovaries are going because I'm so pre menopausal and it would be silly to put me on Hormone Replacement while I'm dealing with all these other meds. So I'm getting opened up AGAIN. Is it weird it doesn't bother me? Doesn't even phase me in the slightest.
When my Gyno saw the ultrasound she just matter of fact said she had to go in and get the tube out. I shrugged and said, "I figured". That's how nonchalant surgery and hospitalization is now. It's not even rational but it's my life.
I've been saying for a while that I'm used to pain. Well, it's not that I'm used to it as it's just such a normal part of every single day. It's expected. I'm used to it's presence not the actual pain. That sucks no matter what.
Pain changes you. It really does break down your spirit. So much of being sick isn't in the physical as it's in the mental fight. The fight to maintain yourself despite hurting, giving up activities and just all in all having your life become almost unrecognizable. I am, at times, unrecognizable. My lack of energy and lack of involvement in things is not who I am. Well, not who I was. It's a struggle and a process to not let your head stay in the "old" you. It's a process to accept and adjust to who you have become. It's hard to come up with the right words to explain that but for a long time who I was in my head did not match what my body had become. I'm 35 years old and that depresses the shit out of me. I can't just take off running. Firstly, I have zero muscle strength from my daily fatigue and not using my body. I am chronically dehydrated from that whole no colon thing. Pushing myself through the pain is the easy part. You do what you have to but it's just different when your body CAN'T. I mentally prepare for the littlest things. Things most people take for granted. Getting in and out of the car hurts. My sleep sucks and I'm up for hours every night. Getting groceries will wipe me out until the next day. It's stupid. Just 100% stupid.
I have many days I just cry at the realization that life just carries on. It is not stopping until I am healthy again. I'll be 36 this week. I'm not kidding when I say I have lost the last few years of my life. Those years haven't been mine no matter how hard I battled to control it and live it. The last 4 years have belonged to my illness. Hey, I'm playing the hand I'm dealt because that's all I can do, but I don't have to like my shitty hand. I haven't lived. I've been going through the motions the best I can given the circumstances. It's very upsetting. What's more upsetting are the people who are healthy and go through life the same way. They have no limitations, nothing holding them back but themselves yet they are content to not fully embrace everything. I'd trade one day with them at this point because I'm just so fed up. I'm ready to become bionic and be done with it.
So that's my update from the last month and a half. Just more twists and turns and yet, it's all the same. I'm not sure how that can be but it is. I want more. I'm not satisfied with what's going on. I'm not satisfied with the turns my life has been taking. It is truly hard to fight for more, for extraordinary, when it takes everything you have to fight to be normal. To go to dinner, to do a load of laundry, to blow dry my damn hair. Touring Europe really isn't in the cards when a 45 minute car ride wipes me out.
As I'm getting older the famous "Bucket List" is getting longer but I'm feeling less confident any of it will happen. And not to be an asshole, but I deserve it. This shit has been long, and exhausting and excruciating and I deserve a fucking yacht vacation in Greece and unlimited wine in Italy. So help me.... my road keeps winding and if it's the last thing I do, I'm going to pave it EXACTLY where I WANT it to go.
Hope everyone is well. Thanks for reading.
Read, love, share.
XO