My surgery to reattach my intestines and get rid of my colostomy bag is in less than 2 weeks, on Wednesday, October 25th. I am definitely nervous about it. Everything from getting an IV to having my intestines reattached and eating afterward without ripping my intestines apart, to the pain after surgery. I am afraid of the IV because nurses tend to have a really bad time getting an IV in me and I have to be stuck several times. When that fails, they may try to give me a midline, which is painful. I’ll find out this Thursday at my pre surgery appointment what the guidelines are for me eating, but whenever I’m allowed to eat I’m going to be afraid of a whole lot of pain and torn intestines. I am also going to miss food, as I’m guessing I won’t be able to eat for awhile. And I am dreading the pain when I wake up from surgery. I was in a lot of pain when I woke up from the surgery that gave me my colostomy bag, and this is supposed to be more major surgery than that.
At the same time, I am so thrilled that I won’t have to live with a colostomy bag anymore. I just have to get through this surgery (well, possibly two more surgeries depending on how things go) and I will be back to normal. I am so excited that I am counting down the days.
I’ve been busy the past couple of weeks. I’ve spent a lot of time hanging with friends and reading. I am excited about my new secret sister. I’m in a group that just started a secret sister swap. You get a name and address and some basic information about the person, and then you send them little cards and gifts. You also pray for them. In April you find out who your secret sister was. I need to get creative with my little gifts.
I am taking a break from writing and instead focusing on reading and researching. It refreshes me. You can’t take water from a dry well, or withdraw from a bank account you haven’t been depositing in. Well, I have withdrawn and withdrawn from my creative account and now it is time to make some deposits by reading.
Angelica’s 4th birthday was on October 4. We had her party on Sunday the 8th. Vicki and Joel, my inlaws, came to town for it and my parents and my sister were there too. My parents brought a pinata and she had a blast with it. She has been munching on the candy all week. She loves all her gifts.
Last night Craig was sleeping with his head on my shoulder and I just realized I’ve been given a second chance at life. In another generation having diverticulitis and a hole in your intestines would be a death sentence. Your intestines would leak and you would get sepsis and die. But modern medical technology, as gross as this bag is, allows me to have a second chance to live my life and be with my husband. And that’s a beautiful thing because I can’t imagine being without him. And I can’t imagine leaving him alone to spend his days and nights by himself and raise our daughter alone.
Nonetheless I woke up this morning depressed by my bag. As I was sitting on the sofa feeling tired and depressed, Angelica randomly brought me one of my Bible devotionals. It was open to a page about guardian angels and I realized there’s an angel around me. I’m not alone. I have an angel watching over me. It gives me some comfort. Maybe my guardian angel was convincing me to go to the hospital on the day my intestines opened up. I was in pain, but I couldn’t imagine that anything was seriously wrong so I was on the fence about going to the hospital. I almost didn’t go. If I hadn’t my intestines might have leaked and I would have had sepsis and died. I can’t imagine leaving Angelica motherless.
Later on I opened the devotional myself to a random page and the page landed on was about trials and tribulations. It was about God rewarding you at the end of a trial. This is a trial to me. But if I can get through this I will be rewarded with abundant life when it is over – if I draw closer to God.
It’s funny how these devotionals can really speak to you and just the way you need in times of stress and duress. It’s the workings of God.
Some things are just a humbling experience. Having a bag attached to you in which you pass gass and excrete with no control about when or how loud or where is simply mortifying. My stomach finally started working with the bag last night while the nurse was in the room with me and it was terrifying because it was so embarrassing.
I can’t believe I’m going to have to live like this for three to six months. Or that other people do it their whole lives. How will I bear being close to people and how will others bear me? How can I go to public places?
I am literally going to have to change my very conception of self and surroundings. I am going to require more mercy and compassion from my husband and other people. I have to hope and pray they give it to me, or this will be a lonely time in my life.
I don’t feel sexy. I feel disgusting and gross. This is messing with my identity, but then I remember that I should have my identity in Christ. To put it crassly, God loves me but everyone else thinks I am nasty. I am still a poet and creator. I am still a wife and mother. I still have a place in the body of Christ.
But I feel so repulsive and isolated.