Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How to Spend Your Two-Year Anniversary - The UC Edition

Today I took a trip up to the attic. After rummaging around in the boxes, I finally found it: my planner from 2007. I wanted to find a date that's rather important. Of course, I didn't remember the date, so I had to look it up. My diligent search was rewarded and I pinpointed the day I was finally diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.

By the time I was diagnosed, I had been sick for almost a year and a half. It's a good story, but doesn't bear repeating now. Some day if I get really, really bored, I'll write about it. But today I'm not really, really bored. I'm just dingy. :)

Anyways, I flipped through the pages and discovered that on October 15, 2007, I woke up from sedation to hear the doctor tell me, "You have ulcerative colitis." He continued with some snide remarks about how terrible my colon looked. I remember laughing at him (I was drugged, okay?) and telling him that "ulcerative colitis" sounded made-up; what did I really have? Well, it's been about two years of fun and games, and this year, I will celebrate in style. On my two-year anniversary of diagnosis, I will celebrate by waking up in the morning for my first full day of life without ulcerative colitis! I'm so dramatic.

All my pre-op stuff today went well. As I've practically come to expect, both nurses I saw were just wonderful. Can I just say how great every single nurse I've had has been? I'm incredibly thankful for that. I'm all set -- got my ileostomy sited, they took my blood, asked me my life story, medication list, family tree, car insurance information, elementary school grades, favorite color and musician, got a wrist band, and (no kidding) an orange ticket that says "admit one" on it for surgery! But don't worry, I didn't tell them all that stuff -- I just stuck with name, rank, and serial number.

So here's a picture of where my ileostomy (stoma) will be. The nurse and I chose a good spot, and she marked it with a smiley face:

So now I'm done! I guess I should pack some stuff to do at the hospital! God is continuing to bless me with peace that only He can give. Honestly, I'm not at all nervous -- just excited to get better. I would ask for prayer for a few things:

  • My surgeons: they're the ones who have to do all the work. 6+ hours of standing and cutting and whatever else surgeons do. Hopefully they sleep well tonight. ;)
  • My body: it's not in great shape. They hoped to do surgery when I was well-nourished, not flaring, and not on high-dose steroids. I have sort of failed at all three (except that my colon looks like it's beginning to heal, which is encouraging), so there is a lot of possibility for complications in the actual surgery, in the immediate recovery, as well as long-term.
  • My family: this is very tough on them. I'm creating a lot of stress and difficulty, I'm sure (I know, there are easier ways to get attention. . . I just haven't yet figured out how to get that attention without being sick), so just pray for peace for them. Also pray that I won't set them too far behind on work and life and stuff like that.
  • Overall, just that Christ would be honored! I want my life to glorify Him and I hope that He will use this situation to let me talk to others about how great it is to know Him!

Okay, the next time you hear from me, I will have evicted my epically failing colon and hopefully be on the road to recovery! I am going to try to teach my mom how to update on the blog so she can write tomorrow. So. . . check back in tomorrow and see if I'm a good teacher (or if my mom's a good learner).

Hannah ;)

1 comment:

  1. Hannah, we're sorry you're so sick. I don't know if you know, but UC runs in Marla's family. Her father, brother and half sister all have it. Both brother and half sister have had colon surgically removed and have colostomy w/ internal pouch. They both live with it just fine. And I expect you'll do far better than they.

    You know this, but it never hurts to remind: Jesus loves you and he'll take care of you, 'cause you're his girl.

    Love & Prayers,

    Mark & Marla