That Time of Year Again

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 10/2/2010 10:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone...I hope you are all doing well and out living life to the fullest!
I have actually been doing just that, which is why my HW involvement has been so scarice.  I truly feel very fortunate to be as active as I am, and for having the opportunity to take on so many responsibilities. 
I think we all understand the meaning of "anniversary dates" and triggers for some pretty bad memories.  I would like to classify myself as a fairly strong individual.  One who works well under pressure and can remain calm during crisis...even during my own.  However, it is this upcoming anniversay date that I have been dreading for the past couple months and now that it is nearing I definitely feel the pain.  I try my best to not keep these thoughts in my mind for significant amount of time, and work extremely hard to process the memories and emotions that are starting to pop up (aka, flashbacks).  In fact, I have worked all year thinking of my experiences in the hospital and working on emotional strength and acceptance of that situation, but it seems that there were still some details and emotions I have yet to uncover. 
In a little less than two years ago I was hosptialized for a MRSA staph infection in my right bicep and another staph infection in my right heal.  Both of which brought exruciating amounts of pain.  My husband and I initially thought they were spider bites, and our local ER simply gave me a sulfer-based antiobiotic and pain killers and sent me home.  Two days later my GI took no time getting me admitted and later that evening had emergency surgery.  I didn't know I was going to be left with open wounds.  No one explained that to me.  I also didn't know what it meant to have an open wound and that I would be left with a hole the size of a walnut in my bicep and another the size of an almond in my heal.  I also was not acceptant of the fact that the MRSA staph infection was creeping toward my heart and I was very close to dying.  None of that seemed to register with my mind or my heart.  In addition to these infections I had just started Remicaid, which was not touching my UC symptoms in the slightest.  I was in my first semester of grad school, had a 9 month old son at home, and was losing my battle to both UC and MRSA.  I had lost hope.  Never in my life had I felt hopeless before.  Never did I hate that I had UC and never did I want to give so badly.  However, my driving force has always been my son.  Every ounce of strength I musted was because of him.  It was two years ago that my GI suggested we consider surgery.  I met my surgeon the end of January 2009 and had my surgery the start of February.  It's just amazing to me to know how much of that experience I denied myself from accepting and from feeling.  I pushed so much to side in order to survive...and I am sure many of you have done the same in your situations. 
No one in my family really understands the trauma I felt.  They have experienced their perceptions of trauma by being my supports during that time, but they didn't have the wounds and they did not feel that pain. 
I am really just writing this as an expression of my a way for me to tell my story without being judged or pitied upon. 
I know it's normal to have these periods of is my goal to work through and process each memory as it comes so that it gets easier each year.  It's so funny how the mind, heart and spirit work...they are the most powerful protectors and yet the most painful reminders. 
All in all I am truly in a good place in life.  I am fulfilling my professional dream of being a licensed family therapist, and will pursue my passion and specialize in healthy psychology.  My son is now 2 1/2 years old and absolutely amazing...he is the beat of my heart.  My husband is finishing his undergrad only to go right into a grad program, and he too will be a therapist and specializing in substance abuse.  Needless to say, we have a hectic lifestyle right now, but it's part of our plan so we will have it easy in the future. 
This has definitely been a rambling post...but it feels good just getting things off my chest.  I hope everyone here (the newbies especially) realizes just how amazing this board is.  I would not have made it through my decision for the surgery, nor the surgery itself have I not had you.  Your guidance, support, love and tenderness eased my heart during my own moments of crisis.  This is the perfect place to turn to when you need to bare soul, read good stories, or just need a laugh (normally provided by Summer and Chassity...or so it was while I was more active).  I do plan on paying it forward and participating more once I have the time to do so.  This semester is my heftiest and is very demanding.  However, after December it is all down hill from here, and I look forward to dedicating time to HW and my designer bag cover business...I'm still not a fan of the ugliness of these accessories, and am looking forward to seeing a little bling each time I empty!
Thanks again, everyone, you are very very loved.
: )  Robin
29 year old Mommy of an amazing 2 year old and Wife for 3 years!
Dx-May 2007 Moderate/Severe Pancolitis - failed all medications
Proctocolectomy w/ permanent ileostomy on 02/06/09!!!
"Your mind is like a parachute, it only works when it is open."  -Unknown

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 981
   Posted 10/3/2010 7:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Very well put Robin :-) I too feel the same way about this site and the great people on here, their support is amazing and without this site I doubt I could have made it through. I had my ileostomy done in march 09 and rectum and anus removed in July 09 and for me it was very hard to deal with at first but I couldn't be happier about it now, because finally I have a life and its an incredible feeling.
I also want to pay it forward and try to help out with questions others ask on here too as well as that I will be doing some work with my IBD nurse and speaking at some forums and to patients looking at getting this surgery done to help them out in their decision making or to help get them through if their surgery was like mine and done in an emergency therefore it messed with my head waking up to a bag on my stomach. Even though I knew it was the only thing that could be done for me it was still hard. It is so true that your kids keep you going, mine are all grown so for me its my beautiful grandkids they are a girl 4 and boy 3 and are the little loves of my life, and treasure every second with them. It is nice to put your story down and see how positive your life has become. I'm very happy for you Robin, keep on smiling :-) and take care

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 788
   Posted 10/3/2010 10:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Yea! Glad you are doing well Robin!
29 yrs. old. married with one beautiful daughter (born 11/20/07)
-diagnosed with severe pancolitis u/c 2002 had total colectomy 12/19/08; emergency surgery due to abscess-had to redo ileostomy and switch to left side 12/25/08; 2/15/09 found blood clot in superior mesenteric vein (prob. from inf. and surgery inflammation)
i only take vitamins now, when I WANT to. :)
(temporary ileostomy)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 10/3/2010 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
It's so good to hear from you and to know you and your family are doing well! smilewinkgrin Thank you for sharing your story with us. I completely understand what you're talking about when it comes to being so close to dying, but in an effort to survive, those emotions are suppressed until later.

Even though I'm completely healthy now, I still have to stop myself from having anxiety after having a stressful day at work, because my mind wants to tell me that stress could make me sick again. It has not been an easy process, but recognizing when it is starting to happen and nipping it in the bud seems to help keep me from "going there".

Exercising has been a good stress reliever, and I notice that I feel so much better after a good sweat. Comedy shows on TV or anything that makes me laugh helps, too. I also love the scripture 1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all of your cares upon the Lord, because he cares for you." :-)

Take care and keep in touch!
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at age 28. Proctocolectomy and permanent ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free and medicine-free since surgery and very thankful to be healthy again.
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