You’ll have to excuse the completely unrelated photo, inbetween looking like a homeless woman and having the baby kicking around like they are stuck in some sort of prison, I didn’t manage to get a good photo showcasing my 9 months post op stomach.
I don’t quite know where to start, because the outcome is fairly obvious – I’m pregnant, therefore the surgery was a great success.
The intial first weeks following surgery, as you know, were extremely difficult. I was unable to walk properly for at least a month and was relying on people to take care of me. I lived in my pjs (so nothing has changed really) and just kept hoping that each day id wake up and be able to do a little bit more.
A lot of people have wondered the most obvious question, what was your first shit like after surgery? I’m not gonna sugar coat it, it was how I imagine child birth will be like and I still have Vietnam flashbacks of the trauma. But despite the gas masks needed and watching the cleaners go in like the monsters in monsters inc when they bring back a childs item and have to be quarantined, things only got better.
6 weeks after surgery me and john travelled to crete. I was extremely nervous flying because all previous flights have been a nightmare fuelled with anxiety and holding in a fart that may or may not be a shit alongside my vomiting. But both flights there and back were relaxing and amazingly non eventful, there was no sickness and no anxiety in spite of the fact I thought I was gonna have a blood clot and die before I made it to sunny Greece (6 weeks is the minimum you are able to travel after major surgery *unless it is avoidable* because of risks of blood clots due to the pressure).
September came around and from what I can recall I don’t think I even thought about my surgery or my crohns. I was still struggling after a large meal however, needing to rush for diarrhoea exactly 30 minutes from ingestion (like clockwork) and had a mediocre pain. But instead of an on going flare up, it would be 5 minutes of intense flaring and then gone for the rest of the day/night. I got back into a normal routine, and we were now officially settled into our new home to start the rest of our lives.
With the positive changes of my body, being able to get through days/weeks/months without vomiting and being able to eat without any consequences, my anxiety had completely disappeared and my mind was so positive, enjoying every minute of health. A lot of changes were made because of how one surgery gave me the opportunity to live a life without crippling fatigue, daily naps and morning sickness.
Nights were fuelled with alcohol, good food and the friends that have stuck by me throughout all my life changes. It’s a difficult thing going from an ‘ill person’ to a ‘healthy person’ because its not just your body that changes, your mind and your outlook changes aswell. What I’ve found has come from that, is friends that were there when you were ill seem to be non existent now you have a life of your own, now you are independent and are able to look back at your choices and decisions and see what is really the right thing for you to do in life, seem to put out others.
A little like Munchausen syndrome, you come to realise that without even knowing it people around you influence your illness in multiple ways and only when you escape the cloud of ‘being ill’ or being the friend ‘with a disease’ you find the friends that are willing to carry you on in your ‘new life.’ Some people won’t understand the changes you make in your life and why you make them, they don’t understand how something that seemed so comfortable and secure, something that seemed like a great environment and relationship can suddenly…not be.
They’ve known you having fun in a world where you are ill, where your life is built around being ill and the consequences that that illness carries. When you suddenly become healthy and your mindset is completely different you start to completely change, you change the way you enjoy your life, because it’s suddenly so healthy, long and fulfilled and things that once made you happy when life didn’t seem so full, now become burdens, they are reminders of your ‘old life.’ The things that once seemed good for you, in hindsight, only unknowingly influenced your illness. Whether that be mental or physical.
That is the part of following the light at the end of the tunnel that you don’t know. You’ve always seen the light at the end of the tunnel, but what about when you get there and you are ‘on the other side?’ It really is a whole new world, a whole new you.
The hard part is accepting some people and some things aren’t meant to be in your new life, not out of anger, hatred, spite or anything negative but purely because they don’t understand the complete transformation your life has taken. The same as you find new things, make new friendships and find completely new joys in life.
November comes around and surgery legit is a distant memory, I have no symptoms of my Crohns and I have no reason to even think about it. I’m enjoying everything.
However, towards the end of November I began to get very ill, I was being sick every morning again and was tired 24/7. My health was short lived, I thought. Untill I decided id tempt fate and piss on a little stick, yknow for the fun of it. Three tests later, three positives later and 6 lines later, it wasn’t my Crohns returning with a vengeance, it was a new living being sucking the life out of me.
I had surgery to give my body the chance to carry a child, with a limited time for fertility it was dire to go ahead with having my bowel resection if I was going to be able to get past that dreaded first trimester. The doctors had determined my Crohns was the reason for my miscarriages and so when the first trimester came and went, that was the ultimate acknowledgment that told me everything I have endured, was worth it, it worked.
Surgery was the best decision I have ever made.
Anyone who thinks surgery is a scary thing, is the last resort and the worst outcome possible, it was the BEST decision I ever made. (Although perhaps second to dumping some ugly drug addict when I was 19, haha)
I am now 22 weeks pregnant, entering my third trimester and I was warned my crohns will most likely make an appearance, and it has. From 18 weeks till now my crohns has reared its ugly head, but unlike anything pre-surgery it is manageable and non-threatening. The flares come and go, and although I have a few accidents here and there it is nothing compared to pre-surgery days.
Crohns is incurable, it will always be in my body, inbedded in my DNA and therefore it is expected to have some good and some bad days. It is expected to have flare ups and suffer still even though the severely diseased bowel has gone. But for now, I am having a baby and that is all I want. I may be ill again once she is born, but that’s okay because she’s here and my body allowed me to grow her.
Life is great, my health is great (most of the time) and for 9 months post op, I’d say there’s nothing I could possibly say, nothing that could possibly happen, that would make me think that having surgery was a bad decision. (Even though I went bat shit crazy during).