Friday, June 29, 2012
I'll Cry if I Want To
It's my party and I'll cry if I want to ... remember that song? I'm sort of in this mood as I look forward to my birthday during the upcoming month. I'll be almost 30.
No, that's not what has me in a funk.
I wasn't supposed to live past age 9 or 10. When I was 17 I told my mother goodbye as I readied myself for approaching death and my doctor hoped to see me walk into her office the following week. I whole heartedly believed I would die before my 22nd birthday.
So each year on my birthday I have a "woah!" moment and I'm reminded that I made it to another year.
This can be a very strong emotion for individuals as they come to the realization that they have cheated death and can serve as a strong motivation and inspiration for improved health, life and dreams. For others it can become a thrill ride, a game, an adrenaline rush for finding the next adventure to beat the odds.
Another reason is that my best friend and I share the same birthday, who is also well known to the ostomy and bowel disorders circles. However, due to his health struggles the battle became too unbearable and he took his own life to end the pain. I understood his decision the moment I learned of the news, as much as it pained me to have lost him.
The loss of friends and even self is far too common in these circles and is a hard reality to accept. Nevertheless, it is a reality that we each must make peace with or we'll lose ourselves mentally and emotionally first.
So make the acknowledgement, share the emotion, and live your life to the fullest. Cliche, right? Perhaps, but do it anyway. Start checking things off your bucket list, take care of yourself physically and emotionally, share with others and learn from them, care for the well being of others and contribute to humanity, locally or globally. At times the small picture is not pretty, remember to look at the whole picture and that a moment in time, only lasts a moment.
This is my life with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and Short Bowel Syndrome. I was diagnosed with FAP as a child, underwent total colectomy at age 9. I experienced life threatening complications resulting in 4 more surgeries that year and developing medical PTSD. I had an ileostomy for 6 years before having it reversed into a straight pull-thru that also resulted in life threatening complications requiring an additional surgery the following year. In 2021, I required my 8th surgery to remove my gall bladder due to gall stones and FAP. This surgery exacerbated my at the time undiagnosed Abdominal Migraine which is now being treated.