It all began on the 20th of December 2016, the day of my dads Birthday. l had no idea I would steal his spotlight.
I went to bed that night after our meal out, but for whatever reason I could not sleep. Although that reason soon appeared clear. The reason being intense pain.
Now, having issues with my stomach was nothing new to me. I was that person who didn’t want to ever get it checked out by a doctor because I was scared of what they may find- to be quite honest I had convinced myself I had dealt with it for so long it seemed to late to get help.
Although this night seemed very different to the usual pains I’d get because this time I wasn’t able to stand up straight, I was in agony and full of tears. I was hunched over and dragged myself to the bathroom at maybe 2am to run myself a hot bath to help with the pain as Google advised.
The pain remained, my sister continued to check up on me as I was slumped there crying nonstop.
The next morning I asked my dad to bring me to the hospital, that’s when deep down I knew something was wrong, and to be honest so did my father and sister.
I sat in the walk in centre for hours waiting to be seen, whilst being sick and I could barely string a sentence together.
I was passed around from doctor to doctor. I was kept overnight as the doctors wanted to do an ultrasound in the morning, as they believed it could have been trapped blood from my period.
My dad assisted me to the room, whilst I was in the wheelchair, and accidentally crashed me into every wall on the way, ouch.
I was dosed up on pain killers all night, and my cannula had leaked all over my bed, which meant I woke up to a scene from Jaws.
I was half naked when a group of doctors came to visit, of course what perfect timing. They handed me a document stating if I needed major surgery I have given my consent for them to do so. I was clueless to how all of this worked, as I was signing the documents I ask the doctors “so if I was to have major surgery could I go home tomorrow”, he thought I was joking, awkward.
Just as I was about to go to theatre to investigate ‘the trapped blood’ my dad was going crazy, he was a wreck, all I can remember is waking up to a doctor telling me that I had to have major surgery, to which my massively drugged up self replied “yeah I know.”
According to my sister they had been waiting at the hospital for nine hours which no information all that they knew was “there was complications.”
Now the reason for the major surgery was because I had a perforated bowel, in other words my bowel had a hole in it and that is life threatening as the contents in my bowel were leaking into my body. So they had removed that part of the bowel, which had the hole in it. At this point I didn’t know what had caused this as tests needed to be done.
I spent around a week in hospital after this recovering.
The first day I was on a different planet, my closest a friends came to visit with cards and presents followed by some more of my family.
I was very thankful for the support by all my loved ones and best friends, as it did prove to me who is really there for me during my absolute time of need, and I know I will always do the same for them.
I will never forget how truly amazing they all are, especially my dad and sister who were my absolute rocks throughout it all and have continued to be till this day.
The following days I had to practice walking, which was mind blowing to me as a couple days before I was walking, and talking like normal. Now I can’t even sit up by myself, as I now have a gaping hole in my stomach and two more hole with tubes coming out draining my insides.
It was hard recovering. I was in a severe amount of pain, however, I pushed myself everyday to walk around the hospital for an hour to help myself get back to normal.
Although I was puzzled one day when the customers in Costa were throwing me weird looks, but then again it became clear when I realised the clear tubes attached to my stomach draining me were pinned to my gown bouncing around, as I passed them having a snack, so I can it was pretty off putting.
It was the day before Christmas was the first time I saw my stomach after the surgery, it was scary, the wound stretched from the bottom of my stomach, passed my belly button and held together by staples.
I broke down because of the appearance at first sight, I couldn’t believe how traumatic it looked but I remembered to keep strong.
Christmas Day was probably one I would never forget, first of all I was greeted by one of the nurses, whilst I was hanging off my bed upside down in an attempt to get up by myself to use the toilet.
I was given a present from the hospital labelled ‘to an OAP’ so I wasn’t too surprised when I opened up my new Magnify glass and a calculator but none the less I appreciated it!
Later that morning I was seen by the group of surgeons, little did I know of the free spa treatment I was about to receive too.
One of the surgeons instructed one of the doctors to remove my dressings on my stomach and of course he had to be the good looking one why wouldn’t he?
Hear me out, I’ve been stuck in this hospital bed so I’m not able to groom myself like I usually would.
