Age is just a number

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flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 12/18/2007 1:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Today is my 37th birthday, and I just wanted to share how much younger I feel since having surgery last year. During the years that I was sick with Crohn's - from age 28 to 36 - I felt like I was 80 years old. I hurt so bad and was so weak that I could barely get out of bed some days. Now that I'm healthy, I have energy and feel like I'm 25 again. I even got carded when buying a bottle of wine on Saturday, which made me chuckle. tongue

What do you love most about being healthy?
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy & ileostomy in '06. Remission since surgery.
 
Pain-free, med-free, and very thankful to be healthy again :)


lp
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 12/18/2007 6:02 AM (GMT -7)   
That's an easy one to answer. The best thing about being healthy is being able to enjoy life, not just endure. I speak from the perspective of having had surgery in 1969 at the age of 16 after five miserable years when I didn't go to school other than a few weeks here and there, when treatment for UC was primitive at best, when I had no friends and could barely leave the bathroom. Weekly blood transfusions, high doses of phenobarbitol, darvon and prednisone that would be shocking to consider today. Totally dependent on others for everything.
Without an ileostomy, I would never have enjoyed the joys and agonies of being 16. I would never have gone to prom or learned to drive a car. I would never have gone to college, or lived with 3 roommates in a tiny dorm room. I would never have had the opportunity to go to rock concerts, dances, peace marches, have boyfriends, meet my husband and develop the friendships I cherish. I would never have had two incredible children (now young adults and contributing in their way to the world). I would never have had the opportunity to contribute my talents to my profession and the volunteer activities I participate in. I have received national recognition for my work - and I continue to enjoy what I do and to be very involved in national leadership. I have back packed in Alaska and throughout much of the western US, I ski the Rockies and snorkel in the tropics (had to stop scuba because of back problems). I golf , ride horses, travel extensively and eat pretty much anything. When I travel to meetings, I share hotel rooms with people I don't always know very well.
These are things new ostomates may think they can't do. These are things you CAN do - although sometimes a sense of humor is required. I have never let having a stoma keep me from doing anything I want to do, since the whole point of having one - at age 16 - was in order to LIVE. I can thank my illness and stoma for shaping me - I am emotionally strong, I have empathy for others, I am persistent and value what I have, especially my health. The bottom line is, if I hadn't had the surgery I would have had none of the above. I wouldn't be able to enjoy life as I have, and most likely would have died. You only get one life, and its up to you to live it. Best wishes to all for the gift of health this holiday season
UC diagnosed 1964
Ileostomy 1969


peggy113
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 12/18/2007 3:38 PM (GMT -7)   
lp,
 
You have said it all!!  You sound like such a vivacious person with sooo much energy and gratitude at being given a second chance at life.   Bless you for your positive attitude.  These are the stories that all those who are considering surgery, or who have just had surgery need to hear.  I would love to hear of some of your experiences...
 
I had my surgery in 1984 due to CD and have been in remission ever since then.  I was miserable for many years prior to that.  Bottom line, like you said, I would have died without the surgery.  The many resections just didn't work for me, and I did not respond to the meds that were out at the time.  I was extremely malnourished and unable to keep water down by the time I had my surgery.  Needless to say, my recovery was fairly lengthy. 
 
I have been very active and don't let the ostomy slow me down.   Most of the time I forget it is there.  I bet you do to after so many years with it. 
 
I do thoroughly enjoy EATING!!!  Though I have always battled gaining weight, I have finally put on a few pounds and feel like I am finally at a decent weight.  I sure wouldn't mind gaining a little more.  But I went for so long on such a super restricted diet that I just love to eat.  Trying different ethnic foods is something that I do enjoy.  I love the old standby foods too, but won't hesitate trying something new.
 
I really cannot think of anything that I did before I got ill that I haven't done post-surgery.  And certainly, I have done a lot of things with my ostomy that I would never even considered while I was ill!!!  
Everyone has ups and downs and bumps in the road.  Even healthy people without stomas.  We (ostomates) just have to remember that and be thankful for the technology that is available to us now.
 
 
Peggy
      
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 
 


peggy113
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 12/18/2007 3:41 PM (GMT -7)   

P.S. 

H A P P Y    B I R T H D A Y     C E C E   !!!!!

So glad that you are healthy and enjoying your new found "life"!!!!
Peggy
      
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 
 

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