As we close the door to another year, I look back to see if I have grown this year. Of course I don’t mean physically, but mentally and spiritually. Every year I treat New Years Eve like any other day. I haven’t made a bid deal about it in years. This year I have changed inside and I now sit here reflecting on the person I have become.
I went into this year in the biggest flare that I have ever had. I was depressed, in pain and living in the bathroom. I was alone with my disease and felt like I had no one to turn to. I now exit this year in remission, running a blog to help others and feel like I am part of the best community out there. I am part of a group that no matter how they feel, they will still give all they can to help out others. It is a very unselfish community and one I am proud to be in.
This past weekend I was able to contribute to this unselfish community. An online friend who runs an ostomy cover company alerted a lot of people about a 9 yr old that was in the hospital. He had 2 ostomies and was having a hard time with them. Originally I was just going to donate a little bit to help cover the cost of the covers she was making for him. When I spoke with this friend she mentioned that he was in a hospital fairly close to me. I thought she wanted me to bring him the covers but she mentioned that maybe I could visit him. I don’t have an ostomy so I didn’t know how much of a help I could be but I put out a call online. 2 wonderful people stepped up to the plate. One, Michael A Weiss, is a seasoned hospital patient and is very big on patient advocacy. The second, Marisa Troy, is an ostomate and would be able to give any information that she could.
I was hesitant to go when I heard the kid didn’t necessarily have IBD, but after Michael and Marisa still were going, I knew I had to. It was the right thing to do. So Sunday, we all met at the hospital and visited one of the bravest 9 yr olds I have ever met. It went through so much with blockages, septic shock, seizures, surgery and just the mental anguish that goes with this. When we got there, he was sitting on a couch with his family. He was very shy but I could see the life in his eyes. I knew he was going to get through this ordeal. I could see the fighter in him. His mom’s told us his whole story and he has not had an easy life.
After our 90 minute visit, I knew I did the right thing by going. It felt so good. He might not have said much and didn’t interact with us but I think we helped out his mom’s a lot. I think we eased their minds a little and gave them not only some answers but hope. They said that he felt so alone and now both him and his mom’s will know that no matter what, he is never alone. There are tons of us out there willing to help….no matter what.
So I sit here looking back and I see that this year I definitely grew. My heart and mind are bigger now. I understand the whole “holiday spirit” thing. Doing good things unconditionally feels great and makes me want to do more. I ended 2012 on a great note and I hope to continue going into 2013. I don’t know what this year will bring but I know that I still have room to grow….and I look forward to it.