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The Ghost of Christmas 2013

Like many bloggers this time of year, I am writing a Christmas post. Google "Christmas Blog" and you'll come up with 580,000,000 results. We really don't need another Christmas Post, do we? But here I am. Why? Because last year at Christmas, I was in the hospital.

In the hospital on 40mg of Prednisone with severe dehydration. 
December 2013

The past two years have been a true struggle for me. My most recent (and most monstrous) flareup started in April of 2013. The usual round of steroids was prescribed in an attempt to get my symptoms under control. Throughout the rest of the year my Prednisone dose went up and down. At the end of each round I found myself in pain, in bed, dehydrated and unable to move for fear of flying to the bathroom in the nick of time.

It was around this time last year that I had my first UC-related accident. I was hurt, mortified and felt completely helpless... controlled by a disease that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Broken, defeated and completely devastated, the bitterness crept in. December 15th, 2013 I found myself in the hospital because of my disease for the first time.

I couldn't move, I couldn't eat and I couldn't keep any water down - severe dehydration. Last year was also the first Christmas that I was unable to be with my family. Not only did I feel guilty for being unable to visit them for Christmas... but I also felt guilty because my husband couldn't see his family for Christmas--because he had to take care of me!!!

Ivan the IV. He followed me everywhere. CREEPER!

This year, 2014, was another struggle. The flare would not go away. My body was steroid-dependent. Any attempt to get off of them and the blood started all over again. Then in March, my doctor uttered the s-word.


Long story short, I had my colon removed April 15th and for three months I sported a stoma named Peeves. On July 15th, I had my reversal and a happy, healthy j-pouch. The surgery was difficult. I cried many times and had some major breakdowns. The very thought that a part of me--a major internal organ--would be dead was more than a little disheartening. Part of me would be gone. Forever. 

After my surgeries I did have a few complications. At the time, going through them, they were a big deal! The biggest complication was that I had to nurse 3 abscess wounds (one of them was a gaping, small lemon-sized abscess). It has definitely been quite a year.

IV's - Sometimes the only thing standing between you and your freedom!
AKA - A hospital's version of handcuffs.

Despite all this, I think I can say with all honesty that I'd do it all over again. Are you crazy? No. I have learned much more in my pain and discomfort than I ever did in my times of peace and comfort. And so, as we inch closer and closer to another Christmas, I leave you with these wise words from C. S. Lewis:

"We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists 

upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, 
speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: 
it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

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