Donnerstag, 31. Dezember 2015

New Years Resolutions

I would like to resolve that this will not become an ostomate blog, just as I would like to resolve that my life will not be ruled by the fact that I will soon have a bit of intestine on the outside of my abdomen and that that will be a permanent change.
With that mind, I also want to stay more present  - more present than a woman abroad on holiday who continues to think about an operation and the life that will follow that isn't for another month and is nearly 1,000 km away - while also reminding myself that "this too shall pass" when dealing with something unpleasant.
This is my last trip abroad without an ostomy. I know that my Public toilet Eurokey does not work on Hungarian public toilets, that the "public" toilets (and public use of toilets in restaurants) cost 180-200 forint, but that you don't have to bring in your own toilet paper, as you do in more eastern countries. You can also throw the paper in the toilet. I have also not seen a squat toilet. I know the facts about public access to toilets in so many major capital cities in the US and Europe. (And have cards written in French, German and English stating that I have a non-contagious disease and require access to a businesses staff-only toilet, if need be. Thank you SMCCV - Schweizerische Morbus Crohn / Colitis ulcerosa Vereinigung.)
This is the last time that I will have to schedule lovely days on holidays with my faulty guts in mind and I am a little thrilled about that. I might be able to go to India! I mean, I can go on a hiking holiday and go places with outhouses and not need to ring hotels in advance to see if they have a handheld shower and if they don't to pack my own irrigation bottle!
My doctor has told me that I cannot fully know what living with a diseased, thickened gut is doing to my daily health until I have had it taken out. He thinks that I might feel well on a whole new level, beyond my imagination.
At the same time, I think that some of the stuff I deal with has become so commonplace, that I can't imagine how my external life may change post-op. I remember the time that Ivo came to my gastroenterologist with me and the doctor asked how many bowel movements per day I'd been having and Ivo was shocked when I said "not many - 8-10 per day." 8-10 per day has been a goal since I was 15 years old. When I went for my last scope, my doctor how I'd been feeling. "Great! I only have fistula pain 3-4 times per week!" He rolled his eyes and said that he's looking forward to seeing my surgical success. I have been planning my life around a toilet for 20 years and I just take certain aspects of it for granted.
I still remember the first time I visited Ivo in Providence after I'd moved to Philadelphia and he'd bought a value pack of "softy-soft" toilet paper. When I told my friend Dacia about that she'd said "It's true love!"Oh the trees that will live on once my rectum is removed!
Of course I am glossing over the hassle that awaits in needing a plastic bag and adhesive flange on my hip for the removal of waste. But that stuff is truly unknowable until I've been cut and sewn and swelling has reduced. So I'll leave that for then (look at me following my resolution!).
I'm just looking forward to a new freedom and a different inconvenience.

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