And there go another five months. When I look back on it, plenty has happened, but until about two weeks ago I was just filling in time until my stomal takedown surgery. And like that, it’s come and gone and I’m back on the couch ready to dive into the next Netflix – or more recently Amazon Prime Video – binge.
This hospital admission had its complications, but almost two weeks out and I’m definitely on the mend. Honestly, I’m doing better than I expected. After 18 months of hearing other people’s stomas and J-pouch stories, I’d prepared myself for spending the next year of my life strapped to a toilet. Not that every account was doom and gloom, from what I’ve seen it’s a pretty mixed bag when it comes to adjusting to a J-pouch, but I’ve had so many issues with my pipes I’d almost convinced myself that I’d be stuck with a stoma forever. Don’t get me wrong, that little bugger gave me six months of my life back for the small price of mild body-image issues, but I’m not sure I’m ready for a forever bag just yet. But other than some unpredictable pain, I’ve had a lot more freedom than I thought I’d have by now.
What’s weird is remembering I don’t have a bag. I don’t need to wear clothes that hide it or make it more comfortable. I don’t have to feel paranoid that I’m leaking when someone farts on a bus. Or even just having to pull my pants down to go to the loo again (that’s one you don’t forget twice). It’s funny how quickly these little routines become natural.
I might not be completely out of the woods, but I’m starting to let the relief in for the first time since my transplant. Having tried so many failed medications, it’s a great feeling to be better now than I was on them- and only 2 weeks on. So things are starting to look up. By the end of September, I’ll be on just one medication – the lowest I’ve been on in 14 years, have zero plans for hospital readmission and enjoying one last month in my 20s. Time to go nuts on one of those “Things to do in your 20s” lists before life gets real!