Sunday, June 17, 2012
Guest Post: Sara's "Letter to Me", Part One
I know you hate that nickname right now but when you get older you're going to appreciate your parents little names for you. You know how mom always calls you Squirt or Sarie and dad calls you Saro? Let them, they are just loving you and you're going to need their love a lot to get through this. Anyway Sara, I'm writing to you from the year 2012 to give you some advice about how you are going to get through all of this.
Right now as you sit in your hospital bed reading this you're scared. I know you are because I was you, well I am you. I am the you that exists in the future and I want to tell you about how great you become and how being sick completely changes your life. You know how you've been staying in the hospital every year since you were a baby because of dehydration, severe diarrhea and constant vomiting? Well you have a disease but you're not going to find out what it is until years later when you're a teenager. For now they are going to tell you it's a bunch of other things causing it like what you eat or "nervous stomach". I'm sorry babygirl, that probably just scared you. The word disease is a scary word, but don't be scared, just listen to your story...
Right now I know you hate the hospital because it's scary and lonely and you don't like when mom has to leave you to go home to be with dad and Matt. Do me a favor and make friends with the other kids there. They will play with you and their moms will take care of you when your mom can't be there. You are forever going to remember one mom in particular who is the mother of the little boy in the room next door. She is going to make sure you feel comfortable and loved and keep you from feeling scared when mommy has to leave. I know you hate those hospital beds because they always give you a bed with bars on it like some over-sized crib and you're not a baby! Sorry girl but this isn't going to stop until you're 8 years old so you may as well get used to it. Also, you're going to spend Easter there but don't worry because the Easter bunny still finds you and manages to bring you an Easter basket full of all sorts of candy. You can't eat it now because you're sick but you can when you get home. I'm really proud of you for how brave you are. You don't even think getting an IV is a big deal and it doesn't even hurt! You're not even afraid to watch when they put them in. All this will come in handy later on in life because you're going to spend other holidays in the hospital, not be able to eat, and will have plenty more IV's and it wont be as easy to get them in as it is right now. You hear other kids cry when they get shots or IV's and you wonder why they are being such babies about it. Cut that out and be nice, they're just scared!
Wanna know something great? You're going to get a break soon and from the time you are 9 years old up until the age of 14 you will forget all about being sick! In fact, you'll hardly remember much about the times you were sick as a kid because it all fades into patchy memories. I would like to give you a lot of advice about your teenage years because frankly Sara they are a mess. What the heck are you thinking then I don't know, but in the end you turn out to be alright so I'm just going to let you go through all of it because I think it really helps you become who you are. I don't want to scare you because you're young but I think you can handle what I am about to tell you. Most kids who are sick have to grow up a lot faster than other kids anyway so I know you are already strong. When you become a teenager you're going to start seeing blood in your poop. Yeah, I know that sounds awful and so gross! But listen carefully, tell mom! You're going to start seeing blood and do things like wish it away, pretend you're seeing things, and then when you really know that it is indeed blood you're seeing you never say anything about it at first. Don't do that! This is the first sign that something is going wrong and this is the biggest window into your future health issues. Eventually you do tell mom and you go to the doctor and they make you do a test where you have to collect your poop into some jars and bring it back to the doctor so they can test it. You will find this to be the worst and most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you and you throw a teenage tantrum and cry and scream at your mom that you're simply not going to do it. In the end mom wins and not long after, and a few tests later, you get diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. You are scared to death because having a disease is a big deal. You wonder what it all means, you wonder if you're going to die, you cry, and then you ignore it.
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