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First Surgery

It was two weeks after I turned 21 years old. My mom was at a cancer walk she organized for her work, so my sister had to drive me to the hospital. It was a Friday, gridlock, and we had to drive on the side of the road down the gravel. We tried to flag down a cop but he didn’t notice us so we kept going. The hospital, treating me the same way they had a hundred times before, gave me IV fluids and pain killers then sent me home.

I spent all day Saturday laying in bed, excruciating pain, feeling death was near. Finally, Sunday my mom took me back to the emergency room. As they were wheeling me into the back I started yelling “I want new doctors, I want new tests, I’m not leaving this time” though at that point I couldn’t tell you if they were listening or not.

I did get new tests and a new doctor. They set up a time so my parents could be there when they delivered the news. It was one of the few times I remember my dad having the courage to visit me in the hospital. Though my mom never left my side. They are opposites but they complement each other well.

As my dad walked into the room, I was in the bathroom screaming literally bloody murder, with the nurse alarm on, and a nurse rushing to give me morphine. Morphine was given on demand, basically every time I defected; it was bloody and the pain and it felt like murder, as if someone was stabbing me with a knife and I can remember thinking ‘I just want to cut it out not knowing exactly what is it? I know he must have been disturbed walking into that scene.

Finally, I was back in the bed and my parents were waiting with me. A strong curly haired blonde surgeon walked into the room. She explains to us, using some technical terms I don’t remember, but basically explaining that part of my colon was starting to die and they had to remove it. They wanted me to get stronger so they stopped me from eating, started feeding me IV, and hoped the steroids would get out of my system and I would grow strong for surgery.

I remember thinking this was going to be my cure. In my naive youth I thought once I woke up from surgery everything was going to be ok again. I have no idea how I could have thought that considering this procedure required two surgeries. I think, between the morphine and the hope, all I could imagine was getting my life back.

Living the Crohn’s life is a rollercoaster life has many ups and downs. I have always been grateful for my childhood. My childhood was perfect, camping and Christmas’, raised in one home, with family and church, by two dedicated parents. Yet, getting my life back has become a theme.