Health Update: A Promise of Hope

Standard

This blog is the first part of my birthday gift to you, Nate.

As I start this blog I have to admit that, surprisingly, it is one of the hardest pieces I am writing for a couple of reasons. I have backspaced and deleted enough to the point where, if I were writing in the 1970s, my trashcan would be over flowing with crumpled paper that I keep pulling out of my ancient typewriter. Good thing it is 2016, and several trees are being saved from my inability to focus on how I want to put these thoughts into words.

Gravity

Part of the reason I am having trouble with this blog is because it was the object behind a bit of a disagreement between Nate and me. It was nothing major, just a misunderstanding. I can be feisty and stubborn, but being ill has taught me enough about what is important and what matters, so arguments and fights with anyone are few and far between. So, no worries please.

Secondly, I am hesitant on writing this because, usually, when things go up, they must come down, and that has been my typical health pattern for nearly nine years. I have learned that a lot of things are temporary. As I continue to write about some of the positive things that have been happening with my health, in the back of my mind there is a whisper reminding me of Newton’s Universal Law of Gravity. That pesky law keeps me from getting too comfortable with the status quo. But tonight I am going to ignore that stinking voice so I can write in peace.

Barbie Butt

I had surgery on December 9th, 2015 following a very scary episode of sepsis which landed me in the critical care unit for nearly a week. You can read my last health update here. The surgery was scheduled in hopes to offer me a better chance at not repeating history of sepsis in that area as the risk was so high. All of my physicians concurred that I may not be so lucky ‘next time,’ so I had a removal of my rectal/anal cuff and the surgeons closed my bottom. Essentially I was given what they call a ‘Barbie Butt.’ You can laugh. It’s OK. It’s the truth, and God help us all, we NEED humor. I am 25-years-old and have managed to survive some of the most painfully undignified, frightening, and major health hurdles to end up with this Barbie Butt. Believe me, laughter has helped me so much it’s not even funny…or it is…but it’s not. (You know what I mean!) Without humor I wouldn’t have survived; I promise you that. Having this surgery is better than the alternative. So, I laugh in the face of this *bleep* disease that keeps coming at me. “Go ahead Crohn’s disease, Take my a-hole. I didn’t need it anyway!”

Following surgery, I ended up back in the hospital with another abscess and sepsis scare, but it was minor and with a strong dose of antibiotics, I recovered and was home in time for the holidays. That was crucial because I was about to launch the 365 Days of Granny Squares blog in the New Year. Here I was, sitting in the hospital, trying to figure out if I could orchestrate this project from my hospital bed so it would be ready to go by January 1st. I got lucky. I got to come home. 365 Days of Granny Squares went off without a hitch. Today, it has officially been an entire three months that I have not been hospitalized, and to be honest, that is a near record. The granny squares are helping me keep count! Haha!

The struggle is real

Although it hasn’t been easy, and finding an effective treatment plan for my Crohn’s disease has been like playing roulette, things are beginning to look up.

I struggled for the entire month of January trying to recover my strength. By February, I felt stronger but didn’t feel fully better. I started a new drug treatment six weeks ago that offers a lot of promise. Other than being bothered by a few side effects and minor setbacks, I am hopeful as I have seen some mild improvements *knock on wood*. I have tried so many new drugs and treatments, diets and health regimens, that I started to lose hope after failing so many times, but this time I have to hold on to hope. This time is different. It’s different because there is someone else in my picture besides myself, my friends, and my family. It’s Nate.

Nate

He’s my person

Remember that argument I mentioned we had earlier? Yeah, well, it was because I put him on the spot barraging him with questions about all this health stuff the other night with that not-so-pleasant side of my personality that demands answers about handling life with a sick person. I was probably having a tiny pity-party. There were tears, but I’m over it. Sometimes, in those fleeting, not-so-pretty moments, I feel unlovable, ugly, and scarred from a dozen surgeries and having an ostomy, all THIS worry comes out and gets overwhelming. It is overwhelming living with a terrible disease, so walking into this life by choice and choosing to love someone with these circumstances on their plate is HUGE. It’s a risk, and he did it. He did it for me. He told me I am worth the risk. Me! *insert a million feels here*

Flaws

Presently, I am surrounded by several skeins of yarn and 600 tiny square crocheted pixels for a project I am making for Nate’s birthday gift.

