Sunday, December 30, 2012

my high-horse was so high, i broke my tailbone when i fell off of it.

it's a lot easier to criticize people from up on a high-horse of no experience and lofty ideals. but be careful....high-horses aren't very stable rides through life, and you're likely to end up losing your balance and crashing down to earth sooner or later.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

this christmas when i was alone

one thing i took away from christmas this year is that i've shut a lot of people out.

another thing i took away is that seriously everybody seems to have someone....and i cannot even imagine that for myself at this point. it feels so far away, as though it will never happen. and so yes, for the briefest of moments...i  felt lonely.

but otherwise, it was  a lovely holiday. despite my pred taper wreaking havoc on me, there were many joyful moments this christmas.

happy holidays :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

live to live.

the truth is, i used to be all about excuses.

there was nothing that needed to be done that i couldn't excuse off until later. anything that caused me mild discomfort or was at all inconvenient, i had miles and miles of excuses for. like a magician pulling a colored scarf from my mouth, the excuses were never-ending. get a job? i'm in too much pain (oh, if i'd have known what lay in store...what i thought was pain back then was laughable!) go out with friends? i don't want to drive in this weather. i'm too tired. (let me add here that this was before i had ulcerative colitis- i had an illness that had just manifested itself, but it was much less severe) control my (then) explosive temper and not say terrible things to people i loved most when i was angry? it's not MY fault- they egged me on, and besides, i was born with a terrible temper. there was nothing to be done about it.

ha. right.

the truth is, my excuses came from deep within. from a place riddled with insecurity and self-doubt. self-hatred, even. you see, although i was a pro at excuses, i wasn't in denial about it. i knew what i was doing, but being in the "victim" mentality that comes with regular excuse-making, i didn't know what to do about it. all i would do was blame myself for every little thing, and harp on myself for having no self-discipline and being lazy/useless.  i was unhappy and unkind to myself. it seemed like i was in a pit, continually digging deeper to find my way out, even though the way out was clearly right above me. and why? because changing myself would be hard. it would require hard work and effort and help, and i hated asking for help. i wasn't in the habit of making an effort anymore. in a lot of ways, i'd given up.

well, in the past two years i have battled against the lazy tendencies i acquired and the self-hate. largely because i HAD to  at first, and now because i want to. i know that life is meant to be a growing experience for all of us- what would be the point, otherwise?  and it's true, that excuses often times at their core have some validity. i don't think that people just make up excuses simply because they're lazy or scared, the end. but regardless of the validity, WHO CARES? it's acting vs being acted upon...who wants to be owned by their excuses, their circumstances, or the choices of people around them?

the funny thing is, being as sick as i have, i could have so easily taken the "victim's road". i had dozens of excuses tailor-made for me, borne from my illness. but i found very quickly that i didn't want to take the victim's road. i didn't want to keep making excuses. i wanted to BECOME somebody! somebody who came to a fork in the road and kicked down the victim sign before going down the path of a warrior.

i want to LIVE TO LIVE. i went to visit my ninety-eight year old great-grandmother a couple of days ago. jenn and i went, actually. my great grandmother has had a remarkable life. a beautiful life. a life fraught with troubles and pain like anybody else's- but a life that was her own. that she worked for. she owned businesses and was a single mother long before it was accepted that women do those things. she didn't care about what was accepted by society and what wasn't. she wanted to be something, and she worked to become it. and it wasn't easy. but ask her and she will tell you: all of the pain, the tears, the late nights working and everything was worth it. when she talks about her life, she's proud of it. as she should be. she also had a dozen excuses on hand that she could have used in any given situation, but she didn't. and i admire her for it.

one thing my great grandma told jenn and me that night that has stuck with me was this: "live to live." it sounds simple, but she went on- "so many people are living to die. focusing ONLY on what comes next. you're in life right now, you need to live to live! don't live to die!" here she is, my ninety-eight year old great grandmother, with a better memory than my own and a beautiful life behind her, telling me this.

i think i can take her word for it. ;)

