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A Hard Life Part 2

Read part one here: A Hard Life Part 1

So there I was. Alone. Sitting in a tub full of running water. Nothing but an ostomy bag and belt on. The hospital wasn’t even practice for this day. In the hospital, I had help and I didn’t have a tub. I didn’t have to worry about things like this. And me being the person I am, of course, I never imagined being this incapable anyway. I’ve always been known to push myself. At times a little too hard to be honest. But that didn’t matter now. There was no pushing at this point.

I felt defeated

As I sat alone in the dim bathroom on my shower chair, I began to realize that no matter how hard I, or anyone else, pushed, I wasn’t going anywhere. I cried. I felt defeated. Even more so embarrassed. I was so ashamed. I heard my grandad walking by in the hallway. Every time I went to the bathroom, he and my grandmother would ask how I was doing, if I was okay, or if I needed anything. At first, it was frustrating, but now? Now I waited for it. I wanted someone, anyone to ask if they could help, to offer an extra hand. Preferably one that was strong enough to get me out of that tub!

I sat there and cried

I continued to hear the pitter patter of feet, but no one ever stopped. I knew they could hear the tension in my voice when I would tell them I was okay in the past, so of course, they didn’t want to burden me anymore. So what did I do? The only thing I could of course. I sat there… and cried. Not too long after my great-grandmother stopped. She tapped on the door and began to open it. Something that would normally drive me insane. I’ve always hated people walking in on me, especially in the bathroom. But this time, I was pretty much relieved.

It was truly a hard life. Not being able to wash. Imagine all of your dignity out of the window as you sit alone in tears in your early 20’s. I was devastated.

But she helped

My great-grandmother came in without hesitation. She grabbed my soap and rag from me and immediately started to help me bathe. Afterward, she grabbed a towel, wrapped me up and called my grandad to help me out of the tub.

In my early 20s, it hurt. It hurt my pride. My confidence. It made me feel like I was defeated. Like life would always be hard. Like although I had gotten rid of my colon, the thing that caused me the most pain and trouble, I would still spend my life suffering. Struggling to barely survive. But that wasn’t true.

It was just a really bad day

It wasn’t a hard life. It was just a really bad day. And eventually, the days got easier. Eventually, time passed and I didn’t need help. I didn’t have to call my grandmother to help me off of the shower chair, and I didn’t need one at all. Eventually, I got my independence back and my confidence came shortly after.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Kelly C (#purpleproject) moderator
    8 months ago

    Your grandparents have truly been a blessing. I know you are able to give back that love to them right now in this moment.

    I remember this feeling while I was in the ICU and people who looked no more than 5 years older than me were bathing my naked body in a room with an open door to allow no privacy because of the number of people it took to help out.

    I’ve definitely grown since then, especially in my humility. There are few things that embarrass me, but I’ve begun to use a shower chair and it felt shameful at one point. I got over that with time too.

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