Becoming a Cameleon: Adapting to Change

First off I want to apologize for the lack of attention to this over the past couple months. If you have stuck around waiting for new posts from your favorite trio, I can confidently say WE’RE BACK! And things will be a little different but ever so awkward. So as I dust off my keyboard get ready to be informed of big things that happened in the past month or so.To put into perspective what my life has been focused around lately: I opened my personal computer for the first time and kept putting in my work password for a good 20 minutes. *insert eye roll emoji here* When working in retail leading up to and around the holiday season, your life is consumed by work and planning to make sure things go as smoothly as possible. I am happy to get back into my “me” time on Saturday mornings at my favorite local coffee shop. So get ready AA-ers your once blonde-turned redhead is ready to give you emotional and trying-hard-to-be-witty posts. __________________________________________________________________________

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Change.

Unfortunately,  this theme has been something in the forefront of my life for as long as I can remember. As much as I always say “Embrace it! It makes you unique and have character!” It’s hard when all aspects of your life change in one day. It makes you sit back and go “Hold on, how am I going to handle this?”

Let me explain. (PREFACE: I will say poop a lot, and like a 3 year old I still chuckle. Just an FYI!)

For anyone who is close to me, they are aware that medical issues come hand in hand with the territory. An “Ale-ism” perhaps. From major jaw surgeries, chronic pain in my hips, lady issues, the list goes on. It is a checkbox short of a laundry list. So when I started to have issues with my stomach a few years back, I honestly played the ignorance card. I chalked it up to being lactose intolerant, or honestly being poop shy. TMI (sorry fellas). I was literally fulfilling the stereotype of women not pooping. And it was miserable. Just imagine going 3 weeks without anything happen, 3 WEEKS! For a person who lives to eat, life was pretty shitty (Okay I had to throw that in there, bowel jokes done!). I won’t go into the gory details but let’s just say it’s not fun. I had to cave and go to the doctor.

I had the worst experience with him. I got the impression he thought I was bluffing and not really having these issues. I had seen a doctor in the past and he suggested I do a series of tests, but I was too nervous. So fast forward 3 years and I am telling my new doctor all the details. He said he knew it was just IBS with constipation but just to check things off we were going to do those tests. So going into the tests I thought I was being over dramatic.

The tests included:

  1. Taking a pill with…wait for it….24 PLASTIC THINGS IN THEM THAT TRACK HOW IT WOULD MOVE THROUGH MY COLON. GUYZ. I HAD PLASTIC IN MY COLON FOR GOD KNOWS HOW LONG! I went back over the course of 6 days and none of them had left my body. So I bet there is still a little plastic nugget hanging out watching Netflix in my colon right now. I try to not think about it because it weirds me out. First red flag something wasn’t normal.
  2. Second test was the blood work. Nothing crazy there. Except blood and I are not best   friends. But I survived and they came back normal.
  3. Finally, the worst test of them all. A colonoscopy. Let’s take a moment of silence to anyone who has gone through this. *30 second silence* It was the worst. Imagine drinking a gallon of flat, salty, lemon lime water, and camping out in the bathroom until 3AM. Everyone has to do it, but man, it’s a ROUGH time. My momma is the best and came out to be with me during this. And when I explain what the outcome was I am SO grateful she was. No one else can take care of me like she can. I don’t care how old I am my mom is the only one I want to see when I wake up from being put under. Hands down.

Waking up from the procedure is honestly very blurry, but a procedure that is supposed to last an hour, only took 15 minutes before he realized what was wrong with me. In my dazed state of mind I heard a mixture of “test failed” “twisted colon” “high fiber diet” “elongated colon” “worse comes to worse we will remove the colon” — HOLD THE PHONE. Remove my colon! I freaked and started hysterically crying. (This is typical when I wake up from anesthesia, but I think this time was a little different)

Let me provide a backstory:

When I was 4 years old I was in the hospital for a little bit due to colon issues. I remember vividly tons of tests being done, eating Jello 24/7, and peeing the bed a lot. The doctors told my parents I had an elongated colon, and the reason I was having all these issues was due to a lactose intolerance. So limit lactose and BAM! All will be fixed. Well 20 years later, I find out I am not lactose intolerant (GIVE ME ALL DA QUESO!) but now my colon has twisted into itself, hence never going to the bathroom. The mood swings, bloating, skin issues, EVERYTHING was due to this.

My mom started to cry with me when she heard this and blamed herself. I think that broke my heart the most. My parents have done so much for me my whole life that blaming them for ANY of this was absurd. They may have known, but the doctors gave them a solution. I was very conscious about my dairy intake and I thought all was well.

My life most certainly changed that day. Now I’m one of those people asking a million questions at restaurants seeing if whole wheat or grains are an option, subbing fries with a salad, and making sure I am getting about 30g of fiber a day. Let me tell you, that is A LOT of fiber. I am on 4 different types of medication and I track everything I do in my life. I am trying to untwist my colon through a healthy diet and exercise. I am trying so very hard to have surgery be the last resort. I do not want my number of surgeries to go up to 8 or 9. I am too young and refuse to let this defeat me.

I am very conscious now of what I put in my body. I am limiting eating out, and drinking beer (sad day!) and overall being aware of what my body is telling me. I fell off the path a little bit when I was in Austin, and I have been sick all week. So now when that happens, I notice it. I realize that I am doing this to make sure that the extreme is a distant memory. 

I can 100% say I have never felt better. Eating healthy isn’t awful, the recipes are fun and experimental. Who knew sweet potatoes would be something I crave daily? And kale isn’t THAT bad. I am lucky that I have family and friends who have been helping me and being there for me. Fingers crossed when I go in January that it is untwisted and things are great! I am determined to never feel like that again. And like I said surgery is not an option, nope not happening.

So here’s to a change. A change in my life that was needed and is being embraced to the fullest.

Stay healthy AA-ers,

Ale

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