So many mini squares!

I’m not thinking about the ugly side of this disease but about how lucky I am to have that love. For the first time in three months since surgery, I don’t just feel good, but I feel amazing! It has nothing to do with medication, doctors, good lab results, or clinic visits. It has to do with someone who Googled Crohn’s disease so many months ago and spent time reading all about it trying to learn what he could, so he could better understand this disease and what he would be facing with me. I feel amazing because Nate says I “fight like a champ” and I am the strongest person he knows, and guess what? I believe him. I feel amazing because, when he looks at me, he doesn’t see all those scars or my ostomy, and that I feel “broken.” He just sees me. Nadia. The girl I always wanted to be before my body was attacked by this disease.

Fighting like a champ (Surgery 2015)

Fighting like a champ  (Surgery 2015)


The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades

There are a lot of things in life that aren’t fair. Nothing is remotely pretty when fighting against sickness. Chronic illness has taught me how unpredictable life can be. I wish I had that magic crystal ball to see the future, so I could know what is coming, but I don’t. I can recite to you my dream of what I would want to see, if the universe lined up just right to grant me that future. It’s a beautiful private dream. But it is exactly that – just a dream.

One thing I have learned is that I can’t control any of this disease, and the universe has a plan of its own. However, despite all these trials, I have been given this perfectly imperfect life that looks nothing like a perfect dream, and that is OK. Illness was the reason I started to crochet. That led me to create YARNutopia and introduced me to this wonderful crochet community. It has brought me lifelong friendships. It taught me the value of what is truly important, and finally, it navigated my life to cross paths with an extraordinary man who is willing to face that frightening, unknown future by my side. He gave me a pinky promise. That is a promise of HOPE. There are no words that exist to thank someone for a gift that extraordinary. Maybe these undeleted, uncrumpled words can help.

Pinky Promise

Pinky Promise

So when you ask how I am feeling, the truth would be, I feel amazing.

Happy Birthday, Nathan Lyden.

Hand in Hand
“…It’s a blessed thing to love and feel loved in return.” ~E.A. Bucchianeri

~Nadia

Advertisements

85 responses »

  1. I started to crochet in November 2015 when I unexpectedly found myself unemployed. I searched youtube to find good tutorials and you became rapidly one of my favorites. As I got better, I got addicted to the creations that were made possible through people like you and I often wondered how you got into it….and now I know. I am thankful not only because you are doing better, but also that you found a passion and put yourself out there. Through you, I found a passion that has helped me get through my own obstacle in life (although not nearly as challenging as yours). Congratulations on everything you have accomplished, of your health being better and the love of Nathan you have found. Cheers to both of you! 🙂

    Like

  2. My husband had half his bowel removed due to Crohns disease, his bowel literally started to rot from the inside out, he nearly died, but a 7hr surgery saved his life, it was September 2008 and it was a huge up hill battle for him to adjust to all the changes and the frequent loo visits, he got to the stage where he begged his specialist for a bag, he became very depressed and withdrawn.
    The disease is so horrible and i really feel for anyone who has it, you have done amazing with all the surgeries and infections, you should be very proud of yourself

    Like

  3. Nadia, your story and love story brought tears to my eyes. I suffer from a severe case of IBS-D, IBD and immune disease. I am completely disabled and lost my career as a Respiratory Therapist after 25 yrs. I loved my job and knowing that I helped others in their time of illness, and was severely depressed for yrs after the realization that I would never return to work. I can totally empathize with your illness. My son was born premature and lost a lot of his bowel and had a colostomy with a G Tube, and severe lung disease due to being born 17 weeks early.
    I picked up crocheting again about 2 yrs ago for something to do because I’m not able to go out in public places because of my IBS-D. It’s a lonely world sitting at home all the time. Thank God I’ve got 3 dogs to keep me company while my husband is gone to work and out to play with others. I watch YouTube videos a lot and recently found your channel, and I’m glad I did. God never gives us more than we can bear. I sincerely wish you the best of health and hopefully we can live to see the day they find a cure for IBD, as well as other cures!
    Hugs and Prayers,
    Diana
    California

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi I red your story . I’m not good in English but I understand that you fight with a disease and you took the crochet a way to help you .. I’m facing a sim learned simmelar situation ( not a disease ) and I found the coreshet away to pass through. Just I want to say good for you and I wish you luck in your life. And I watch your work I loved it

    Like

  5. I’m so sorry for your struggles. Many people with Crohns are finding healing using cannabis oil. I hope you’ll research it. See “Live Free or Die” by Shona Banda. God bless you.

