Had you asked me a few months ago what strength meant to me, I likely would have replied with an answer that put physical strength in the spotlight. After everything that has occurred over these past few weeks with being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, strength has taken on a completely new meaning for me.
On December 4th I went to the emergency room because the symptoms that had been bothering me on and off since August of 2015 had officially gotten out of control and had started to really affect my life and well-being. From there I was referred to a GI Doctor and had a colonoscopy done. All of this took about two weeks to happen and during that time my health was deteriorating faster than I knew how to handle. My fevers of 101+, the dizziness I felt whenever I tried to do anything, the extreme fatigue, the complete loss of appetite, the weight and muscle loss, the pooping blood 15-20 times a day. This is what I was dealing with and even with a diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis and treatment plan, I wasn’t getting better. Every day I would think “Okay.. tomorrow I’ll HAVE to start feeling better…” and that day just never came.
When I flew home to Minnesota for the Holidays, my mom took one look at me and knew that I needed to go to the hospital. We went to the ER on the Wednesday before Christmas and I was in the hospital for seven days. What the doctors in Colorado had missed was a nasty infection called C. Diff. My treatment wasn’t working because I had this infection that was never properly treated. Having gone from 160 lbs to 138 lbs in 4 weeks, laying in the hospital, absolutely miserable, wondering when or how I would be able to get relief, that’s when strength earned a new meaning for me.
It was bad guys, it was really bad. I was having majorly depressive thoughts, way more than just the “why me’s”… I literally had the thought “Okay, well, this time in life just didn’t work out for me. If I die maybe I’ll be able to reincarnate and try again. Death would feel better than what I’m going through right now.” I wished that they could just put me in a coma until I was healthy again. I had used up the majority of my mental strength when I was in Colorado trying to deal with things on my own with very limited resources and a truck that started some days and wouldn’t other days. By the time I made it back to Minnesota, I truly had nothing left to give. I was scared, I felt alone, I had no idea when I would start feeling better and none of my doctors or nurses could tell me when either.
So. How did I make it through with my mindset being as it was? Mental strength. I had nothing left to give, but, apparently, I must have had something. I think it was the combination of the unwavering support, thoughts, and prayers from family and friends and that little voice in the back of my head telling me that I would come out even stronger on the other side of this.
With my physical strength depleted, thank God I’m one of the most determined people I know. I have never considered myself to be a weak-minded individual. I had to remind myself that I’m Lilly the mother fucking Legend and ANYTHING I put my mind to, I can achieve. Legends never quit. Even though I had nothing left to give, I dug deep and found something to give. A song lyric. “Everything is going to be alright, be strong, believe.” I would say that to myself over and over and over again.
I’ve only been out of the hospital for 3 days now, and I am feeling better now that the infection is gone. I’m still dealing with a lot of my symptoms from the Ulcerative Colitis but it’s nowhere near the insane symptoms I was having with the C. Diff.
Overall, I think I needed all of this to happen. My life hasn’t been “easy” but I’ve never had to actually deal with something crazy hard before that I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle. If I can make it through this, I can make it through anything. With that being said, no matter what is happening in your life, you have to dig deep, you have to find something to cling to to get you through to the other side.
Thank you all so much for your support through this weird and crazy time.
Be strong. Believe.