“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” Oscar Wilde
This was only meant to be a short post, but it seems to have become a little longer than I intended. I apologise for rambling. There are quite few things I would like to write about as I find writing can be quite relaxing (if people want to read it as well, that’s great). I am not being very productive with my time at the moment, so I am not writing much. Also I warn you there is some mention of poo and bowel movements. I am sorry if this offends you or upsets you but seeing as one of the reasons I started this blog was to talk about ulcerative colitis (UC) and show other people who might suffer from other conditions that it is better to talk about it than to ignore it. Anyway you are just reading about it, I had to experience it.
Last year on 30th October I went into hospital for the first stage of my two part surgery to remove my large intestine and form a pouch from the base of my small intestine. For those who don’t know, this was due to me suffering from UC leading to my immune system being somewhat confused and feeling the need to attack my large intestine. Medical treatment was not working so the only option I felt I had was surgery.
I was terrified. I had arrived at the hospital early in the morning. It was going to be a long operation so they wanted to start it early. It’s a strange thing to be sitting in hospital waiting to have one part of body removed because another part you cannot control is attacking it. I do not want to go into the operation in detail as I have already written something about that. The surgical team were great.
There are so many things I have done in the year since I had my operation which I like to think some people might not quite believe. I have not said that I can’t believe it because I always knew that I was going to turn things around after how ill I had been. I may have felt low at points and felt abandoned or felt I was bringing people down but I wasn’t going to let any of that stop me. I was determined that once I had had the operation I would start to get my life back in order and start living again rather than existing. I was no longer going to be the person that people were glad they were not.
So I have tried to fit in quite a lot this year. There are still things I could have done but I still haven’t quite shaken my habit of often feeling I could have done more. So, to put things in perspective about how much better this past year has been than the couple before it. For most of 2011 and 2012, I rarely left the house, if I did it was to go into hospital, I could barely eat or didn’t want to eat, I didn’t sleep properly, I was losing blood nearly every day, I was taking various pills every day (sometimes almost 30), I could not work, I could not socialise and I had little to no bowel control due to my UC, I felt nervous if I was more than 30 seconds away from a toilet. If you have any doubt about how difficult this makes life try taking some strong laxatives and seeing how you feel after they have run the course. I am still not sure if that would give you the right idea. Sorry that was a little aggressive. My family have been amazingly supportive through all of this.
Anyway. Although I had some problems after the first operation requiring the second operation to be performed earlier than planned. After I had the second operations I was determined to be active. I may have become tired quite easily and experienced pain at times but you have to start somewhere. By February I was riding my bike and I was able to do some exercise in the gym and I could swim. I went caving with friends in March which was fantastic. I went to Northern Ireland in April to do some hiking and see the Giants Causeway. I was trying to active as much as possible. I went on an excavation in Jersey in July and did my first bit of digging in years. I was able to do yoga again. Best of all I went to South America for six weeks from August. There is way too much to say about that trip to write here but I will write about it at some point and shamelessly show off about my experience. I could walk up and down mountains, ride a bike, go swimming, play football (I was rubbish), and enjoy my time exploring an amazing continent…as much as you can explore somewhere so big with so little time. I have also been able to get back to my master’s degree, a bit of an anti-climax after my travels but great to get back to it. I should be working more at university but I am good at providing myself with distractions. Like going to gigs. I have been able to go to quite a few gigs this year. I have seen some of my favourite bands play live. I finally got round to seeing These New Puritans play live which was amazing.
If there is any message or meaningful point to this post it should be don’t let anything stop you! Your biggest enemy is yourself. If you lose faith in yourself then you really have lost. Other people may give up on you but don’t let that stop you. That is easier said than done, I know. Don’t give up and there is always something you can do to be proud or enjoy or aim to achieve.
PS Sorry if I come across as slightly aggressive or annoyed in parts of this post.