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I’ve Spent My Life in Hospitals. | Living a Limited Life & Challenging Yourself for More

DISCLAIMER: This content is over 1 year(s) old. Information may be outdated. Please, read this page keeping its age in mind.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’re probably well aware by now that I’ve spent a decent amount of time in some sort of healthcare facility. It all started with my mother being diagnosed with Schizophrenia when I was only a few years old. At the time I was much too young to fully understand what was going on, but after years of her disappearance and reappearance along with many trips to mental institutions, (many of which were spent in the waiting room as I was too young to go in), I began to catch on. In the midst of my mother’s issues, another big problem began to arise. – One I’ve actually never discussed on my blog before. To sum it up, I’ve never had a father. I just don’t. When I was a teen I tried to reach out, once again in my adulthood. He’s always chosen to be absent so that he shall remain. I don’t have a father, but I do have a Gary. Gary is one of my best friends. He always has been since he came into my life. Gary is my grandmother’s husband, or my “step-grandad.” He came into my life when I was very young and took me in as one of his own.

Heart issues run in Gary’s family (maybe lung/issues too) and as a child I remember visiting him time and time again in the hospital. Gary is extremely intelligent. Like most men in my family, he’s retired military. He can build just about anything with his bare hands and can repair anything with a simple screwdriver. – Point being, Gary knows the basics of heart health. Of course, some things cannot be avoided, but Gary has always smoked like a train. He’s had multiple heart attacks and there were a few times my grandmother was sure she’d lose him. – Thank God we haven’t yet. Then, there’s me. I have Ulcerative Colitis, a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Most people think it’s a simple disease that just causes a lot of trips to the bathroom, but that couldn’t be anything further from the truth. To date I’ve had 6 surgeries (small and large), as a result of my IBD. Living with a digestive disease is more than just uncomfortable. It’s life altering and life threatening. It’s not healthy to live with constant inflammation, and well frankly speaking… It hurts. So…..

 

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I’ve Spent My Life In Hospitals

I could go on for days about being in the hospital for colonoscopies, bowel obstructions, ostomy malfunctions and more. I could talk about my mother’s Schizophrenia or Gary’s heart disease. I could tell you about my grandmother’s Lupus or my great grandmother’s Diabeties, but honestly… I think you get it. I’ve spent so much of my time taking care of myself (and others), I didn’t even realize how much time had truly passed me by. Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for the advances in healthcare. I am so grateful that I (and my family have healthcare and insurance to help with these sorts of things. … But I’m just tired.

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Life in a Hospital

Living a Limited Life & Challenging Yourself for More

Needless to say, once you’ve spent your life in hospitals, eventually you’re going to crave more. Eventually you’re going to need more. I’ve had a lot of time to really analyze my life. I’ve come to realize many things, but one in particular: tomorrow is not promised. In the video I talk more about losing time to surgeries I needed and jobs I never really wanted. Society tells us the ultimate goal is to find a good job, decent pay, good benefits, 401k match, the works. Society tells us to then settle down; get married, have kids. Society tells us that if we are women over a certain age without kids or a husband, house, dog (whatever!) there’s something wrong. Some would even say we have ‘nothing to show for it.’ – It – I’m assuming to be our lives, but who really knows right!?

Wrong.

Between hospitals, surgeries and conforming to these “socially acceptable” standards, I’ve allowed 25 years of my life to pass me by. – But I can assure you of one thing: It won’t be 26. Don’t allow anything to steal your dreams and don’t allow anyone to tell you when or how to live! Spending my life in hospitals has given me a greater appreciation for life outside of those walls. I don’t want to spend my life anticipating my next surgery. I don’t want to live my life working for a company that doesn’t appreciate me. I don’t want to marry or have kids because it’s socially acceptable. I want to be happy and do what I love. Maybe you’re like me, maybe you’ve spent so much time doing what you have to do that you’ve become lost and confused as to what it is you actually want to do. Remember you only have one life. You don’t get another chance. Live your life to the fullest of your abilities even if it starts with the little things.

Analyze your own life. Ask yourself: are you truly happy?

DISCLAIMER: This content is over 1 year(s) old. Information may be outdated. Please, read this page keeping its age in mind.

Comments

  1. A very inspiring blog. I recently had a colonoscopy and endoscopy. I have colitis. I am on a lot of medicine now. I am battling lupus also and other autoimmune diseases. Let us start living our dreams. God bless you and bring you peace and comfort. Mary

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Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017
2017-09-08T14:16:02-04:00
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"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes."

Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017
2017-09-08T14:26:29-04:00
"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes." Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017

" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."

 

Sara R, Sep. 12 2017
2017-09-12T22:05:16-04:00
" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."   Sara R, Sep. 12 2017

Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.

 

Collin, Jan. 9, 2019
2019-01-09T22:11:58-04:00
Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.   Collin, Jan. 9, 2019