dear ostomy,

I am in the car on my way to my last surgery and I honestly am feeling so many emotions it’s hard to point out just one exactly. I never thought this day would come, but here it is, at 4 a.m. I changed my pouch for the last time this morning, took a good look in the mirror after my shower and said goodbye.
I cannot thank my ostomy enough. If anything, I want to say thank you to it. At this very time 10 months ago I hated it, despised it. Cringed knowing I was being rolled into an operating room that I didn’t know or was too ignorant to understand that it was changing my life forever. My ostomy saved my life.
I have never cried before any of the surgeries, because you just get this numb feeling only people with IBD going through the IPAA surgery series could understand. It’s not a normal, run of the mill surgery process. It’s your entire life, changing forever. It’s good but scary, exciting but overwhelming. I’ve been very emotional describing all of this and thinking about it. How could you possibly put into words something that is literally changing you and your body forever. A day I will never forget, ever.
I am so grateful for my support system, for everyone who has been there for me through this horribly tough experience. But this has made me so much of a better, stronger person. I have been cured of a disease that was so utterly painful, my life revolved around a bathroom and pain. Pain that was so inexplicable, it was horrifying and so scary. I would bleed all day everyday. There wasn’t a moment in time for those 18 months that I suffered where I was calm, ok, stable.
Today I will be. Today I will wake up, look down and see a sight I haven’t seen for 10 months. My stomach. What an amazing feeling it will be when I look down for the first time.
Behind all of the tears, rage, frustration, anger, the last feeling I feel right now is happy. I feel amazingly content with what has happened. I am proud of this entire situation. It has pushed me to my limits, outside of my comfort zone. Something I would have never done on my own.
Thank you, ostomy. Thank you for saving my life. For giving me so many gifts that taught me how to be a truer person. A warrior. A fighter. A survivor. I’m sorry that I ever said anything negative about having an ostomy. Through all of the tantrums and the bad names I have called you, you have pulled me though this. You have made it possible for me to live again. A life I would have never had without you. I could sit and laugh with my friends, spend time with my family outside of a bathroom. Work on myself as a person in therapy, recognize my true colors. Though I won’t miss you, I will always be thankful for you. When I look back on times with you in only a few hours when you are gone, I will smile knowing that you were given to me as a gift. You were given to me to teach me and I have learned. Thank you for humbling my life.
Currently on my way to the hospital, getting ready for another major change in my life. I’m terrified, but refuse to allow that to show. The underlying message of all of this for me is to be strong, to be brave. So I will be. If I cry any tears, they will be tears of joy.

Let’s do this.

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