    Like

  6. I came across her story because I am using her pattern for a shawl that I am crocheting and I am a beginner and I found her YouTube video the easiest to follow. Then I checked out her blog and found her story of her life. What a strong courageous beautiful young woman she is to endure this kind of health issue and be the one to laugh at her own Barbie butt as she calls it. She is an inspiration to me and my own inflamatory painful and debilitating health issues. You go girl. I love your crocheted work. It is beautiful just as you are!

    Like

  7. Hi Nadia: I have just come across your video on making a shawl and then saw the many other products you have made. I was admiring your craftmanship and then read your illness journey and your strength in overcoming the many obstacles that have been presented to you. I thank God for the care and skill of the many you have had to help you mend, for your talents developed in times of needed distraction and for your courage to take on your challenges. May you and Nathan have a long and happy committed life together. Thanks for sharing, you are an inspiration

    Like

  8. Beautiful girl..MashaaAllah. ..May Allah give you the best of health further down. And give you the capability to fight real hard InShaAllah.
    I’m a beginner in crochet. I just subscribe to u n read about u.All the best Nadia.

    Like

  9. Good day,

    A friend just introduced me to your page yesterday evening and I just read of you amazing journey through health issues that brought you to this craft. What an inspiration you are, so thank you. Blessings to you and your and your Beloved and to you on strength in your illness journey, I have been crocheting since a young teen and picked up the needle a few years ago after many years absence. I now live alone and it is my therapy and motivation. I enjoy my time at home, uninterrupted, when I can crochet. I enjoy making afghans, and your granny square patterns make working on a new project easily transportable. Thank you again.

    Like

  10. I was searching for a crochet pattern for a mermaid tail blanket. Yours was the first one to pop up on my Google! I loved the pattern. I’ve been working on it for about an hour now. I decided to explore the site and I stumbled up on your story. Someone once told me that your outside makes you attractive, but it is what is inside that makes you beautiful. The beauty of you is not in just your fight but in your willingness to take tgat fight and make such wonderful creations. I always wanted to know how to crochet and I eventually learned three years ago after the birth of my daughter. It helped me pass time and cope with post-partum depression(much less serious than Crown’s disease)… Not it are you fighting, making these creations and sharing your testimony of both but you’re also giving testimony about God in the midst! That is the most important calling anyone can have! God bless you, your body, and your journey!

    Like

  11. Very moved by your courage and very impressed by your how well you express your situation and feelings. You are a marvel in just that and no doubt your crocheting is marvelous too.. I have seen it because I was side tracked by your before blog about your life. God bless you and continued success in your endeavors and life goals…

    Like

  12. I have a question about the pattern for the mermaid blanket. I am looking at making the medium and want to use the red heart blue variegated. Will I need the same quantity of yarn that you used? Did you have any left over of your colours?

    Like

  13. Dearest Nadia, This morning I woke up and went to your blog to handwrite one of your patterns into my new crochet journal. I felt so excited because last night following your pattern for slouchy hat (after so many many years of trying) I was able to go from rnd 1 to rnd 20 with ease! My plan was to take my crochet along with me to a doctor appointment later today. So after I penned the pattern into my notebook I clicked on homepage of your blog and read about your battle with Crohns disease. I was immediately hit with a multitude of feelings fearing for you and learning from your strength and courage. I am a 56 year old woman raised by a dysfunctional family. I have with 3 grown loving children but I’ve been unlucky in love and marriage… I have 1 leg a little shorter than the other – very unnoticeable – but it has caused me pain in my hips and legs al my life. In my early 30s I had a C-section…then later I was in a car accident which increased my pain and mobility issues. In any case I mention these things because on top of my pain issues I have rectal problems as well. I have paralysis on the left side of my body and it interferes with my rectum. About 3 weeks ago I had a rectal surgery and supposedly it was a success but I’ve been going through h#ll because now I’m having different rectal problems than before! In any case i say all of this because your videos – 365 days of granny squares and others – really helped me with my depression and my feeelings of loneliness! I felt connected to you and I kept watching… In all my years I was never able to learn how to increase and decrease or read patterns and now because of YOU I can!! I feel so happy about that.. I wanted to leave you a note on your blog to say thanks and then i read about your disease and now i feel so sad. i don’t want to lose you – I feel like you are a new friend even though we haven’t met in person. Please know that I will be praying for you as I pray for myself any my own family each day. I’m not a strong person Nadia….but today I feel stronger for finding you. God bless you always!! Sincerely Rosanna McCoy from Waterville, Maine rosannamccoy@gmail.com

