Waiting to Exhale

I think I've been holding my breath since August. It was early August when I was hospitalized for the 1st time because Remicade had stopped working and the Ulcerative Colitis symptoms began to spiral out of control. This marked the beginning of the ileostomy discussions (which took place in Sept.) and I think I've been waiting to exhale for 6 months.

Last night, my colostomy bag exploded around 4am. It was like a bomb had gone off! There was crap everywhere! LITERALLY. So, I got up, cleaned my self up, replaced the bag, changed my clothes and moved to the couch. I was too tired to deal with the bed. After every one was gone for the day, I began cleaning up the bedding. It dawned on me as put the sheets in the washer and stain treated the mattress, that I was not fretting over this like I have in the past. Before, I would have been near tears but now, I am doing this with out much thought.

I'm finally breathing again.

Could I be getting used to my new normal?

Part of living with an ileostomy is accepting that you will have these kinds of accidents now and then. It just happens so you just deal with it. I'm dealing with it! This was a huge milestone for me to recognize. I am so much more comfortable with the bag now. When it occasionally makes noise, I just use my hand to cover it and say excuse me or deflect with humor. I mean really, who doesn't love bodily function humor?

I catch myself checking the fullness of the bag with out thinking about it. No longer am I constantly worried that it's bulging. I know I have it well concealed and when it's full, I empty it. I also have to "burp"  or let the air out of it once in a while too. No big deal. I used to check it every 5 minutes and probably drew more attention to it as a result. It's just a part of me now, like wearing under garments, it's just there.

I'm adjusting.

You might think: well it's about time Monnie, after 6 months and all. But honestly, it has not felt like 6 months to me. I feel like it just happened 3 weeks ago. I wondered if I would ever be at this point. My family seems to be adjusting well too. The boys are back to their typical boy selves, messy and gripey about chores which means I'm back to threats and nagging. Yes, I would say the Burdett household is finding our groove again.


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