I do feel badly for those who have complications from this surgery and question their choice, especially since I think our experiences tend to help them make the decision to have surgery. However, if they need surgery, they need surgery and they also have to take responsibility to get educated on the process and the recovery. Asking tough questions of us, but of especially of their surgeon, are critical. I feel more badly for those who are extremely ill and resistant to surgery. For that group their fear towers over common sense. When I hear that a UC patient has had to quit their job, go on disability, stop leaving the house, etc. I feel great sorrow. There is such a rich life post surgery that if they could only meet me face to face they would see the potential.
Oh Chassity...you're just such a caring little thing!
I believe that with any surgery there can be pros and cons. Everyone's life situation is different and the way we handle ourselves emotionally, physically, spiritually, etc. is an individual experience. Some do struggle with the surgery because there are simply so many changes to endure! However, some of us feel that the physical changes are a small price to pay for our health. Then again, even though we feel that way, our emotions do not always agree. It's such a deeply difficult topic.
Maybe it's because I'm in the 'emotionally helping' profession that I see that someone is struggling and I instantly work on ways to help them problem-solve. Much of the time I am the one who has forced the change in my client's lives and if they struggle with that change I simply help them to either accept that change in a positive way or we work on finding another solution that will give them satisifaction and success.
When someone is suffering with the surgery and their situation, I do see it as a stepping stone. Some day, some way we all find that moment that brings us to that next step. For those who are struggling that next step would be peace and acceptance.
For the most part one will mourn their identity prior to becoming ill. They will begin to accept their new self, though it is not ideal. When the surgery occurs not only are we having to change our identity again, but we are losing an actual piece of our being and being left with an altered state. Once our health is restored we are again forced to change our identity. It may be that for those of us who suffered just a few years and were cured practically right away, we may not struggle with this identity issue as much b/c we still remember who we were and are. However, for those who have struggled many many years, they may have a very difficult time find their new self and accepting the physical changes. For so long they were forced to accept a life they did not approve of, and it is very easy to forget the positives of life when for so long they lived with the negatives.
I believe this forum is extremely special. No one knows when that rare experience will occur that your light bulb goes on and you get it. You get whatever it is that you need to take that next step. Be it from this forum, from someone in your life, or maybe something from a talk show. You never know. Our life changing moments are blessings in disguise.
My heart goes out to those of you who are having such a difficult time finding your way to that next step. But don't worry. It's completely natural to be scared and overwhelmed. You are living a new life with a new you. Try not to let the words and thoughts that cloud your mind to control your heart. Your heart knows that you've beat a disease and that you are a survivor. Allow your heart to guide you and you may be surprised what you find.