Good evening all,
I've posted my experience with acute severe colitis before, so I'll spare you an essay. Feel free to message me or read through some of my other posts if you'd like to know some more. I had emergency surgery on 17/3/17 and was 17 at the time. Currently, it has been almost four months to the day and whilst I understand that four months is not long, I still feel as though I should have made some progress in regards to accepting my situation. I'm not sure if accepting is the correct word for it, as I totally understand and accept what happened, the significance of the surgery in saving my life, and how everything now works as well as the whole routine of changing and emptying the bag. Nevertheless, I still can't stop myself from having my dark moments.
It'll happen fairly frequently, usually once every couple of days when I'm not occupied with something. I'll be having a shower, making dinner, or just lying on the couch when my mind will wander for a moment, and a moment is all it takes. I find myself falling into the trap of then thinking about everything to do with the bag, comparing it to life beforehand, thinking about how my I still dislike it, and how it dictates my daily routine in a way, among other thoughts. This thought process inevitably drags my mood right down, to the point of not wanting to talk to anyone or do anything for a while until I snap myself out of it and do something that takes my mind off it. The trouble is that whilst I am completely aware that I do this and that it happens on a regular basis, I still don't notice it happening until it's too late and I'm feeling down again. I've also been getting myself worked up about going back to university in just over a week's time. Whilst I have no doubt that I am going to be perfectly fine, I keep finding myself feeling down when I think about all of the places that I'll going within the campus and all of the classrooms I'll be in, seeing as the last time I was there I was just a zombie, forcing myself to turn up to each class, only to find a tree to sit and sleep under straight afterwards.
I saw a psychologist for about three months after my surgery, as organised by my mum as a preventative measure so as to stop me from developing any issues and not talking about it with anyone. That was helpful, to a point. The issue with not only having an ileostomy, but in having been basically destroyed by colitis in a matter of three weeks is that there is a very small number of people who actually know what you are feeling when they ask a question about your experience. I don't blame him for not really getting it, but it's tough when the conversation with a psychologist shifts from being about living with an ileostomy to an amputee after a car accident because the psychologist can understand that easier because it's a more common situation.
At this point in time it feels like the only way that I'm coping with it fairly well is by having the knowledge in the back of my mind that I'm already booked in for J-pouch surgery in November. I am aware that it is a very risky surgery due to many possible complications that can arise from it, but nevertheless I am trying it simply because it's a far more appealing option in comparison to an ileostomy, at least to me anyway. I also wouldn't forgive myself if I didn't try it.
As usual, my post has turned into me letting off steam because it seems like no one I can talk to in person really knows what's going on. After all of that, my question is this: does the feelings of anger and frustration at the whole situation get better? As I've said, I know four months really isn't very long, but I feel as though the more time that has passed since my surgery, the more I find myself getting frustrated. I can't sit still for too long and I can get worked up over the simplest things. For example, I've been baking bread since I got out of hospital to give me something to work on until university starts again and I bought a new type of bread flour yesterday. Unbeknown to me, this bread flour had seeds in it. Though they were not big seeds at all, they were there, and I ended up getting annoyed simply with the fact that eating whole seeds is something that I even have to consider. Simple things like this still frustrate me and can put me in a bad mood, as I've always eaten healthy, but that is more difficult now, but I'll stop myself here before I get carried away again.
Thanks for reading,