So, for my 100th blog post I want to say THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR BEING A PART OF MY HEALING. MY BODY MIGHT BE BROKEN . . . BUT MY SPIRIT SOARS BECAUSE OF YOU.
You have changed me from adopting a self-pitying attitude to the woman I am: one who is comfortable in her skin. As I processed the information and prepared blog posts for you, I was garnering helpful information for myself. At the same time I was getting a clearer picture of what I needed to do, to cope with my new-found medical condition. At some point my shame started peeling away.
When I was first diagnosed with neurogenic bladder and bowel, I remember my mind just swirling with self-doubt. The isolation of being alone with my thoughts, with no outlet, was simply too much. I was just plain embarrassed. I PRAYED TO GOD to give me any other ailment besides one that caused havoc with my bladder and bowel. I was horrified at the thought of others knowing about my condition, even my family. Shame filled my life because the whole situation seemed so much bigger than I could handle on my own. I kept the pain I felt in my bladder inside, to myself.
Yep, I had a big secret. In the beginning I was too humiliated to share openly, even with my doctors, all of my symptoms, let alone my friends or even my husband. It was not on my polite radar to discuss toileting with anyone except the child I was potty training. The accidents that happened in public places were still too raw to share with anyone.
But I could share this secret with you. Do you know what role you've played in the healing of my attitude? Because of you, I have taken the focus off of myself and enjoyed on-line support. I am beginning to understand that some of you lovely people are in the same circumstances that I am in. There is safety in numbers. I know now that there is a whole group of normal people out there that have bowel and bladder difficulties.
I did and still do have thoughts to share, so I press on.
In the early days of the blog, I mostly wrote about things I was having a hard time discussing with my doctor. I remember a funny email I got from a reader that said,” I can't believe you write about this stuff.” I suppose I came across a bit perverted, but I needed an outlet and I found others who understood the emotional prison into which I had put myself in. I found solace in writing to you.
Then the most amazing thing happened. As I look back, there was a cross-over period that occurred, as a result of my writing and meeting others on-line who shared my medical condition. I started learning about others. I became less humiliated by my physical situation. Through research, I not only learned more about the topic, but became more comfortable with myself. As I began to accept myself and my situation, I was becoming less ashamed and embarrassed. My thoughts went to you and I became more concerned about you. Something else was happening: I realized that within the larger scheme of things, my neurogenic bladder and bowel symptoms were a lot milder than many others. I was certainly not alone.
From emails and the dear comments to the blog posts, I learned that a lot of extra suffering is caused by the vagueness offered by doctors; the absence of understanding and even larger lack of sympathy for our condition. I also learned that neurogenic bladder and bowel, in its various presentations, is relatively common among women, especially those that have had a vaginal delivery. I also have learned that the jokes people make is because of a lack of understanding or even awareness of our medical condition and I need to do my part in helping people understand how inappropriate the jokes are.
So again from the bottom of my heart, please know that since my very first post to this, my 100th, I will get real, shake the shame, and be proud even with my neurogenic bladder and bowel. The acceptance of my situation is complete and I know I am not alone because of you.
With fondness and respect,