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.

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