Welcome to my *NEW* blog! I am so happy you have found me and I hope that we get to know each other well. I have a long history of Crohn's disease, 20 years, in fact. A lot happens in 20 years. I am an open book and happy to share from the most grueling to the most elating experiences of my journey. I actually started a blog many years ago to document that history, My Intestine-mony. I am sure along the way, I will bring over stories and lessons from then, but this blog, this blog is not one about suffering, but about healing. Praise the Lord. Throughout all my posts in My Intestine-mony, I regularly said, "I can't wait to see how this story ends." And to God be the glory, I am on the other side of that story. A place I always hoped and prayed for, but never really dreamed I would achieve on this side of Heaven.
I do want to give a little history. I was diagnosed with Crohns when I was 24 years old, although I was getting progressively ill for five years up to the point I had emergency surgery to open up my stomach. My Crohns is rare. It only affected my stomach, so I had issues with vomiting because my stomach swelled shut. I was single and truly living the life post graduate school in my first job that I loved in a new city. But, I was incredibly ill. I had 2 open abdominal surgeries within 2 years to add new holes to my stomach, but in hind site was simply a band aid on a much bigger issue....inflammation. I met my husband shortly after my second surgery and for the next few years, he never knew me to be sick. I was healthy! I remember the day my life made a turn for the worst and that was when we found out we were moving, leaving our family with 2 babies in tow 12 hours away. I broke out in hives, my stomach began to hurt again, foods started to react and I began to vomit again. The stress of the move and the job changes definitely took a toll on my fragile body.
I was in and out of doctors offices, ER's and hospitals for the next 10 years. While I had a fight, my body was getting weaker and weaker until I reluctantly agreed to have my stomach removed. That sounds crazy to me! I couldn't wrap my head around it. I went to the "best of the best" at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, University of Texas Medical Center in Houston, Houston Methodist and my life was forever changed. There is a good ending to this story, I can assure of that, but in the process of removing 80% of my stomach, they unknowingly nicked three spots in my colon, stomach and duodenum. We wouldn't find this out for 6 long and painful weeks.
My surgery was May 4, 2015. After four weeks of Home Health care packing my wound (open from sternum to pubic bone) up to two times a day, we knew something was wrong. I wasn't healing. But in the mean time, I had end of year parties for school, sports and more for three precious boys, ages 6, 9 & 11. My baby was ending his last year of pre-school and under that orange shirt of mine was a nasty wound that felt like I could touch my organs. What I didn't know then was that I was walking around (very slowly and with a chauffeur) near death septic. My original surgeon was apathetic, but my wound care nurse was very uneasy and finally found a way to get me into a Wound Care Specialist by requesting a wound Vvac for me. Funny to say, I was scared of a Wound Vac and annoyed I would have to carry it with me. I had no idea....