Megan's Story: Continuing to Persevere

Hey ladies! I'm Megan. I'm 25 and was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2004 when I was 17. When I was first diagnosed, it was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. It took two years for the doctors to diagnose me. Six months went by and I continued to go down hill. My colon was falling apart, so surgery was my only option. But making a very long story short, since 2005 I have had 8 emergency surgeries for bowel obstructions, and 12 surgeries total. Currently, I am on my fourth ileostomy which was supposed to be permanent, but I found out last week that they are going to try to rebuild an entire new JPouch. So I am in for at least two more surgeries, but my husband and I both feel confident this time!

I have dealt with depression in the past ten years. I have cried and had my breakdowns and just wanted this all to go away. My husband and my parents have been my rocks. They have been the strength for me that I couldn't find at times. Before I got sick, I was an athlete. I played soccer. I was a runner. I was proud of my body. But years of steroids have left my abdomen covered in stretch marks and dozens of scars from incisions. For years I refused to show my stomach to anyone. I was disgusted by it. But over the past few years I've learned to accept my body. I've learned that all of these scars make me who I am. I am proud to share my story. All of this has made me a better person and led me to meet some amazing individuals along the way. For the first time ever, I share with people that I have an ileostomy. It has been difficult, but when I look back over all my body has gone through and continues to go through, I am amazed at how amazing the human body truly is. The very least I can do is accept me for who I am now, scars and all.