HOW SURGERY GAVE ME MY LIFE BACK AND LESSONS I LEARNT IN 1 YEAR POST-OP

This past week on July 10, 2019 I celebrated my one year anniversary of my bowel resection surgery. So, in honor of this life changing surgery I thought I would share with you all some lessons I have learnt and how surgery has changed my life for the better. 

Before I jump into the post, I just want to say that I wrote a lot of content about my journey and about my life post-op so make sure to check it out if you want to know more. 

My Life Today

This surgery truly did give me my life back and without it I don’t know if I would be here today. My quality of life in the months leading up to my surgery was extremely low. I was in pain every day, I was on a liquid diet in hopes of avoiding a bowel obstruction, I lost weight, I was on steroids, I was failing on every medication, and I was struggling to go about any kind of normal life. 

Thanks to my surgery I am able to live again. I no longer have to worry about what time my stomach will start hurting. I no longer have to worry about making sure I drink all my meals. I no longer have to leave class early to accommodate my health. I no longer have to avoid making plans past 5pm. I have my life back and this is truly incredible. I feel so lucky to be able to say that I am in remission and that I made it through some of the worst pain and toughest years. Thank you so much to all my friends, family, and all of my online supporters. Without all of you I would not have made it to where I am today. 

Lesson #1: Recovery is Fast and Slow

Throughout my recovery journey I found myself moving through different ebbs and flow. At some points I found that I was recovering very fast and others it felt like nothing was happening. So, in that time I learnt to listen to my body and try not to get overwhelmed with my recovery journey. Truly and honestly, I did not feel 100% recovered until end of October 2018. Therefore, it took almost 4 months for me to feel better in terms of stamina and strength. By the end of September I was very frustrated with myself and how long this was taking. But, in due time, with patience and a lot of hard work my stamina and strength was back to somewhat normal. 

Lesson #2: You Can’t Do It All

It can be hard to swallow your pride and let people help you. But, when you are going through recovery it is almost impossible to do it all by yourself. Throughout my recovery, but especially in the first few weeks, I needed help with EVERYTHING. I needed help to shower, to blow dry my hair, to make food, to move from space to space, to get in and out of bed, and the list goes on.

These experiences are NOT easy. It is hard to let your mom and dad help you with all these things when you are 21 year old. But, it is necessary to understand that you NEED HELP. You can’t do it alone, so remember that this is only temporary and you will gain your independence back again. 

Lesson #3: Your Body Is Incredible

This lesson may seem obvious, duh our bodies can do so many incredible things. But, I don’t think you truly understand how much your body can do until your body is thrown through the ringer and manages to fully come back around. It is honestly amazing what our bodies can handle and do every single day. Because of this I started to realize that I should try to help my body as MUCH AS I CAN. 

For me, this meant listening to my body and feeding it good, whole food (for the most part), moving my body in a way that feels good, and tending to my mind. I have become super aware of all the functions that go on in the body every day, so I want to treat my body with respect, love, and kindness. Your body truly is a temple, so make sure you are honoring it everyday. 

Overall, those have been the three biggest lessons I have learnt since surgery. I would love to share more on this topic if you would like, and I can answer any questions you have about the recovery process on Instagram or Facebook. 

If you liked the post make sure to share it with a friend and subscribed to my blog to get email updates every time I post. Also be sure to follow me on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest to get more updates from me on my day to day life.  

Your trusty, gutsy gal, 

Nathalie xx

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#TransformationThursday . . Today I want to talk a bit about my body transformation since surgery and how my scar has healed. I had my bowel resection open surgery July 10th 2018, so it has been exactly 6 months today since I had my surgery. This surgery left me feeling 1000x better and I dont regret it for a minute. Unfortunately, with the surgery came some scars. . . At first I had a hard time excepting the scars, mainly because they were causing me pain. It took me quite a few months for me to live without pain in my scar. But, I can happily say that for about the last two months I have had no more pain in and around my scar. . . The main things I did to help with my recovery was exercise (after 6 weeks post-op), mainly focusing on doing yoga, and core. At first core, was so hard, I couldn't even do 5 sit ups. But slowly with time I got stronger. It wasnt always easy but I stuck with it and listened to my body along the way. As well as exercise, I made sure to use bio oil twice a day since 6 weeks post-op. This really helped to keep the scar moisturized. I also recently started massaging the scar by pinching lightly up and down the scar. My doctor told me this helps to stimulate cell regrowth. . . Overall, I am super happy with how my scar is looking, and I am so proud to show off my battle scars. The first picture here was taken on my trip to Florida a week ago. The rest are as followed: 📷July 16th, 2018, day 6 post-op. 📷July 20th, 2018, after staple removal. 📷August 20th, 2018. 📷October 18th, 2018. . 📷January 10th, 2018. . . . #crohns #colitis #ibd #ibdlife #crohnswarrior #chronicillness #invisibleillness  #autoimmunedisease #inspiration  #blog #love #hope #photooftheday #instagood #positivity #happiness #blogger #selflove #selfcare #mindfulness #wellness #yqg #windsor #surgery #scars #beautiful #progress

A post shared by Nathalie | Gutsy Feeling (@gutsyfeeling) on

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I am a 21-year-old Canadian woman with a passion to share my Crohn's journey with the world. My mission with this blog is to help Chronic Illness Warriors go after a better life with the use of self love, motivation, and health tips. I am currently in my 4th year of university for architecture school, and will be doing my Master's next year. If you want to know more about my health journey and myself, make sure to check out the "About Me" tab at the top of the page.

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