October the 11th 2014 will forever be one of the worst days of my life.
I had been ill for around 6 months and two hospital visits later, I was finally given an appointment for the dreaded sigmoidoscopy. That was the day I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis – a form of Inflammatory bowel disease.
What was it? What do I do now? Do I need an operation? Why have I got this? These were some of the questions which ran through my mind when the doctor told me what he found, one of the ‘worst cases’ he had seen in years.
I had my then boyfriend come and pick me up from hospital as I chose to be sedated. There was silence the whole way home. Not one word was spoken to me, not even “How are you?”
When we got home I told him I was going straight to bed to which he replied “I don’t think we are working, this is too much for me to handle”.
I then found out he had chosen to end things with me because of my illness. Previously to my diagnosis, I had researched into IBD and so had he. He found out that in some cases of IBD people have to have an ileostomy or colostomy bag – where the intestine is bought to the front of the abdomen, with a bag secured on top to collect waste – and I’ll never forget what he said after finding that out.
“He had chosen to end things with me because of my illness”
“I don’t think I could be with you if you had one, “I wouldn’t find you attractive”. Well that just broke my heart, how could somebody you have spent a year and a half of your life with someone, for them to say that to you when you need them most?
That same day, the day of my diagnoses, he stopped the night, as I had to have someone stay with me for 24 hours due to being sedated.
I wanted him to leave but he refused, because he wanted to make sure I was okay. I tried to get him to sleep on the sofa but he insisted on staying in the bed, to which of course like most men do… he tried it on with me.
I told him to leave me alone and go, so he did. He got up, got his things and went to work early. At 4 in the morning he left me absolutely distraught and lonely. The next day he was seen with another girl he had been texting, so I decided to pack his things, and I asked for him to collect them the following day.
It was in that moment that I realised, no matter what happened: I am better than him, he is worthless.
The next few weeks were a blur, being diagnosed with UC I had to have quite some time off of work.
Finally, in May this year, my now ex boyfriend’s fears were confirmed: I had major surgery to have my large bowel taken out and I was given an ileostomy bag – which I absolutely LOVE.
“I had major surgery to have my large bowel taken out”
I am super proud of myself for doing this – on my own – and being so strong, after being knocked down by my ex previously about ostomy bags.
My bag saved me physically and mentally and I think I look pretty good even though I now poop through a hole in my tummy.
I know it can be tough when you are in a relationship and something life changing happens to you, but you should never be made to feel like you’re not good enough because you are good enough.
No, you’re more than good enough. Everyday is a battle and everybody is fighting their own. Be kind, always and never doubt yourself because you are amazing.
Words by Paige Crowther