On Monday evening, while scrolling Twitter, I saw my friend VeganOstomy posting and reposting pictures of people with IBD for "Get Your Belly Out" to raise awareness. Lately I have noticed that having an ileostomy (AKA a "bag") has become more mainstream. People are proudly posting pics of theirs and making a stand to take away from the stigma of having a bag. As someone who had a bag for 7 months last year, I love this! I felt so secluded and alone when I had mine. I would cover my stomach in pictures so no one would see it, I didn't even talk about the fact that I had a bag until my last surgery--when I wouldn't need it anymore. Meanwhile having an ileostomy saved my life and allowed me to be off of all meds, get pregnant without being sick, feel amazing, and enjoy life again.
I really wanted to post a picture of my own belly in support, but I was very hesitant. I deleted the post 3 or 4 times before hitting send. I have never posted a picture of my bare stomach, even before I had surgeries, this was completely out of my comfort zone. I started to think about it, about how I am carrying a beautiful new life in my belly, about how those scars represent the fight I was in for 8 years, they represent the strength I had to make it through 3 surgeries in 7 months. I am pretty bad ass if I must say. Those battle wounds got me where I am today, strong, healthy, and free. I thought about how many girls post bikini selfies like it is no big deal and how while walking down the beach you see all different shape stomachs, some with scars, some without. I don't judge those women, I don't even think about it, they are just there like everyone else. So I did it..
I don't regret having my colon removed at all. I still have people email or comment telling me I could of tried this diet, or seen this naturopath, or used this herb... But guess what? I did that. I did everything I could for 8 years and what happened in the end? I had precancerous cells all over my colon and I was on prednisone and other meds for years. Being on prednisone so long cause me to develop osteoporosis, so needless to say, I was ready for whatever I had to do. I am a firm believer in natural medicine for a lot of scenarios, but in some cases, we need to take advantage of what modern medicine has to over. I love the idea of east meets west when it comes to health. For me I needed that balance. I've seen people marvel with natural medicine, but there came a point where I needed my life back. My family is very happy not to have to see me suffer anymore (as was I!) and I am very happy with the road I took. Who knows where I would be today if I didn't go to NYC and seek out the best doctors available. I am so blessed and lucky to have been through what I have. I am blessed to be able to be the Mother I wanted to be, to be able to leave the house without worrying, to be able to know that tomorrow there isn't a chance I could have a flair. I'm blessed to be able to carry another beautiful little girl inside of me and not have to worry about flaring once she is born and being unable to take care of her. Each day is a gift, I treasure that I'm able to live life healthy again.