Woohooo it’s my second Stomaversary today! I love celebrating this day, it’s such a happy time. It reminds me of how strong I am and what I’ve been through… But before I go on, let me explain a bit:
This time two years ago, my surgeon was getting a good look at my insides.. He then removed over 6 feet of bowel in a 6-hour operation. He created my beautiful stoma, Rosie. She’s a bit shy so I won’t put any pics here 😉
Regrets? None. Except maybe the mashed potato I had a few days after surgery and my remaining bowel went into spasm, refusing to take in anything else for the next few days!
Alhamdulillah I went in smiling for surgery.. I knew this was my destiny and that I wouldn’t be let down. Whatever happens is with the will of Allah.
And.. The past two years have shown me the people who truly care, and those who pretend to. It’s taught me that for every one person who tries to make things difficult, Allah has placed 5 into my life more who do care. May Allah reward you all and keep you on the Straight Path. I pray that we all meet in Jannah. Ameen. ❤️
We are survivors, not quitters. Life may knock us about, but ultimately what matters is that we pick ourselves up and try again. If not today, then tomorrow. Above all remembering that NOTHING can happen unless Allah wills it to.
It’s been a roller coaster of a ride but I’m thankful for it every day. I’ve been reflecting on the past two years and realising the lessons I’ve learned, sacrifices I’ve made, friendships I’ve been blessed with and tests I’ve had to endure.
Before I go into all that, I’d like to say that not for one moment do I regret my decision to have the surgery. Yes I’m not back to the good health I was in before I was diagnosed with IBD but even if I could go back and change everything, I wouldn’t. I’ve learnt so many things, I am now appreciating every single day more than I ever did before, because I know that good times can be fleeting. I’m not waiting until a certain point in life so that I may be happier at that moment, I’m aiming to be happy now. Who knows if that far-away moment so many spend entire lifetimes searching for will ever come?
We plan, and we plan, and we plan but ultimately our lives are in the power of Allah. The sooner we start to realise that, the easier things become. The difficult tests we’re going through become easier to bear because we know that Allah does not burden a soul more than it can bear. These tests are sent to purify us, to cleanse us of our sins and to elevate our rank, just as gold ore is heated so the scum can be removed and the shining gold we know and recognise is then revealed.
Reflecting back over the past two years, it’s sometimes overwhelming. At the outset, it seems that these 24 months have been chock a block with hospital appointments, being poked and prodded with needles and tubes, my veins giving up on me and being poked and prodded again, painful blood transfusions and iron infusions, being pumped full of mouse juice, going under the surgeons knife to have my entire large intestine removed, trialling weird and wonderful drugs which caused awful side effects, not being able to look at my stoma for a whole week after surgery, coming to terms with it all, realising that I still needed another operation a year later, being in constant pain for months, having another 7 hour operation to remove more bits of me and having my bag made permanent and once I thought I was nearly better, I had huge problems with my vision as well as battling severe depression which makes it difficult to leave the house or socialise at times… I could go on. Test after test.
I suppose I could focus on all this and weep. Yes, it was difficult. It sapped my strength. I’ve been at rock bottom more than once, I’ve started having panic attacks and my body will never be the same again. It’s taken its toll on my family and friends who’ve been there for me throughout and never once complained.
But what would be the point in weeping? What’s happened has happened. It was all decided by Allah. And I know for sure that if He decides something, it’s for the best. After all, He created us.
If I give in to the negative thoughts, I’ve let IBD win. And we can’t have that! Thus, I try to focus on the positives. And there are many.
This period of patience has changed me as a person. I’m much more grateful for the blessings. I realise Allah’s mercy upon me. I’ve been given another chance to live and I intend to make the most of it. I’ve become a stronger person. I may not have been battling a physical demon but I won’t ignore all the times I was so close to giving up but I held on by a shred of hope, hope that my Lord won’t abandon me. The pain has been excruciating and at times I didn’t know how long I’d survive it but it’s all adding up and none of my tears and pain will be wasted.
I’ve let go of negative people and I don’t regret it at all. I feel I have more empathy. I’ve learnt to prioritise problems and I’m able to let go of the smaller things that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
I’m so grateful for the wonderful NHS. We’ve had issues but I’m so, so glad that we have fantastic free healthcare in this country, one of the best in the world. I’m grateful to be treated at a world class hospital under the best surgeons. Alhamdulillah.
Mostly, I’m glad I’m still smiling and I haven’t let it take over. I try my best each day, I’m now back at the Masjid and I hope to start classes soon inshaAllah. I’ve seen people who have no hope, nothing to live for, no reason to smile and it makes me realise how blessed I am. I’ve been through a lot but I’m not going to let it wear me down. I’ll keep fighting.
And cake… Lots of cake. I’ve had cake whenever I was in hospital and when I came home. I baked on my good days. I’ve had so many get well soon cakes (keep them coming, lovely people, I really don’t mind 😛 ) that’s definitely a positive!
I have a lot of mixed feelings today. There’s happiness that I’ve come this far. I need to keep reminding myself that it’s no small feat. Dealing with everything the way I have is pretty freakin awesome. That much I’m starting to see!
I’m also emotional for the same reasons. I read a quote some time ago: “I never knew how strong I was until being strong was the only choice I had.” Very true. i never thought my life would take this path but I’m glad it has.
Now the only thing to do is take a deep breath, congratulate myself and wait for my Stomaversary cake which should be arriving soon!
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