I know we all have a story to tell. Here is a brief version of mine.
On Halloween night in 1988, at the young age of twenty, I was rushed to the hospital due to severe pain and bleeding instead of party hopping with my friends.
It was obvious something was going terribly wrong with my body. Leading up to this moment I had been very sick but hid it from everyone.
This was the beginning of a very intense three-year battle of endless doctor appointments, tests, scans, scopes, multiple medications, and plenty of overextended hospital stays.
Finally, we had a diagnosis. It was severe Ulcerative Colitis.
I was so happy and thought, “great now we know what's wrong let's cure it!”
However, there was no cure and there still isn’t. As the years passed, my body deteriorated and raged a war against itself. Everything we tried had failed.
On January 27, 1992. I ultimately needed to have a lifesaving and life changing surgery (an ileostomy).
Although I am living with daily challenges, I feel that my life has been gifted and rewarding. I am thankful for the support of my four wonderful children and my amazing husband of twenty years. We have thriving businesses. I am a certified health coach specializing in gut and hormone health. Since I love flowers and have always dreamt of being a florist, I got my floral design certification.
Fast forward to 2019. The Patient Coach Program popped up on my newsfeed, and it drew me in immediately. I knew I needed to be a Patient Coach. When I was diagnosed years ago, I was very limited to having someone to speak for my mental and physical well-being before and after surgery.
Knowing that I can make a difference in a fellow ostomate’s life makes me feel even more alive!
One piece of advice I would give someone facing surgery is you are not alone. Embrace what amazing things are waiting for you on the other side of healing. I have so much more to share, but I will stop here for now.
Ask me any questions you may have. Nothing is off limits, and I challenge you to dig deep and ask.
Until next time, be kind to yourself!