    Like

    • Thank you so much Rosanna for your kind message. It moves me so much to read your words and to know how much you too have been through. I am so happy you found my blog and share a love for crochet. I have been doing well as of late. Hopefully your condition improves and you can get some answers to your continued health problems. I will pray for you too. I greatly appreciate your prayers and support. I’m so glad you found my blog and are able to participate in the 365 Days of Granny Squares. Crochet has been a lifesaver for me, and it gives me a lot of joy to know that others have found that as well! Take care and thank you again. ~Nadia

      Like

      • Here’s a picture of my slouchy hat. Maybe it should be a little bigger?

        On Sat, Sep 10, 2016 at 10:04 AM, YARNutopia by Nadia Fuad wrote:

        > Nadia Fuad commented: “Thank you so much Rosanna for your kind message. It > moves me so much to read your words and to know how much you too have been > through. I am so happy you found my blog and share a love for crochet. I > have been doing well as of late. Hopefully your conditi” >

        Like

  14. Just read your blog!!!! YOU ARE A M A Z I N G !!!!!!!!!! I’ve made 10 mermaid blankets with your YouTube, thank you, and then saw you had a baby mermaid so I just made that. That is how I found your blog, and f/b. I so enjoy crocheting with you. I will be praying for you from now on while I crochet with you and everyday also.

    Like

  15. Nadia, I came across your site after watching you tube I click on yarnutopia. I have been weeping a lot over the loss of my mom who pass 1 month today from 2 bouts of cancer. I thought I had it bad because I was dignose with bipolar and my mom was only my best friend who I felt safe and secure with, now she is in heaven. Reading your testimony helps a great deal. I can’t promise I won’t cry or feel sad, time will heal this broken heart. Love is such a great thing when you have someone who stand by you even when you are ill. I had my mom and still have my children I thank the Lord for that. Your crochet works are beautiful and I am very proud of you and I don’t even know you. I love to crochet. Thank you for sharing and I will surely make one of those slouchy hats I see on youtube (I am not sure if you were teaching that lesson). I will ask one of my children to show how to sign on to like this video. Be blessed

    Like

  16. Pingback: Ostomy Awareness Day 2016 | YARNutopia by Nadia Fuad

  17. You are an inspiration to people you will never see but thank GOD FOR your story. I was having a hard time because of my aflicition until I read your story it has in courage me to be more grateful to the Lord for his mercy. I think maybe God is using you to help people like me. I am also a crocheter, I love the way you teach so I am making everything that I feel like, when I feel good.
    I hope God heals you cause your so beautiful inside and out. And the peace of the Lord and his strength and love are always a comford to you as you comford others. I am know as Ts gifted crochet. But just call me Trudy.

    Like

  18. I just recently, maybe three weeks ago, started following your youtube crochet videos. I loved them instantly because you explain each step in such a way that it’s easy for me to follow. My grandmother taught me to crochet some basic stitches when I was very young, I’m 46 now. I put it away for MANY years and just recently picked it back up again since I’m expecting my first grandchild in November!! My sister found an adorable little baby sweater that my grandmother had crocheted before she passed away in 1984, when I was 14. She had it almost finished except for the lacing together of the sleeves under the arms. I finished it out by stitching up under the arms and added some cute little pink flower buttons. Then I wanted to make a baby bonnet to match and I found your youtube tutorial! I also used your youtube tutorial of the shell stitch baby blanket and it turned out beautifully! The bonnet and the blanket are THE FIRST major crochet projects that I’ve ever done and they turned out so beautiful because of your awesome teaching and the wonderful video work and close ups. I can’t read patterns very well so your detail in explanations is extremely helpful to me. I will be giving my son and daughter-in-law the sweater, bonnet and blanket at the baby shower coming up and I’m so excited to pass on a special part of my grandmother with the sweater and they will be heirlooms for our family. 🙂

    I just now read your story about your battle with Crohn’s and IBD. My husband has been battling Colitis and IBD for a while now and it’s been so difficult. Reading your story and know your love for crochet just confirms how thankful that I am that I’ve found your blog and youtube channel. I believe in the power of prayer and I pray you find the healing you’ve been searching and praying for for so long. Thank you for sharing your story and your talent even in the most difficult of life situations.

