I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the past 16 days have been intense. On April 12 I learned I would finally be having surgery on April 30. Learning that finally I could hopefully put some of the nastiness of ulcerative colitis behind me, felt like a chance at a new beginning.
My immediate emotional response was one of elation and relief. Yes, finally it’s happening. Finally, I can get back to life. A real-life time machine, I hopefully could get back to my regular healthy life.
At times over the past 16 days, these immediate feelings have become a bit more cloudy. Doubt and fear about the surgery. The reactions on people’s faces when I tell them what I’m having done, reminds me how big of a deal this surgery is. Fear of not knowing if I’ll actually ever be able to get back to my regular healthy life. Doubt about what this will really mean for the ulcerative colitis that has been ruling my life for longer than we really know.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy to be having this surgery. But, it’s not an everyday surgery like an appendix or tonsil removal. It’s not everyday you meet someone who casually says, “Oh yeah, on April 30 I’m having my rectum removed and my bum stapled shut. It’s going to be great. Oh no, it’s not that major. It’ll be okay.”
But this is what I say. Deep down I know it will be okay. Thanks to the power of Facebook I’ve got a huge community of people as inspiring role models and examples of how great life will be without my pesky rectum. But still, you just never know.
Will my ulcerative colitis outsmart me and the doctors again and manifest itself in some other way. Will it morph into Crohn’s Disease? Will it come back and attack my joints, forcing me back on horrible medications? Will it cause the lingering liver chaos to break-out? What will it do?
Once you have an auto-immune disease, you never fully escape it. After all the surgeries, medications, and other treatments – remission may come – but it is always there, like the devil on your shoulder.
I think well, if I do everything right, I should be able to get back to life as I used-to-know-it and forget about ulcerative colitis. But, I’m no fool. I’ve got years of experience in this game. It will always be there. No matter how many smoothies I drink and how often I swear off Diet Coke – it will always be in my life.
But, all I can be is optimistic. I’ve tried to stay as positive as I can through-out this entire ulcerative colitis romance, I’ve had my heart and soul crushed more times than I can think, but just like every other lover, I’m telling myself this time will be different. I can change this. It will be better. This is my one chance to get it right.
If only I could be the one in charge. But as the 2018 winner of the Boston Marathon, Desiree Linden says “I can only control the controllables.” So this is what I’ll do. Over the next eight weeks of recovery, I’ll do everything I can to listen to my body and focus on what is in my power to control. The other stuff – the unknowns, the what if’s, the questions, the fear, the doubt – I can’t control these. So I’ll just have to move on and let these goes.
After all, I’ve got a big giant epic life waiting for me. Yeah, I think it’s going to turn out okay.