This is a hard post for me to share to the world; it is quite disgusting in places and i’ve tried to make it light hearted, but it’s also very real, and that’s why I think I need to share this story.
March 2019 – I had tried every single medication possible for colitis, I had my appointment with my gastroenterologist where we discussed my next step, surgery. I was prepared, I knew it was coming and thats what I wanted, I felt like I had give every medication my best shot and now it was time. I left with a fake stick on stoma, bags to practice using and a tonne of information, knowing sometime in the next few months I would be called in to have my bowel removed.
One night a few weeks after this appointment, I just fell suddenly unwell, I was vomiting and had the worst diarrhoea I had ever had, which is saying something because I hadn’t had a formed stool in 3 years. I was in so much pain it was honestly excruciating. My Mam and Dad had been on holiday and luckily they had just arrived back that night, we called 111 and got asked to go into A&E.
I had been in hospital a few times prior to this, always either going in via A&E or going to a routine appointment with the consultant and being kept in, so therefore I always had a hospital bag packed. My little bag which I could grab quickly packed for a couple of nights admission. I can remember thinking I wonder if this is it, will I need the operation today?
This night was also the night when I realised my boyfriend, Connor, was the real deal. I mean, I already knew this but after being together for less than a year watching him clean my shit up from my Mam and Dads landing when I could barely stand up and make my way to the toilet any more, I thought to myself i’ve got a good’en. That was it, my last ever poo at home, on the upstairs landing.
I somehow made it to the hospital with no accidents, to be greeted by the usual tests and nurses and doctors and a million questions. I was really grateful for the anti-sickness tablets but that didn’t stop the diarrhoea. I jumped out of my own little room and ran into the centre pod where all the nurses and doctors were sat, desperate for the toilet, and at that moment my bowel just gave up. I was stood frozen solid, Connor had come up behind me and I just stood there. The doctor came over and said ‘Do you need the bathroom, do you feel sick?’ I just looked round at Connor and then down at the floor. The puddle of diarrhoea around my feet was growing and I couldn’t physically stop. The doctor looked and the moment of realisation hit and he just went ‘Ohh diarrhoea’. It’s one of those moments we laugh about hysterically now, but at the time I was mortified. I was going to be known as the girl who shit herself in the middle of A&E.
That was it, my last poo in Cumbria, on the floor of A&E.
I got given the diagnosis of Gastroenteritis that night, a measly bug which had left me feeling dead, and from there I left my local hospital and was transferred to my Gastroenterologist and surgical team at the RVI, 96 miles away.
Due to being branded with Gastroenteritis, which was basically like the plague in hospital, I was given my own little room and luckily a commode at the RVI and I spent 6 nights recovering from the bug before I was wheeled in for surgery. They couldn’t operate whilst I was poorly as my body would be too weak and also as I wasn’t classed as an emergency I had to wait and take each day as it came and wait for a surgical slot to come free. Each morning I would be nil-by-mouth incase I was on the list that day, and after 6 days the morning came! That was it, my last poo ever and it was on a commode.
I can remember that morning my Mam, Dad, Connor and brother Harvey came to wish me luck and I was wheeled off at around 11.30am. I opened my eyes again around 7.30pm in the High Dependancy Unit, pumped full of morphine and just coming round from anaesthetic I can’t really remember that much. I didn’t even think about my operation and it was a good few hours until I actually remembered why I was there and checked to see if everything had gone to plan. I wasn’t phased at all when I looked down at my stoma, i’m not sure if thats just because I was high as a kite or because I had done so much research and knew exactly what to prepare myself for when this time came. I was ready for a whole new adventure and life with my ileostomy and my first night of not having to worry about needing a poo.