Oh, my, God. Becky, look at her bag.

I mean, her bag, is just so big.

I can’t believe it’s just so round, it’s like, out there, I mean – gross.  Look!

Said no one ever. 

Hey y’all! I’m back!

I know, I’ve been gone far too long.  You thought I died during surgery.  You were worried.  You missed my shitty wit.  You thought you were going to follow the chronicles of my entry into the bag life in real time.  Good news!  I did not die during my 7 hour surgery!

I did spend 4 days in the step down unit, 2 days in a regular room, received 2 blood transfusions, had a doctor under dose my epidural on day 1, needed an ultrasound on my arm to find a vein, blew out every IV I received, watched season 1 of Gossip Girl, left the hospital sans a colon and rectum, but(t) gained.  more.  life.  in the last 8 months than I ever thought possible with severe Crohn’s disease, and an ostomy bag.

 When I returned home from the hospital, I wanted my anticipated 6 week short term disability leave to fly by as fast as possible.  I wanted taking a shower to be effortless.  I wanted my (mom-enforced) daily walk down my driveway to the mailbox to be easy.  I wanted to feel strong.  I wanted my bag to stop leaking.  I wanted to sleep on my left-side, in my own bed.  I actually just wanted to be able to sleep in a bed.  I wanted this itchy thing attached to my stomach to be gone.  I wanted so badly to feel “normal” again.

And my “normal” didn’t included blogging my daily struggles with my new body and my new ostomy bag.

Fast forward 8 months, my life is totally normal!  It’s beyond normal!  It’s extraordinary.

Stay tuned for my tips on navigating bag life, my love of high waisted anything, an occasional craft or recipe, and how I prove to Becky, and everyone, how it’s not my bag, but(t) my life, that is just so big.

It tastes like prime rib.

Surgery prep sucks.  Colonoscopy prep sucks.  Any bowel related anything prep sucks.

I tried to eat 2 big meals yesterday in hopes that they would hold me over through today.  That worked out well – NOT.  While the food was delicious (I ate dinner at one of my most favorite restaurants), the world needed to remind me one more time why I was getting this surgery.  As if I had forgotten.

If you can’t read between the lines, I shit my pants.  Actually, I shit my dress, which is almost worst?  In my car.  At least I’ve smarted up at this point and I sit on a “poopy pad” so the mess is easier to clean up and I am not trying to deep clean my car seats at least once a week.  I did still have to sneak into my house past my neighbor, while my dog was frantically trying to sniff AKA lick my butt.  That was fun.

While yesterday ended on a slightly shitty note, I at least got to eat real food!  We take it for granted, being able to eat 3 meals a day.  For the 48 hours prior to surgery, I am restricted to clear liquids.  I had a bowl of chicken broth for dinner tonight.  It looked like pee.  I told myself it tasted like prime rib.

Over the last 3 years I have gone at least 2 weeks without eating real food.  I have had about 5 procedures each year that have required bowel prep.  Did I mention it sucks?

Bowel prep does suck.  But so does pooping your pants.  And I have done that WAY more than 5 times a year…

So this brings me to plus side # 35 of having an ostomy.

Ostomy Plus Side # 35: Fewer procedures that require bowel prep post-ostomy.

 

T minus 5 poops, folks.

 

How are you doing?

How. Are. You. Doing?  My boyfriend asked me these 4 simple words on Sunday night, and I teared up.  I couldn’t explain why I was crying or how I was feeling.  I can handle the words “I have to have my colon removed” and “I am going to poop from a bag the rest of my life”, but this week I am struggling with four, seemingly easy words.

How am I doing?  I’ve thought long and hard about it the last few days.  How does one feel when they are about to have a life. altering. surgery.?  I think its important for me to document these feelings so anyone reading this post now or in the future knows that it is totally normal to feel this way and that you are not alone.  I also want my readers (who are mostly family at this point – Hi, Mom!) to know that I really am okay.

So here goes – How am I doing?

I am sad.  I am sad Inflammatory Bowel Disease exists.  I am sad there is no cure.  I am sad some people suffer from this disease without sufficient means and support systems.  I am sad that there is little understanding of these diseases in the world and that pooping is such a taboo topic.

I am anxious.  I can only grin & bear it so many times when I hear “I know how you are feeling; I have severe allergies” or “you must be excited for your upcoming vacation!”.  I am counting down everything – 10 poops left, 3 sleepless nights left, 2 days of work left, zero solid meals left.  I am trying to figure out if every outfit I wear will look okay post-bag.  I wish I could fast forward 6 weeks to when this is all over and could start posting about my #ostomyOOTD and the pretty side of poop.

But mostly,

I am excited.  I am excited to finally be in the driver’s seat (without having to sit on the poopy pad) of my life.  I am excited to no longer fear my hour commute to work, with no bathrooms.  I am excited to cross port-a-potties off of my list of favorite places.  I am excited for my mind to no longer be consumed with figuring out where the closest bathroom is and what story am I going to use to cut the line.  I am excited to do all the things that I had to miss out on for the last few dark years.  I am excited for this awful seton to be removed.  I am excited to prove to the world that even with Crohn’s disease and an ostomy bag, I am still just like you.

I’m also excited to eat corn.

And Casablanca salad.

I can’t guarantee that I won’t cry the next time I am asked “how are you doing?” or that I won’t cry when my parents show up or when it is time for them to wheel me away.  But I can guarantee that I am ready.

My poops are numbered.

My colon and rectum are going to be removed in 6 days, and I will be left with a permanent ileostomy.  That means I have approximately 30 poops from the butt left…for all eternity.  (You may be doing quick math and are thinking “five times a day…that’s not too bad”.  And I agree with you!  Five times a day is a walk in the park compared to some of the dark days of my life when I was averaging 10+.  I’ll get more into those days in a later post.)

Back to the 30 poops.  While I have mixed feelings about the actual surgery, I could not be more thrilled to only have to poop 30 more times, from the butt, for the rest of my life!  Think of the money I am going to save on toilet paper!  I legit cry a little when I go to someone else’s house and they have that super thin, see-through, sandpaper-esk toilet paper.  Have they never had diarrhea?!  While I doubt I will stoop to that level (I find it just plain cruel!), I will not have to invest in the jumbo pack of 900 fill polyester down TP like I do today.  Charmin shareholders: take note.

Now that we are up to speed with my bowel movement frequency and toilet paper preferences, let me introduce myself.  Hi!  I’m Dani & I have Crohn’s disease.  I have lost many battles in my 10 year struggle with this disease, but this month, I am determined to win the war!

I decided to create Baby Got Bag to share my experiences through this surgery and life after.  My mission is to prove that life can still be “normal”, even with an ostomy bag.  I plan to share the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, and the tricks that turn the bag life, into the best life.

Stay tuned – shit is about to get real!

 

P.S. 27 poops remain.