Monday, December 7, 2009

Simple Life

I am hesitant to say this, since it has proved so hard to clear up, buuuuut...
I think the kidney infection is finally going away for good! My back is not hurting, and the other symptoms are improving. And no fever, nausea, headache, and I feel good energy-wise! I was nervous because for the first part of last week, I felt "off," like I was getting worse again, but I'm feeling better now! Hopefully this antibiotic round will wipe it out for good!

In other news... I am reconsidering the postponing of surgery #2. I am feeling stronger and mentally, I think I can take it now... I just want to get this over with and done and find what my "new normal" will be! Yeah, it may be tough for a few months, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am not 100% sure about changing the time. Need to keep praying and see how God leads! It depends on my kidney infection, steroid taper, school schedule, and Dr. A. I'll meet with him in two weeks, and we'll talk about the timing of everything.

I am so thankful that I've been sick and gone through all this. I am in the incredibly weird and cool position of having been "chronically ill" and now getting healthy. How many chronically ill people can say that? I really didn't think that I would be this much better. I guess I forgot, in just a few years, what it felt like to NOT feel sick, exhausted, and in pain all the time. I can't ever take things for granted anymore.

The ability to go through an entire day without having to plan time to rest when I literally couldn't go any more. Knowing every day what I'm going to feel like. Not "crashing" anymore. Wanting to eat, three times a day, whatever I want. Not having to try to hide that I'm in pain or sick. Not forcing myself to eat, smile, talk, be social, etc. Not having to cancel plans because I'm curled up in the fetal position. Not having to struggle to stay upright. My brain doesn't feel "fuzzy." My joints move easily. My stomach works and doesn't hurt. I have energy. I keep telling you, you healthy people don't even know how amazing life is! I am so thankful that I have this incredible appreciation for things that seem simply mundane.

These things are all simple. I don't have any grand aspirations right now. I haven't done anything truly great since I had surgery. Enjoying my apples and my walks to and from school and visiting with friends and sitting in class without all that sick person mental and physical baggage is just an incredible joy and blessing. My life is truly boring and mundane right now. And I couldn't be happier. For me, it's better and more exciting than Disneyland to do "normal people" things.

Yes, I walk around with a bag attached to my stomach. And I think I'm developing an allergy to the adhesive on the bags, oh joy. Whatever. The J pouch is really bugging me again with spasms. I worry this could be the beginning of pouchitis (I PROMISE I didn't make that word up - it's where UC comes back in the J pouch Dr. A created to eventually serve as my new "stool reservoir" read: end of small intestine stapled where my rectum used to be), which could mean going back on some meds or having to keep Squirt forever. Hopefully this will improve again and at least I don't feel sick all over! I'll be on antibiotics for another week and on steroids for another 6 weeks. But then I'll be done.

I'm not saying these things to complain or whine. I'm not discontent with any of this. Overall, everything is going great, and these are just small annoyances. But I want to be totally honest. I traded UC for these things. It was a good trade, but it's not a completely perfect fix or anything. That's okay. Every day, I can predict pretty much how I'm going to feel. I'm not dealing with days where I can't leave the house because I'm too sick or days where I can't focus in class from pain. Contrast: On Friday, I went running! I didn't think I'd ever be able to do that again - I would have had to be close to a bathroom, have enough energy and less stomach pain, and my joints were too stiff anyways. Today I ate because I wanted to eat, not because I knew I should. I didn't need a nap. I didn't wake up feeling exhausted and achy. For all these things, the simple things, I am so thankful. Once I longed for life to never be boring. Well, folks, I'm pretty sure that it won't ever be! But I'm enjoying and appreciating the simple, boring, mundane things of life.

Hannah ;)


  1. Hannah,
    I do not know if this will be any comfort to you, but I too suffered with terrible spasms in my pouch both before and for a short period of time after my takedown. I was told this was simply the bowel fighting with itself, as it is made from a piece of small bowel folded back on itself one half was trying to push one way and the other in the opposite direction. These could really take your breath away, but fortunately the time between spasms stretched and eventually they cleared up by themselves.

    Good luck with your next surgery.


  2. Thanks for your comment. That makes soo much sense - it's sort of working against itself. Yes, it isn't much fun, is it? During the day I just walk around or distract myself, but it's waking me up several times a night, which is annoying.
    But it's good to know that they cleared up! Thanks so much. How are you these days?
    Hannah ;)

  3. You're such an inspiration to so many people. You never complain and look at things so positively! You're fantastic :)

  4. My first surgery was over 8 years ago now, but if it was not for the voluntary work I now do then I would likely not give my pouch a second thought. It takes time to get to that state, and echoing Macall's comment, a positive approach to recovery helps that time pass much quicker.


  5. Well, let's see if we can make the connection, shall we?

    Once I longed for life to never be boring. Well, folks, I'm pretty sure that it won't ever be!

    Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

    I am discovering, too, dear Hannah, that those desires, those strange and miscellaneous parts of us that God put into us, that make us who we are, He delights to show us how He will feed them Himself, though admittedly not without some deal of pain and difficulty in the process. Yet that, too, is for our good and eternal delight.

    Love you.