When the struggle feels never ending

I visited my consultant yesterday (yes, on a Saturday because despite the reports, we DO have an NHS on the weekend!) I’ve been having stomach pains, feeling very tired and more worrying, some weird swellings in my stomach.  I knew what he was going to say, but it didn’t make it any less devastating when he told me I have two hernias. 

Fuck. Two?! 

I have a parastomal hernia, which means it sits right behind my stoma and an incisional hernia in my belly button.  I can’t actually explain just how upset I am.  I know some people may think that a hernia is a minor thing, but it affects you every day and limits what you can and can’t do.  But worse than that for me, is that they can only be fixed through surgery.  I just feel my struggle is never fucking ending. 

Just saying the word ‘surgery’ makes me anxious, I feel hot, my palms sweat and my mouth goes dry.  I feel like crying and running away.  The word takes me back to a dark place of hospital wards, pain, suffering and sadness.  I feel panicky and sick. 

Mr Brown saw my face and asked me what I’d like to do, he said surgery is the treatment for this and I just shook my head. “No. I can’t.  I’m not ready in my body or my mind to face surgery again.”  He smiled and agreed, saying he thought I was right and that we should wait as long as possible to operate. 

I asked about alternate ways to help during this time, I already wear support underwear (see Vanilla Blush for support underwear that doesn’t look like your nan bought it) and I try to not over exert my tummy muscles.  I have spoken to my stoma nurse about getting some other hernia support designed for people with an ostomy. 

The other thing is my weight. There’s too much of it. 

I asked Mr Brown if losing weight would help and he said yes.  It will help with the pressure on my stomach and when I do face surgery it will be better for me to be a bit lighter.  I’m a size 16-18, my BMI is 28, I am classed as overweight and plus size. I genuinely like how I look, I don’t diet because I don’t feel that I need to be thinner.  Now I am being told that losing weight would be really beneficial to my health and so it is time to shed a few pounds. 

I know this will be hard, I’ve been overweight since I started having babies but if this will hold off the surgery then it something I must do. 

Regarding the tummy pains and aches, I was told that I’ve had a lot of surgery, there are a lot of internal scars and unfortunately, it is just part of healing. I’ve had a lot taken away inside so I suppose things are moving around and settling which causes pain.  Regarding the tiredness I had bloods taken to test my vit b12 so Ill wait and see what they say about that. 

I’m trying to be positive and look for the ways I can help myself. But really I want to hide in a duvet and cry. I’m absolutely devastated. Have I not been through enough? Does the struggle never end? After each of the 4 surgeries I’ve had in the past 3 years, I think it will be my last, I think that this is the one that makes everything ok, but it never does. 

There’s always something else around the corner and I’m so tired of being unwell and broken.  When does it all end? When will I be ok? 

I don’t know the answer to this question but I do know that I have no other choice but to plod on and keep going.  I’ll recite my Yorkshire mantra that “it’ll be reight” and keep smiling. 

Sam X 

16 replies
  1. Stephie Simpson
    Stephie Simpson says:

    Have you looked into the level 2+ of the comfizz support wear for hernias? I hope everything will be ok soon. You not only have your family for support but your blog/reader family too. Much love.

  2. Tina Billings
    Tina Billings says:

    It will be reight hon – similar to my mantra this too will pass. And if all else fails – ask them for another one and make it a hattrick! – Laughter is the best medicine I find so when that initial hopelessness fades – give those hernias names and characters and make them less important. Like I said before I so wish you had been around when my debbie was ill – she would have loved your attitude and Im sure compared notes on how much I pissed her off sometimes with my jokes. Be good lovely lady and be better soon, sending you blessings xxx

  3. Jennie Carter
    Jennie Carter says:

    Aww Sam, I’m so sorry. You’re a very strong lady, you have great family and friends, and if anyone can get over this new hurdle, you can.

  4. Marie Dyer
    Marie Dyer says:

    You can take B12 anyway, without waiting for results, as you can’t overdose on it and it’s not cumulative. Holland and Barrett do a lovely tasting sub-lingual spray x
    Follow your blog and am constantly amazed and uplifted by your spirit and attitude, so sending healing hugs xxx

  5. Sonja Nye
    Sonja Nye says:

    You are amazing support for everyone else, so let them support you. You have every right to be down and upset, you are human most of the time and super human the rest ?. Maybe try weight watchers no count for healthy eating, this worked for me because I could eat bread and pasta and I lost a stone in 10 weeks by just using their app. I’ve only been through 1 major surgery for my ileostomy and that was enough to stop we wanting to go through the reversal, so I can only part imagine what you are going through. I am sending you big hugs and wish you well. Xx

  6. Carol floyd
    Carol floyd says:

    I know how you feel Sam I am in the same boat, I have been putting it off. As I have had so many opperation I can not face any more. I ware the 2+ comfizz it is better then some of the hernia supports which stop the flow of my stoma. I hope you fill better soon. xx

  7. Briony
    Briony says:

    Really sorry to hear this is happening to you Sam. As others have said,you are strong and will cope. You are an inspiration to so many who have similar issues. I really do hope you don’t have to suffer too much, you don’t deserve any more. Xxxxx

  8. Sue Wheeler
    Sue Wheeler says:

    So sorry Sam. I understand how devastated you must be feeling. Fucking shit. So unfair xxx You will deal with this when you feel the time is right but you will deal with it the same as before as you are brave and will find away. I will be joining you with the weight loss and I am going to exercise more as I can’t diet. Sensible eating and everything in moderation. Stay strong. xxx

  9. Thaila Skye
    Thaila Skye says:

    Awh I’m sorry to hear this 🙁 At least you can allow your body to get into as healthy a position as possible before looking into treatments. Stay strong, beautiful!

  10. Angela Turner
    Angela Turner says:

    Sam, think I’ve read most of your blogs and there is a theme that runs straight through the middle of them…you say it like it is, typical Yorkshire lass; no dressing it up in flowers, just stated straight from the hip. You are clever, funny, very knowledgeable about your condition and have an extremely healthy approach in how you deal with things that affect you; you talk/write it out and, no doubt, this latest setback will be booted up the ass at some point! Until then know that you are held in very high esteem, you are loved by your family and friends so let them know what they can do to support you, and you are not alone. There are around 300,000 of us suffering and living with IBD. It sucks, it’s a nasty, debilitating condition and it means most of us have battle scars from dealing with it. But it’s certainly made me realise how strong I am, how resilient it’s made me and how I’ll always bounce back no matter what life throws at me, it may just take a little while till I’m ready! Stay strong, Sam, and keep smiling…and, yes, give the pesky little lumps names!

  11. Jan Robertson
    Jan Robertson says:

    I’m sorry you’re feeling low. Isn’t it odd that it’s often the smaller things that seem overwhelming ?The hernias in themselves aren’t that bad, losing a few pounds, although a chore, isn’t the end of the world, you’ve been through much worse than these, so you know you can manage this too, you will manage this too, but it does feel like the straw that broke the camel’s back. I hope that in a few days it won’t seem so bad and that you’ll get your magic back and will step out and step on ! Forward you go …. because it’s no help going back!
    Hugs and support wing themselves to you in the meantime.


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