Friday, December 14, 2012

beauty in the breakdown

well, here i am two and a half weeks out from surgery.....i feel great!
every doctor i've seen in the past two weeks, goes on and on about number one: how perfect my stoma is (gee...thanks? the stoma nurses even said it looked like a 'model stoma' and they wanted me to model for some stoma convention thing hahaha)
number two: i am freakishly resilient. no one can believe i had surgery so recently and am already moving around and looking the way i do. i can hardly believe it myself. i met with my surgeon on wednesday and he kept saying how great i look. he also took the steri-strips off of my incisions. they are literally the size of the top of my pinky nail, no kidding. they're tiny and when they scar, they'll barely even show. hopefully they show enough that i can still go through with my plan of walking up to someone, lifting my shirt and saying, "you wanna know how i got these scars?" ;) i'm awesome, i know.

i have a date for my next surgery, and a general time period for the third one. when i first met with my surgeon, we talked about doing two-step surgery but i was too sick for that. also, my body had become dependent on prednisone, which inhibits wound healing. so dr. kim wanted to make sure i was totally off of that stuff before constructing the jpouch. so anyway, it's ended up being a three step surgical process. i don't mind. i told him i'm ALWAYS the kind of person who'd rather be safe than sorry. we're talking about not having to have a bag the rest of my life here vs. having to have one. a few months, i can handle. i'm not going to rush or get impatient and raising my chances of something going wrong and being stuck with this bag forever. so yeah. the actual date for my second surgery will be january 29th. it will be another five to seven day hospital stay (the first one was, too but i only stayed four days. what did i say about resilience? :P)

then, i have to wait about six weeks to allow everything to heal and stuff. then they can go in and do the "takedown". they'll connect everything and it will be bye bye stoma and hello normalcy. well, as normal as you can get without a large intestine/colon haha. but yeah...needless to say, i am mad stoked.

the third surgery will end up taking place right around my birthday, actually. happy birthday to me! if everything goes as it should, i could not think of a better birthday present, so if i spend it in the hospital it's fine by me. the third is the "easiest" surgery for me- you are only in the hospital about three days. and will be over, and my life will truly begin.

don't get me wrong- this week has actually been pretty productive, and i'm only two weeks out! i just can't stand sitting around being useless and not doing anything. the first week i took it super easy and slept a ton. this week i've still slept more than i normally do, but i've been going out and keeping busy (aka away from the computer so i'm not just wasting hours surfing the web) as much as possible. it's been great!

don't get me wrong, there have been some annoying things. i've had some bag troubles and stuff, but i have just kind of tried to laugh them off and be patient. i'll only have this until march, you can do anything for just a couple of months, whether it sucks or not. of course...i also have felt SO much better than when i still had my guts, that i would NEVER say that this "sucks". maybe parts of it can, but overall it's awesome and i'm forever grateful for modern medicine, a sense of humor, and a Father in heaven who loves me. and about the best family i could ask for!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

too much for words

i had one of those days today where i just marveled over how AWESOME life is, and how great it is to be alive. man...there is nothing like being really sick and having surgery that gives you essentially a second chance at life, to remind you that not a moment of life should be squandered. i have been enjoying every moment with my family. i have been reading a TON these last few weeks and loving each adventure that comes with each new book, appreciating the beauty of language and words and well-woven stories. i'm enjoying every bite of food i take that doesn't result in me feeling like the walking dead. my mom decorated our house and it looks ridiculously amazing, like something out of a catalog. i can sit in our family room and look at our beautiful tree, with the ornaments that we've collected and accumulated over many's SO cool. my body is weak right now but every day it's getting stronger, and tapering off of prednisone i feel like myself again mentally and it's such a blessing because i LOVE myself! i am a fun, happy and hilarious person and it's great to "be back"!

oh and sidenote- tonight my dad was assisting me in some ostomy stuff and we were both cracking up over the dorkiest stuff. i love my dad. he has really been my champion and advocate and friend through all of this in the most amazing way, and i am so grateful. i am so loved, and i just want to spend my time and energy making sure that everyone who loves me, feels just as loved as i do.

merry christmas season!! life is good. and on bad days, it will ALWAYS get better.
promise :)