As you may know from the beginning of my stoma story, my journey began during a fitness class. That class feels significant to me as it was then that I experienced THAT horrifying desperate urge to go to the loo for the first time, but I want to take you back a little earlier than that…
New years day 2017: Little did I know this would be the last time I would run free without a stomach ache or fatigue, because only weeks later it all changed.
I was geared up and anticipating the feeling of stepping out for that first run of the year, sunshine beaming down, a crisp and fresh breeze and the sound of greetings as I passed by the morning dog walkers. But instead when I flung open the door, I met a scene from Silent Hill. Thick black clouds consumed the sky and the sound of torrential rain ricocheted off car roofs.
Nevertheless, a true athlete takes on all that mother nature provides, so off I ran into the storm.
Just weeks later, laying on my hospital bed, I felt like a shell of my former self, convinced I had lost in this battle of life.
I felt betrayed by my body, like the time I came to realize twenty pence was not the standard going rate for the “tooth fairy”!
But I remembered a wall of graffiti that I once passed by on one of my runs. It read: “The true moments in life fall upon us like the drops of sudden rain.” – that quote certainly rang true in this moment. I thought about the spray-painted words on that wall, now so poignant, and I thought about the individual that wrote it.
The one thing that was for sure, is that before then I had never really lived for the moment. I was always too worried about tomorrow, questioning ‘what if’ and never focusing on the present. Whilst being anxious about the future isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I now realised it shouldn’t totally consume your ability to be present with all of your senses. I have always felt that, if ever I needed advice, the first person I should listen to is myself, so I gave myself a good talking to and moved forwards.
With that lesson learnt, fortunately I did get back into my running shoes.
This time I ran under the sunshine not clouds. I did get a telling off from my Stoma Care Nurse for running without proper stoma support, so I am now the proud owner of tailor-made support pants which, I must say, also do wonders for the figure on a night out!
This year I have vowed to take my life back, and this time I’m going to do it by living right here, right now.