This is a quick update for those of you who saw my Twitter post last weekend – I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of supportive messages when I tweeted that some days were harder than others and that I realised that it was okay not to be strong 100% of the time. I’m conscious that as a very ‘glass half full’ person, most of my posts are upbeat and positive, I’m usually smiling in my photos, and there is a lot of talk of ‘Wonder Woman’. And, I have to say that the positive days do very much out weight the negative. In fact, I did an online survey this week about my general state of well-being and happiness, and I scored quite highly.
However, in the age of artificially beautiful social media personas, I feel that it’s important to give a very balanced picture. It’s not all smooth sailing and I’ve had some really bad days as well. By the end of last weekend, I was absolutely worn down by my situation. Without going into detail, life with an ileostomy is not straightforward and I really hadn’t anticipated how tough it would be – mentally as well as physically. A lot of tears have been shed in frustration. And I hate crying. However, I realise that it’s probably quite a good thing to do. In fact, I’ve been advised to really howl when I feel bad. It’s all part of the process of grieving and moving forward.
So, I remain positive overall. I’m genuinely happy with my life. I am grateful that I feel well, that my surgeon was able to operate and remove my diseased colon and that I can still function pretty normally. I love my life – my family, my friends, my job, and my 30% Club work. However, I am going to openly admit that I’m fed up with my new low-fibre ‘beige’ diet of white carb easy to digest food and with the added hassle of everything that goes with having the end of my small intestine sticking out of my tummy. And my control-freak nature hates the fact that I have no idea how this disease will progress, so I can’t make a plan for dealing with it. And that’s okay. I am learning to just live for the moment, to ‘make hay while the sun shines’ and, if I shed a few tears in talking about it, please don’t worry – just don’t let me walk around with makeup running down my face.