I always wondered what sort of person wanted to have surgery.
I always wondered how you could get to that point and want someone to cut you open.
I always wondered, until it happened to me.
My Timehop is a good reminder of what happened a year ago, or two or three years ago. It serves to remind me just how things have improved.
It allows me to reflect and really contemplate what has happened, how much I put up with, how long I was unwell for and just what exactly was my reality for so long.
After I realise that, adding scars to my body are nothing compared to how well I feel now.
I didn’t expect surgery to fix me, not at all. I expected some sort of medication regime to kick in once I’d recovered from my first surgery. I expected a lot and none of it happened. And that is just how it happens for some people. I didn’t moan too much – I wasn’t sure of what should happen, let alone how I would feel about it all – and I took it, I hope, in my stride. I’m sure those closest to me would beg to differ but we don’t talk about last summer a lot; as if it didn’t happen. I only got frustrated and angry when things just kept going wrong. And it was a constant battle to explain how my symptoms and side effects kept spiralling and no one at the hospital had any clue as what to do with me, on a small scale, when ‘things’ were just two or three things. By the time it got to being utter shite and my problems were six or seven deep, I had to call it quits. I had to be seen and refuse discharge until I was happy. That was my plan on the morning on August 12th 2016.
Don’t get me wrong, I am stronger because of my scars, even though they are signs of a weakness in my skin and muscles. They are scars from a long and hard battle with Crohn’s Disease.
My battle is not over. It won’t ever be over.
But I fight when I need to fight. I am stronger and wiser and more sure of what I can take, these days.
And have my scars meant I’ve got a higher quality of life?
Do I regret my past?
No. It’s shaped my present and future. My scars have this ability to remind me to not be ashamed of giving as good as you can give, at the time.
My stomach is not perfect, it never has been. I’d like it to be flatter but I have time to work on that. I admire it – the slight crookedness of the midline scar; the thickening at the top, the dip from my wound infection, the faded laparoscopic incisions. It is all the map of me.