    God bless,

    Jana (from Dallas, TX)

    Like

  19. I have a Nate too…no really, his name is actually Nate! I was very sick shortly after we started dating with a form of arthritis that the SR’s can’t name. It comes and goes. Then I developed another illness, IBS-D. When he found out how much it affected me, he went to work to find a way to help. Even if there’s no help, no cure for the arthritis, no stopping the number of joints replaced(1, going on 2), he makes me feel better because he brings laughter to my life, and support, unconditional love and the knowledge that every day is a gift. I’m grateful for him in every way. I’m grateful for my children and my life and I’m so glad to have found your site (via YouTube) and to read your story. You’re an amazing person with so much talent and I’m so happy that you’re loved so much by your family and your Nate. Here’s to so many blessings and our Nate’s!

    Like

    • Awww Having someone love you unconditionally is so important and it makes all the difference. Thank you for sharing a little about yourself. I hope your health improves and you continue to enjoy crochet! Your Nate sounds pretty amazing. ~Nadia

      Like

  20. I’m a novice crocheter (after a lifetime of wanting to learn) and only just found your YouTube channel a few days ago. Instantly loved your bubbly personality and I look forward to making some projects with your guidance.

    What an incredible young woman you are! Nate is as lucky to have you as you are to have him.

    Like

  21. SO happy you and Nate found each other. You are a blessed young lady. A lot of well people never find what you and Nate have. Nate is a keeper. I pray God’s healng power on you. Thank you so much for the amazing videos Utube.

    Like

  22. Wow you are such a fighter girl😉you are an amazing person…still so positive after everything you went thru…your story is like a storybook…i was reading and was so mixed with emotions bethween happiness and sadness…cause you seam such an amazing person and youve been thru a lottttt…keep on fighing and doing all the beautiful things you do cause its all pretty and fun to do…..
    You have an amazing man beside you😉i have one too and its the most awesome feeling in the world when you find that person…..
    Cant wait to crochet with you again on youtube😉😂have a greatttt day Nadia😉

    Like

  23. Nadia you have given me renewed hope as I live with Sarcoidosis. It is an autoimmune disease affecting the soft tissue of the systems a sister disease to lupus, I have battled for most of my life from the age of 25. I also crochet to keep me busy and o make money for my medicine , and specialist. you keep me positive after reading your story. I have made 14 of your slouchy hats and have sold them at my doctors offices and my sister church and her job. I also made fingerless gloves and scarves. it has evolved into a small business for me. I did it initially to keep my hands busy so I would not eat, I also suffer from an eating disorder. I am home bound and in a wheel chair I need knee replacement surgery. I will be having it next year if everything goes as planned but I will never stop crocheting. I wish you continued good health, and know that you are so very special. it is wonderful to meet you and see your strength, you are what the doctor ordered for me because I think the same way you do. I do not let my illiness control my life. Thank you, I will continue to look at your tutorials. Valerie

    Like

  24. Hi Nadia,
    Love is so powerful! I believe God blessed you with Nate, and a passion to help others learn a beautiful craft. Your love for life shows in your tutorials. You are a great inspiration to us all!
    Thank you and God Bless! ❤
    Nita
    Iron Mountain, MI

    Like

  25. Wow. Thank you for sharing your story written with eloquence, good humour and grace. My thoughts and best wishes go to and Nate. Thank you for sharing your crochet journey as well. I too feel crochet has given me purpose and respite whilst dealing with illness. I have made your mermaid and shark blankets for four very special little people and the joy on their faces as they opened their presents was priceless. You have reached all the way to a small city in Australia and I thank you again for reaching out through crochet. Best wishes from Beth

    Like

  26. Hi Nadia I just want to let you know that I love your videos, easy to follow and clear instructions keep up the good work☺️ You are so an inspiration.

    Take care
    Joanna

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s