It's time to get into a little of "The Beyond" of the Chronicles of Crap household. We still have strides to go with my physical health, but we are getting there. And that part will always be a piece of my life, my health struggles don't end here, I will always be mindful and careful of my body and it's weirdness. It's been weird since I was 12, I don't have any delusions of grandeur that will finally end now. But that's for another time and not to be dwelled on just to be dealt with.
There is a reason the subtitle of this blog is, "A Journey Through my Intestinal Tract and Beyond."
I of course cracked myself up with this one because it sounded very sci-fi film, George Lucas (which is weird because I don't even like movies like this,) but it also was just plain true. This blog was to chronicle everything that my crap has affected in my life. The last three years have been quite the journey literally and figuratively through my intestinal tract and the beyond that it is has quite drastically changed.
So many of the things we always just figured would be one way before all this crazy crap, have flipped and twisted and done a complete 180 in another direction. We've been constantly in the GPS Mode, "Recalculating Route."
We've done what we can to take each infuriating challenge, figure out what the available options were and proceed along the new highlighted route. We haven't always been great at going with the flow, but I think we've done a pretty darn good job of rolling through the continual pot holes that have filled our journey thus far.
The biggest detour has of course come in the way we will grow our little family. It's always been a part of the hubs and my plan to have children together and of course like any other young couple we figured when we were ready, poof in the good ol' fashioned way we'd create our little mini-us. Ha, life sure does have a way of laughing in your face, or at least mine.
Even when I was first diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, I just took it in stride, assumed that if I took my pills, managed my little flares, exercised, etc. that all would be good. I'd live with my chronic illness, but nobody really needed to know about it and UC would just be one of those things that I dealt with when needed. Although I was just 23, I knew I would eventually be having children, and I distinctly remember asking my GI, when going over my initial diagnosis, if this would prohibit my child-bearing goals way down the line. She said, "No, women with UC and Crohn's have babies all the time. In 1/3 of patients their disease stays the same, 1/3 it gets worse and 1/3 it gets better. And I was satisfied with this answer, I of course would be in that great 2/3, right? WRONG!
After six years of dating, the hubs and I were married when I was 25. And we had already discussed that we wanted to enjoy being married for a few years, work in our careers and get settled before bringing a wee one into the fold. We tentatively said after our second anniversary we would begin the "process." Again, I laugh, one at the fact that me being the control freak I am I could just plan life out like that and at the fact that we had no idea what would happen six months before that two year mark. HA, I say, HA.
Over the past three years it has become clear that what I assumed would just happen, was not going to go the way I had hoped. You know what they say when you assume.... Well that saying sure is true. What you don't know what I'm talking about, well go look that one up.
Even going into my two-step j-pouch surgeries we talked with the doctors about my fertility and chance of carrying a baby. They all said that yes fertility is usually affected, but there are ways around that and carrying a baby would be fine, I'd probably just end up with IVF and a C-section. Again, the hubs and I were on board, we knew that if I didn't have the surgery I was never going to get well enough to have a baby anyway and we had to do what we had to do. And we were confident that all would work out the way we wanted, just a minor detour, right? WRONG.
Thanksgiving of 2008 rolls around, I had had my first two surgeries and I had also now been incontinent for 6 months with no end in sight and it just hit me while driving home from Nor Cal. I was NOT going to ever be pregnant. It just wouldn't work with my severely disobedient body. Even when I did eventually get well, and of course at that time we didn't think it would take as long as it has, the hubs and I came to the realization that it just wouldn't be worth it to risk putting me, a baby or the hubs in the position to deal with something that could go so terribly wrong. It was a very sad realization, but we both knew it was right. I decided to bring it up with my trusty PCP and sadly he agreed as well and sent me to a high risk OBGYN for a more specialized opinion. Well you can guess how that went. Our "gut" feeling (I love puns) was confirmed and now we had to pick ourselves up from the spinning top of emotions and figure out how we would make our dream of a family come true.
How we arrived at our plan has taken a lot of soul searching, researching, planning, saving and reality checking....
** Part 2 coming later in the week, don't want your eyes to bug out of your head reading this novel. Nobody ever said I was short-winded!**