hello dirty mirror
it’s been exactly one year since i had my first surgery for Crohn’s disease, a name that I had never even known existed just one short month before surgery. At the time I wrote a post about how “normal” seemed such a far off concept, something that I wasn’t sure I would really ever be able to relate to again.
12 months later, I’m still here. I’m married, in a new home, with a few crazy looking scars on my stomach (which occasionally still resemble centipedes) that are the only physical evidence of one of the hardest experiences I have ever had to face. Normal? I still have no idea what normal really is. I think it might be overrated ;)
For any newbies around here you can read all about my surgeries in my about tab, but to make a long story short I was diagnosed with Crohn’s last September, an intestinal disease that flared up quickly and unexpectedly at the end of the summer last year. So quickly that within a month I was diagnosed, hospitalized, and went through surgery to remove my entire colon, some 5 feet of intestine. I spent four months with the end of what was left of my intestines sticking out of a hole in my stomach, with a bag taped over it which I named Tootie. I then went back under in January to reattach my intestines and say goodbye to Tootie forever.
I’m frequently asked how i’m doing these days, with a general wave at my stomach area to indicate that the question is in regards to my intestines and not my general well being, and I always say the same thing: i’m doing great. I’m fine, i’ve had no further complications. I’m a very lucky girl.
And it’s true. compared to many stories from Crohn’s patients I’ve heard, I’ve had it so easy. Years of pain and endless rounds of medication were avoided in two rounds of surgery. I’ve had to change my diet a little, less red meat, and I occasionally have to deal with back and hip pain after eating too much fried food (i know, so random but it’s all connected, basically Crohn’s is an inflammatory disease that doesn’t necessarily only inflame your intestines. For me it’s my lower back and hips, which is why many people with Crohn’s are either misdiagnosed or even develop arthritis)
This last year has been one roller coaster ride after another, but everything I have learned can really be boiled down to this: I have physically experienced the truth behind Proverbs 3 // Trust in the Lord. Lean not on your own understanding.
There are so many things that happen in this world that we just can’t explain. Pain and fear and abuse and evil and just plain bad days are regular occurrences in our lives and trying to understand and explain everything in one perfect little neat sentence is just not possible. life is messy. but trust in the One who is in control, who knows everything. He is loving and merciful and full of grace and He is aching to hold you. BELIEVE me, you can’t handle or control everything on your own. You weren’t made to, and you don’t have to.
Trust in the Lord.
oh and Mederma doesn’t work on scars this big. Just putting that out there.