Around this time last year I had my long-awaited colonoscopy and finally got my diagnosis confirmed. Since then , my body has changed dramatically.(In my eyes at least). My skin is dry and chapped, my hair is lank and thin, my face is podgy with a second chin not far off, my weight is constantly fluctuating, and now I have a beast of a scar down my front.
All these physical changes aside, the biggest change has been my outlook on life. I feel now that I know what i'm dealing with, and have accepted this is the way my life will be, I am much more positive about the future. There is no longer a big black cloud of doubt hanging over me, waiting to hear what's next round the corner.
I've noticed that now I worry a lot less about the things that really were never worth worrying about in the first place. Little issues ("OMG I forgot to take the bin out!") pale into insignificance compared to what I, and my family and friends, have had to contend with in the last year.
Early 2010 I was in constant pain, so intense most of the time that I genuinely thought I was a goner. I was a complete wreck both physically and emotionally. So down, as nothing the doctors seemed to say made an iota of a difference. They were the ones who were supposed to 'fix' me - and because they couldn't I began to accept my life was going to have to consist of almost unbearable pain most of the day, while struggling to maintain a full time job. That was not easy - when I was in work (I had a lot of sick leave) I was either running back and forth from the toilet or struggling to stop myself passing out with the pain or throwing up at my desk.
I used to be quite an irritable person, easily annoyed and impatient at times. When the surgeon removed a part of me all that went too! Maybe all my negativity was stored in that wee diseased bit of bowel?!
Either way I feel lot more laid back these-days. Perhaps partly due to the immense feeling of gratitude I have for the fabulous doctors and nurses who looked after me and quite literally, nursed me back to health.
Being ill has also shown me how amazing my family and friends truly are. They have never once faltered in showing me endless support, from practical help like lifts to and from hospitals, open ears to listen to my woes, or just a comfy shoulder to cry on. People really don't appreciate what they have or who they can rely on until the proverbial hits the fan.
The problem now is, as i've discovered this new found bliss, i'm struggling to see how everyone else around me is carrying on as normal! Why haven't they picked up on my chilled out demeanor and adapted it too? Without sounding too much like a mad cult leader, I will lure them to the Dark (Bright?) Side eventually..
I think my new laid back, practically horizontal attitude may wear thin soon enough, probably more for me than anyone else as i'm still a paranoid-worrier-control-freak at heart. Nevertheless I am enjoying trying not to sweat the small stuff. With the hot flushes I have i'd be drenched.