Post a picture that symbolizes your condition and your experiences
I have been agonizing over this post all day and yes, this photo is the picture I came up with. I believe this symbolizes my experiences with almost 13 years of ulcerative colitis, 14 MAJOR operations, 350 nights at Mt. Sinai hospital, upteen procedures, which culminated in me finally giving in to having a permanent ileostomy about four weeks before this picture was taken.
This is supposed to be “wordless Wednesday” but for those of you who know me you know that I am a pretty wordy individual. This picture also doesn’t look like anything more significant than me posing with a friend of mine so words are in order (sorry WEGO health).
This photo was taken while I was a patient in a psychiatric hospital. For those of you who have been following my blog, you will remember the post when I expanded on that here, One Year Ago Today and then again more in depth here.
I never took any pictures of myself while I was in the hospital because well lets face it, I had my mind on other things. So when I was scrolling through photos, trying to find the perfect one to capture my journey and experiences, all I could find were ones of me looking happy and in places that brought me a lot of joy. This photo, however, reminded me of how much I have really been through and how much IBD actually can do to a person. I was also wearing my dad’s sweatshirt which I wore every possible chance I had (always) since it brought me an enormous amount of comfort. The girl in the picture with me was one of the first people I thought I would “test out” and talk to honestly about my issues. No pretending, no dancing around the truth, just total honesty. I told her I had an ileostomy, and actually showed her. I had my own room when I first got to the hospital but actually requested to switch because she and I became so close. Being in this place with other people whose issues were far from the same as mine but with people who were understanding since they were dealing with heavy situations of their own really opened my eyes to a lot.
This picture, although not a “pretty” one, represents a huge part of my journey and one I felt compelled to share today.