- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
It's in the (ostomy) Bag
I will never forget the day my surgeon told me that I was getting "the bag". I broke down in tears, curled up in a ball and wondered to myself "How am I going to live with that thing stuck on me all of the time?"
Here we are, a year and a half later, and I see now that this thing that I once viewed as a burden has actually turned out to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
You see, before being diagnosed with Crohn's disease I was an avid bowler with dreams of one day being a professional and performing on TV every Sunday afternoon. I was able to begin to live out this dream by bowling through my college career, but along the way began to notice something terribly wrong with my health.
Now, being that I'm a stubborn male, I figured that it would just go away and that I'd be fine. Unfortunately, in 2004, I found out that my thoughts and ideas of 'being fine' couldn't have been further from the truth.
I was rushed to the hospital where I ended up having 14" of small intestines removed because the area had become so damaged there was simply no saving it. My gastro DR informed me that, due to the damage done, while I was waiting for the pain to go away, there was no way they could fix me. Best case scenario was piecing me along and helping me live a somewhat "normal" life.
Fast forward to 2014 and the release of the wonder-drug, Entivyo. My gastro had been talking this one up for months and couldn't wait to get me on the waiting list. I was the first person in the state of KY to have this infusion and everyone was quite excited about the potential good it would do to my mangled body.
After a few infusions I began to notice a pain in my lower body that I had never felt before. At first I thought it was a muscle pull or something but it continued to get worse and didn't seem like it had any interest in going away.
Eventually I went to the DR to get it checked out and it turns out that what I thought was a muscle pull was actually an abscess that needed to be surgically drained.
Over the course of the next 2 months my body developed 5 more abscesses, each of which had to be surgically drained and let me in a lump of painful mess.
My surgeon decided that the only way we would be able to get the area in which the abscess was developing to finally heal would be to put on a temporary ielostomy bag.
I fought this decision tooth and nail, as this was the absolute LAST thing I ever wanted done. To me, this was the end of my bowling career and social life.
Boy was I wrong.
Here we are, a year and a half later, and I still have my bag on (I was told 6 months ago that we can remove it when I'm ready -- but there are no guarantees that I won't get sick again and have to have it put back on). I recently have won a couple different bowling tournaments and placed pretty high in a few others.
This bag did not end my bowling career. This bag did not end my social life. This bag GAVE me a second chance at bowling. This bag GAVE me a chance to have a social life.
What I once thought would be the death of me, turns out to be the thing that has given me life.