10 years ago NOW, as in right this minute, I was under anesthesia.
At about 5:30 p.m. on March 2, 2000, I walked into the OR at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, hopped on the table, and 10 minutes and a couple of lawyer jokes later, I was OUT. I remember coming to and feeling the worst, and I mean absolute WORST pain of my life. It was well after 10 p.m. and the surgery had gone longer than planned. The surgeon had removed 8" of badly damaged small intestine, 8" of useless and nearly blocked-off colon, and a mess of other inflamed and infected tissue that had nestled around my damaged guts.
This was 3 months after my diagnosis with Crohn's disease.
My recovery was a bit slower than expected, and a week later (including three fantastic days with an NG tube), I went home to finally get some sleep.
Some other day I will tell more of the story of how I came to learn that I have Crohn's disease, but not today.
Today is a day of celebration.
You see, I'm one of the very lucky ones. By taking Pentasa, getting sufficient sleep most of the time, and strictly avoiding certain foods (learned though experience, as with most IBD patients - - what we can eat is very individualized and learned through (painful) trial and error) I've been able to stay in relatively good health for the last 10 years.
During those 10 years, I have met MANY who are not as fortunate as I in this regard.
I'm celebrating by getting on the spin bike for a while to continue my training for this ride. I am riding for those who can't, at least not right now. If you're reading this and your IBD is getting the upper hand on ya, keep the faith. Just keep the faith. There are many of us pulling for you. We've experienced those ups and downs. Don't let it get to you! I know it sucks; I've been there. And I'm aware that things could change, and I could be back there again. I hope not, and I will keep working to avoid ending up back there, but it's a real and constant fear.
Meanwhile, I'm going to focus on the positive, and focus on the fact that I have a really huge hill to climb on March 20th. No matter how much my legs are gonna burn on that hill, I know that it will hurt way less than my Crohn's did 10 years ago, and way less than what someone in some hospital is living through with Crohn's or UC right now.