Ulcerative colitis stopped me from working. I have had a lot of time “off” that I am calling “my weirdest vacation ever.”
1st surgery was November 29, 2012
2nd surgery was December 8, 2012
3rd surgery was April 8, 2013
I am waiting on hopefully only 1 more surgery in the summer!
After my colon removal, creation of end ileostomy, and undoing a twist in my small intestine (surgery 1-2), I wrote down vacation aspects of my time “off.”
I got to go commando for like two months.
I did not have to worry about washing my hair for days on end.
I did not feel pressure to put my contacts in daily, so I got to wear my glasses without even questioning it.
I did not feel pressure to put make-up on either (my hair and face are benefiting from this experience, right?).
I have someone who buys me groceries and cooks me my every meal and snack.
I have people paying attention to me out of concern…a lot of weak ties are being strengthened…like people from high school and random people from my small town.
I get to find out who I am and what I like…(I have always had trouble answering what I’m interested in, because I have always kept myself so darn busy with school and other activities).
I get to read books…but I haven’t done this yet.
I get to watch TV and movies.
I got to take 3 or more naps a day.
I have someone who washes my clothes, towels, and bed sheets regularly.
I get to spend more time with certain people.
All in all, I put less emphasis on media beauty standards, reached out to people, and did more recreational activities. I will keep on doing this even after I heal from my last surgery and re-enter the job world.
However, time after time I feel down about not doing anything productive for my life in this time “off.” One of my great aunts sent me this card this morning that snaps me out of thinking this way!
“I know it must be hard having to stop everything for a while and just focus on getting better. But when you find yourself worrying about the million and one things you think you should be doing instead, just remember…This time is for you. Your time to rest. Your time to heal. And nothing’s more important than that. Because you’re important.”
Isn’t beautiful? It made me tear up, because I have been so hard on myself lately thinking that I have all this opportunity to do something, anything…and that because I’m not I’m wasting my time “off.”