26 June, 2017
I was a very healthy 36 year old, enjoying a new fun life with my partner. In July 2015, I had extreme tummy pains and was admitted to hospital. After waking up from investigative surgery I was told I had a bowel disease, diverticulitis. In January 2016 I had surgery to remove my sigmoid colon and take the disease away. I was recovering well from this operation although suddenly I was in a critical way and was given a blood transfusion, I was monitored closely by the doctors. I felt very ill and was told I was losing a lot of blood but the doctors didn’t know where or why. It was decided I had to have an emergency operation. My biggest worry with the first two operations was I would have a colostomy bag, this was more of a concern with this one. I felt too young to have to have one and didn’t want to have to deal with it.
My operation happened that night. My fiancé Richard arrived and the first question I asked him was did I have a colostomy?, the answer was yes. I was distraught but he kept reassuring me and telling me this was the only option and it had saved my life. The doctors had found a blood clot on one side of my bowel and the other side my bowel was perforated where it hadn’t joined properly during the op. I had a lot to deal with and I was in a lot of pain although I had a good support network with my fiancé, my mum and my twin. The turning point for me was when the stoma nurse came in and changed my bag whilst my partner was sat next to me. He didn’t seem fazed or disgusted (as I was feeling) he held my hand and smiled which kept me calm. I realised I just had to hold my head up high and fight to get better, I was alive and I had to deal with it! I slowly got used to it and the doctor said I was a fighter as I was sent home 3 weeks later after having had two operations in 4 days.
Life with a colostomy was difficult but I had to keep telling myself I could get through it and it had saved my life. I joined the colostomy association group on Facebook and this helped too as I could talk to others going through similar issues.
I had another operation in March 2017, this was for a reversal and the consultant found I had cysts on my ovaries and abscesses in my fallopian tubes, this meant the operation would’ve been too dangerous and too risky to do. I am now waiting for another reversal operation where they will then create an ileostomy and one last operation after to remove that. I hope my next operations will be successful and I look forward to marrying the love of my life.