When I married the love of my life on a sandy beach in the Cayman Islands eleven years ago I was the picture of health. Although I had two surgeries prior to my marriage to remove a congenital colorectal tumor, I felt healthy and happy. Two weeks after we arrived home, I started to experience pain in the area where the tumor was originally biopsied. The site had become significantly infected. Little did I know that this pain would haunt me and consume so much of my life. So that the doctors could properly access the colon rectal region in order to surgically repair my infection, I was told that I would have to be diverted temporarily (3-6 months tops). Seven month into my marriage I had the surgery and for the first time in my life I was the not so proud owner of a colostomy bag. I was only 23 years old at the time and I was devastated. The very idea of the bag made me cry.
Four years and approximately 10 surgeries later, I was finally ready to have my colostomy reversed. Doctors tried everything to “fix” me. It was so deeply frustrating to have surgery after surgery, all the time praying that I would finally be ready to have the reversal surgery. To me the colostomy reversal was everything. I was so lost and depressed. The colostomy represented the “problem.” The reversal represented the “solution.” I can not begin to describe how badly I wanted my body back, how badly I wanted to be well, how badly I wanted to wear whatever I chose without having to make allowances for the bag. In my mind, the colostomy bag was the devil himself! Luckily, or so I thought, the colostomy was reversed. I literally burned my remaining colostomy supplies. My husband threw me a big party and all seemed right in the world.
From the time my colostomy was reversed, I had immediate problems with my colon. Apparently it had been asleep for so long it had gotten lazy and refused to work. Just to be clear, we tried everything to make it work. Diet, exercise, eastern medicine, western medicine, I tried them all. Nothing worked and as time went on my colon stopped working altogether. My body was constantly full of waste that I could not evacuate. It clouded my thoughts, my mood, everything. For the last 6 years I was reduced to getting weekly (sometimes 2X weekly) colonics. Even the colonics eventually failed me. My colon was just not ever going to cooperate. After much soul searching, I decided I could no longer live in this cloud. I refused to live the rest of my life in pain. I wanted to see colors again. I wanted to smell flowers again. I wanted my life back. I decided, with the help of my doctors, that the only solution to my chronic constipation and colon problems was……….drum role please………a colostomy bag! I had the surgery 10 days ago. The “problem” that I tried so diligently to rectify had actually become the “solution.” Go figure.