The first stage of my operation was successful, and my intestines have been rejoined.
The procedure went as smoothly as I could have hoped. There were a couple of minor complications related to the painkiller treatment I was receiving in recovery, but those seem to have cleared and I should be discharged from hospital today.
I still have a stoma bag, it has been moved over to the left hand side, but the trickiest part of the procedure has been done. The final surgery to remove the bag will be more straightforward than this one, and will take place in 3-5 months time. After that, this entire episode of my life will be over.
I had intended to write the final part of this blog on the eve of my operation, by which point I could share my experience of how it has felt to open up publicly about my ordeal.
That day was unexpectedly busy though, as I had visitors from well wishers all day, and I also had to prepare for the surgery.
I’ve had a chance to reflect during my stay here in hospital though, and am able to now collect and share my thoughts.
I was taken aback by how much support I received. Family who had not been aware of the extent of my troubles, friends who I hadn’t seen or spoken to in years, family and friends who live abroad, online friends and even people who I’d never interacted with before, all got in touch, in some way, to show their support.
Some posted supportive comments online, some people sent me text messages, some called me on the phone, some even came to visit me and pray with me, and others simply “liked” my status updates. In each and every case, your support was noticed and very much appreciated. Thank you to you all.
I had been reluctant about opening up publicly. I share a lot online, but very little that is actually about myself, and what is going on in my life.
When you are dealing with something traumatic in private, it is easy to think the world is against you. But opening up made me realise that is far from the truth; and it actually felt like the whole world was on my side.
I realised that many people struggle in similar ways; either with Crohn’s Disease or similar medical conditions, or with depression, suicide, or some other traumatic experience. Reading about someone else’s experience, it seems, can be beneficial. And I’m happy to spend time speaking to anyone who wants to reach out to me and open up about their troubles.
Life can be difficult, and we don’t have to hold everything in. We never have to go through it all alone. Sharing openly about our experiences gives us relief, and can unburden us. It lightens the load that we are carrying.
This experience of opening up has motivated me to share a lot more about what I’ve learned over the years and what I continue to learn.
I’m not sure how I should do this though, and I would warmly welcome suggestions from readers on this. Should I begin a regular blog, or a YouTube channel, a podcast or even a combination of these?
Please do comment any suggestions on how you would like to receive content from me going forward, or feel free to message me or talk to me in person.
Until the next time, thank you all for your support and for the opportunity of allowing me to share my story with you.