1994 was a year of both good and bad. I met my husband, Pierre in my final year of Community College, graduated early with high marks, got my first real job and moved to Antigonish. That is when things started going not so great.
Let's rewind a bit back to my childhood. I was always the sickly one. Forever had the cold, faithfully got strep throat each year (and still do to this day), and as I got older, I started having these stomach pains that I never could quite explain. Now I was born in 1973, so in the early 80's, if you told the Doctor that you were having stomach pains, they just simply told you that you were just growing and sent you on your way. I remember as a child always eating a lot, because it seemed that I was never satisfied. However, at that point in my life, my metabolism was still good, and I never had an issue with weight. As the years went on, the pains started getting worse. During college, I started smoking and drinking coffee. My bathroom trips became more and more frequent and the pain started to get more severe. It was like I was having contractions. I would curl up into a ball when the pain came on, it would last for several minutes, then subside. Going to the bathroom was agony. I would sit there and rock back and forth, praying for it to be over.
Not long after I started my new job, I came to work on this particular day, and the pain was immense. Not wanting to let on to anyone that I was in sheer torture, I went out back and nearly blacked out. I was sweating profusely at this point and I remember driving myself to the doctor's office to be checked out. Dr. Steeves examined me and said, "you have ovarian cysts" and was immediately taken to the hospital for surgery. I faintly remember signing the consent form. When I awoke, Dr. Sers, my surgeon, was standing over me, along with my parents, telling me I just had a foot and a half section removed from my bowel. I lifted up the bed sheet and I was cut horizontally where they went in thinking that they were going to find ovarian cysts, but upon opening me up, found nothing wrong, so they proceeded with a vertical incision up to my bellybutton, where he explained that he never saw such an ulcerated mess. They were sending away the section for analysis. I spent a couple weeks in the hospital after the surgery, in great agony. I couldn't stand up, couldn't use the bathroom, couldn't eat any solids. Prunes were my new best friend.
Now I DO have to tell you this funny story about the young hottie that came into the hospital to hook up the cable in my room. After my surgery, my stomach was bloated beyond with gas and, well not being able to move around much to release it, I was like Mount Vesuvius ready to erupt. As he was hooking up the cable, it was in that moment of silence, after 3 days of pent up gas, that my bowels decided NOW was a good time to let it all go. I am sure it was a good minute and a half this went on....kind of like when you blow up a balloon, then hold open the mouth and let the air escape. The poor guy was MORTIFIED. Me, on the other hand, not so much. I simply looked at him and said, "I'm sorry, but I've waited 3 days to do that." He wasn't long evacuating the premises after that.
A few days later, my biopsies had come back. I had been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. I didn't know much, if anything, about this strange disease. All I knew that it was going to change my life.