The good looking doctor had the pleasure of pulling away the dressings starting from the top, he then looks up and apologises as he rips off the bottom, I look down and he’s left me a landing strip. I was mortified.
Later on that day my dad and sister visited, a doctor came over and apologised as he accidentally wrote ‘end of life’ on my chart. Honestly I knew I was looking rough but I didnt know I looked that bad. Things never got boring in that place.
After that things were looking up, I was able to return home, but I spent most days stuck in bed because I hadn’t full regained my strength.
I was still waiting to go for my first ever toilet, as my insides were trying to function as normal and when I did my dad and sister cheered me on outside the toilet door, which we all agree after that was weird.
I’ll be honest mine and mothers relationship was practically non existent, life at home was great with my sister and dad we had unconditional love and support for each other, however my mum wasn’t the same, it was completely the opposite, which is why I never wanted her to visit me at the hospital.
Some of her comments in the past made it seem difficult to have her there in my time of need. So funnily enough the recovering didn’t seem all that hard anymore when I mentally had to deal with my mum and her remarks about me faking it all.
I had the scars to prove it, my dad and sister experienced it but it was never good enough.
Fast forward to my first appointment with my local doctor, I will never forget it, I had a list of questions to ask to, which the doctor declined answering most, but wonderfully offered to answer one or two.
I was livid, I had no idea what was going on, I was told I was unable to travel anymore, which was all I was working towards, but then she dropped the bombshell when she explained the results from the piece of bowel that was tested “okay so you’ve got traces of Crohn’s disease.”
I forced myself to walk home from the doctors as my walking was getting quite better. I rang my dad and broke down as did he, as we thought everything was put behind us, I thought I just needed my wound to heal and everything’s good.
My mum found out the news. She took it upon herself to ring her closest friends, and tell them I lied about everything, I was being dramatic about everything. She said I was pretending because I was craving attention.
I was disgusted how someone could go that low after how mentally broken I was.
She continued to pretend to be the number one mum on Facebook, in front of our family and friends. It was all a show.
This was the wake up call. I needed to be strong. I needed to get better, be strong, go back to work and earn money to travel.
28th June I returned to the specialist for a follow up appointment, it was full of surprises.
The doctors finger done a bit of investigating up my back passage which was a bit awkward, as my dad and sister were on the other side of the curtain, laughing.
My luck was not over! He told me I was now Crohns free after months of monitoring me.
The traces were only in the piece of bowel that was removed, and as my wound was fully healed I was given the ok to travel. I was on such a high!
Side note – that same specialist came into my workplace to buy some lunch. It was slightly awkward… How do you greet someone who had their finger up your bum after five minutes of conversation, he asked me how I was doing, I didn’t know whether to start telling him about my bowel movements or just stick with the simple “I’m really good, thank you”, as he was about to eat I went with the second option.
July 26th 2017 I made my way to London City airport with my sister, and our one way ticket to Bangkok. It was time to live my dream. Our dad saw us off and he was unbelievably proud of the both of us from how far we had come.
I am forever thankful to them both, they both were incredibly strong and without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.
That leads me onto today, my wound is completely healed, and my scar now represents how strong I’ve been.
I’m now living my best life with the people I love because I’ve learnt life is too short, so you have to follow your dreams no matter how big they are!
Christmas 2016 was spent in hospital where everything seemed impossible.
Christmas 2017 was spent with my dad coming to visit us on our favourite island, Gili T with all of our new friends having the absolute time of our lives.
I still connect and adore my family and best friends in England and those who I have met along the way.
I have also left the negative people behind, as those who proved they weren’t there for me during my time of need don’t deserve to have me during the best time of my life.
This is also a piece of mind for anyone who is going through anything similar because things do get better as anything is possible.
I also want to stress to anyone, if something in your body doesn’t feel right please do not ignore it and get help.
I ignored my issues for four years. I had blood in my stool and I chose to ignore it because I was scared, my doctor told me if I had come much sooner there would be no need for major surgery, and risk nearly losing my life.
I have learnt my lesson and I want to encourage anyone to go to a real doctor rather than google to at least get a piece of mind.