I am Dee Michelle & this... is My Naked Soul.
I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in February of 2003, during a 2-week hospital stay to figure out what was causing the vomiting, diarrhea, high fever & excruciating pain. That diagnosis came AFTER my colon ruptured, resulting in removal of most of my colon & sepsis that nearly cost me my life. The prognosis was grim & my mother was told to make funeral arrangements.
But God... I awoke from a coma to find an unexpected ileostomy bag & a gaping hole in my stomach. I was so septic that my surgeon elected to leave me open for quicker access if it became necessary to go back in. I lived in that hospital for nearly six months. I experienced a range of emotions over that period - anger, sadness, hopelessness. I was a 33-year-old, single mother of three (15, 13 & 2), with minimal quality of life. I needed a feeding tube; I had to learn to walk again & I was told that I would need care beyond what my mother could handle for the rest of my life. The cloud of depression was thick, but one morning while in prayer, a glimmer of hope shown through. I decided that if I was going to live, I would do all that I could to make the rest of my life the best of my life. I began to fight & it was in that moment that I realized healing began in my mind.
Nineteen years later, I AM STILL HERE! There have been many challenges & many triumphs over the years. After 5 years of being an ostomate, I was reconnected despite being told it wouldn't be possible. I completed my Applied Project in between morphine dosages to earn my Bachelor's degree in Business Management & went on the earn a Master's in Business Administration. I enjoyed a rewarding career, traveled & created some amazing memories with family & friends, My children are now adults & I had many years of great quality of life, requiring NO medications & only routine gastroenterology visits.
Today, I am still LIVING with Crohn's disease, in addition to a new diagnosis of Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. I am also navigating PTSD & anxiety with underlying depression. My illness prohibits my ability to work so now at 52, I am disabled. I am aware of all the medical & technological advances to treat IBD & more specifically Crohn's disease. I have an incredible team of physicians who work tirelessly to keep me as well as I can be. My dream is for a future free of Crohn's disease. Team My Naked Soul is Taking Steps in hopes of eradicating IBD!
Please help Team My Naked Soul reach our goal of $2,000 for Take Steps Alanta so that together we can support the crucial work of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. Your donation to my fundraising efforts will help the Foundation invest in cures for the future, while providing support to patients today.