Friday, February 5, 2010


"All of us have problems. We face them every day. How grateful I am that we have difficult things to wrestle with. They keep us young, if that is possible. They keep us alive. They keep us going. They keep us humble. They pull us down to our knees to ask the God of heaven for help in solving them. Be grateful for your problems, and know that somehow there will come a solution." Pres. Hinckley quoted in Sheri Dew's book, If Life were easy it wouldn't be hard.

I can't believe it's been three weeks today since my surgery. I now have a bionic colon, or so my sister-in-law, Kristen says. It's not going to be functioning until the next surgery in April though. For now, I have something else... I'm amazed at the medical minds, our miraculous bodies, and our brilliant creator. For now I have an ileostomy. Click if you want to be amazed or bewildered. But don't click and then feel sorry for me. I did enough of that on my own. Last week while I was begrudgingly taking care of matters in the bathroom with it I finally straighten myself out and I refuse to feel like a freak any longer.

Why did I feel like a freak? Because I inherited F.A.P. and had hundreds of precancerous polyps in my colon, that's the big intestine. My gastro doc adamantly insisted that it needed to be taken out and thrown away. All 5 pounds and 4 feet of it. Meagan, the smart oldest child, asked, "Don't you need your colon?" A colon is nice to have, but apparently one can get through life without one. So temporarily, an ileostomy takes over the function of the bottom. And this is the really cool part. The stool that goes into the ileostomy bag from the small intestine doesn't smell like poop because when it goes into the colon {I don't have one of those anymore} is when it gets stinky because of the bacteria in the colon. So, I can say that my poop doesn't smell. Can you say that? I didn't think so. Who should feel sorry for whom?

While I lay for 6 days in my tiny hospital room I had a lot of tv time. Too much. I saw the coverage of the Haiti earthquake. Horrific and heartbreaking. I couldn't bear to watch it any longer. People suffering in every way possible. The hardest part was seeing critically injured people in pain with no relief of medicine. And I lay in my bed with a button in hand to push every ten minutes if my pain was too much to bear. So high as a kite I lie and prayed for the Haitians. Then my kite came down. I fell hard. Drugs were a blessing to me when I was in so much pain but coming off of them was emotional damning. And after a few days of that emotional roller coaster I felt like I had been pulled out of the Haiti earthquake rubble myself.

I have many to thank for rescuing me: understanding skilled nurses, loving husband, kind friends who visited and call daily, supportive and capable mother and father in law, sister's n law, thoughtful brothers and Arizona family, hundreds of acts of kindness from ward family, and home with my children.

There's no place like home.


Chris said...

Bless you Nola. I've been thinking about you since I found out about this surgery. You are such a trooper. I printed out the quote at the beginning of your post. Something I really needed right now for a number of reasons. I hope that you continue to heal.
Love, Chris Gallacher

carmen said...

You continue to amaze me! I love how you always seem to find the good in each trial that you face - and your sense of humor is the best. What a blessing to have that - I'm sure it's helped and blessed you throughout your life. You are an inspiration to me. I think you are a wonderful daughter, mother and wife. Lots of LOVE, positive thoughts and prayers are coming your way from the Wiker Family.