Of course I couldn’t have done any of this without my parents. They have been there through it all, from the tears we all cried with frustration, when, sitting at the dinner table, I wasn’t eating anything. To waking up in recovery and seeing my poor, tired, frightened parents faces.
I want to point out that having a stoma doesn’t just affect you, It includes your whole family. The day I woke up in H.D.U, my parents were both there, right beside me. My mum harrassed the nurses to let her sleep beside me, and my dad sneaked me in chocolate buttons when I was starving and was supposed to be on a liquid diet! (melted chocolate is liquid, right!?) They were there for every new step. The first time I saw Sally (my stoma) tears were streaming down my face, I clung to my dad’s hand and looked away, I couldn’t face it all. But he was there to help me. The first time I had to change my bag my hear was racing, I was petrified, but my mum understood. She sprayed some perfume on her scarf and wrapped it around my nose so I couldn’t smell it, and she gently changed my bag for me, and when I was ready to do it myself, she stood firmly beside me and I knew she was going to help me whenever I needed it.
When I left the hospital, my dad wheeled my gently from ward 8 to the car, he helped me into my seat, and pulled the seatbelt across me, all the time making sure I was comfortable and not in any pain. When I got home, my brothers were there to greet me, and to help me with simple things like lifting the kettle or getting something from the top shelf. (the benefits of having a brother over 6 foot tall are endless!)
When I got home, I didn’t realise how difficult certain things would be. I couldn’t bend over, so pulling up trousers and tights was like solving a rubix cube blindfolded! But bam! there was magic mum, ready to help me with anything I needed. and lets not get me started on having a shower! I braved it one day, but didn’t realise my bandage wasn’t waterproof, so it fell off. To my horror, I looked at my scar, and it had popped open, I gently put my jimjams back on and shouted for dad, who took one look at my belly and exclaimed “oh…thats not right!” and took me down the doctors.
My parents have been completely and utterly amazing, I will never forget their loving words, much needed cuddles and constant encouragement. Every day is a new day, and I am constantly doing more and more, but like a baby taking its first steps, right behind me, there are two sets of eager eyes, making sure their baby doesn’t fall.
I love them more than they will ever know.