May 2015 I had my worst flare up imaginable. I developed a perianal abscess and a rectal vaginal fistula. I had lost 2 stone in six months. I knew something wasn’t right, my toilet trips were so often.
I had a check up with my gastroenterologist and I was admitted. I had numerous blood tests and scopes done to work out what was wrong with me. I was given an NG tube as my body wasn’t absorbing the nutrients from the food I was eating, Hence the dramatic weight loss. Now I love my food but to look at me you wouldn’t think that. Little did I know I was given this, as few weeks later one of the biggest events of my life so far was about to happen.
Fast forward 3 weeks, it’s now June. I’m still in hospital and no news of what is happening, until a few days later my doctor and the team came to see me and tell me they want me to see a colorectal surgeon – and that I may need a stoma bag.
My heart sank and tears ran down my face. I couldn’t believe it, I was going to have an operation and given a bag.
All that ran through my head was ‘Why?’ ‘Why me?’ I was blaming myself for all of this. I was always good at taking my medicine and watching what I ate as certain foods would upset my stomach. ‘What has happened? Why is this happening to me?’ For 11 years I avoided all of this. Not in a million years did I think I’d end up having a bag.
I was told this wasn’t any of my fault and that these things do happen. I didn’t want anyone else to know, I couldn’t tell my friends as I felt if I told them I was having one then it would make it more real. I didn’t want to admit it, but this was happening and there was no way to stop it.