96 thoughts on “My Surgery Recovery Journey & How I Stay Positive | Hannah Witton | AD

  1. I can never know what it is like to have Stoma surgery but I know what it is like to have appendix surgery and being positive throughout when it was painful. I made sure I wanted to bounce back as I was in my final year in Uni and wanted to get there. It was stressful but I made sure I was positive in the back of my mind and managed to get there as after I recovered from my op very quickly, I went hard to succeed and even though I got 2:2 I was able to get there while keeping positive throughout.

    Great video Hannah with advice that can help those who need it.

  2. As someone who gets called "brave" all the time because of my disability, I completely understand what you mean there. I'm the person who posted that Instagram post on you a few days ago about finding you inspiring, and this video just completely solidified that for me. What an amazing, uplifting, open video. Thank you 💜

  3. My positive story is that I was diagnosed with SVT when I was 17. I had 2 small heart operations and was then diagnose with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. It got worse, and left me unable to work. I had lost all hope. I then started a business from my bed – Wildest Dreams Book Box; a monthly subscription box for YA lovers. And my business is thriving. I couldn't be more proud of what I've achieved, and in something I love talking about.

  4. This has really kicked me into wanting to get back into yoga and keep up with my blessings diary (positive things from every day). I had surgery for potential endo last december after dealing with lower abdominal pain for the whole of 2018 and I ended up being diagnosed with IBS this March. Still a huge mental struggle with food and the pain I still get but I know yoga helps and I'm so proud I'm far better mentally and physically than what felt like a very messy 2018. I want to practice much more self care!

  5. current recovering from neck surgery (three tumours removed ganggang), it's been almost two weeks and the post surgery depression is STRONG

  6. I've had a couple abdominal surgeries this past year (2018-2019) due to cancer. I agree, bravery didn't have anything to do with it, it was something that had to be done otherwise I wouldn't be here right now. I'm still undergoing treatments, including further surgeries, but like you I am amazed at what I've gone through and come out the other side still positive and thriving. I'm also trying to focus on the things I can control over things I can't, and living life to the fullest as much as I can. Thank you for your videos and your openness, you have been a big inspiration to me!

  7. This reminded me of my year of horror and pain and how I should be more trusting and relying on my capabilities. In 2016 i had just started a long distance relationship and the heartache was real. I also started contraception making me depressed and resulted in multiple pulmonary embolisms. After that I was weak and the blood thinners really took a toll on me. Yet I still managed to smash the contents of three semesters into two and finish my undergrad top of my class. It was hard but looking back it makes me feel like a superwoman. My mum always calls me brave for that, not sure I had a choice of giving up though.

  8. The keeping a diary to track recovery is a very good idea, especially for mental health which is harder for others to track. I looked back through my recovery diary the other day (mental health) and it's amazing to see how good I'm doing st the moment, even with the bad days.
    I'm glad you're doing so much better now, recovery is always there in some form but you are very strong and will keep going through anything!

  9. So I had open surgery when I was 12 years old (nine years ago, heck) and there are still ways that I act still that aren't the same as before my surgery, and I'm okay with that?
    Other medical conditions mean that I get called "brave" because I can't always walk up a flight of stairs or a long walking distance. 12 year old just ignored it and got on with it, but 21 year old me still gets on with it, although I sometimes feel guilty about using for an excuse when I need to have extra time walking, or a lift somewhere.
    But I've still challenged myself by climbing Vesuvius etc, so I do feel very thankful for that!

  10. Thank you so much for this video. I'm awaiting my second surgery to fix my foot. I tore a ligament in September 2018, had surgery in March and had it rerupture in July, and it's thrown me for a loop. I've basically not been painfree (or off my crutches) for a year, and I've been struggling. On top of that my first surgery was postponed two weeks because the doctor got ill and this second one has also been postponed. I'm just playing a waiting game now, hoping to get a surgery date soon.

    I've been struggling, I've started therapy, but it's a slow process. So yeah, thank you for this video, it really helped! <3

  11. Although the illness and complications were passive, your response to it was active – choosing to push yourself with physio and the 5K. I think that is where the bravery comes in. I find it very difficult mentally to push myself with my disability and so I would view your response to what happened to you as brave because you have actively chosen not to be defined by what happened in 2018, and not to let it restrict your actions. Xx

  12. This video could have not come at a better time! I had a bad climbing accident on Friday, and broke my ankle – I find out tomorrow if I need surgery to fix it! I'm usually a really independent and active person, I work 35+ hours, climb a couple times a week, and volunteer & I can't do any of that at the moment. I'm finding the recovery process so difficult, I have to sit with my leg raised at all times & I can't even get down the stairs of my flat without 2 people helping me, and I feel so useless, and I'm finding it very mentally not leaving the house every day, or even being able to do the chores. You've really inspired me to change my way of thinking, thank you <3

  13. I preformed cpr on a 14 year old kid. Everyone says I should be proud of that but i'm not. I just did what needed to be done.
    The kid has survived without brain damage. I just didn't really survive… I took a really bad turn mentally and i got ptsd from it.
    It took a really long time to get better but i am doing better now. I'm proud of myself to eventually get treatment for the ptsd. It wasn't fun but it was what i needed.

  14. My wife was sectioned and I was left to be a single parent to two daughters of 9 and 11. That was a challenge I wasn’t sure I’d cope with, but it’s now 10 years later and my daughters are both spreading their wings. I’m so proud of them (and a little bit proud of me).

  15. I had to have someone explain to me what 'manipedi' was. I thought it was some kind of takeaway meal. (English isn't my first language. Sorry.)

  16. On august 2016 my mom was diagnosed with cancer. On december 2016 my long last who i thought was the love of my life, broke up with me. I could not really deal with any of both things, so i tried to stay and be a support to my mom, at all times, while being really sad about my ex, who i'd countinually reach and talk and try to get back… this got on for almost two years, this year mom got worse, she had to go to emergency surgery cause cancer and chemos damaged her intestines, so she got a stoma, (which my knowledge of Hannah's story helped me to give mom some positivity), mom was very sick, she was such a genuinly smart, beautiful, big hearted woman, she wanted euthanasy, she didn't want to fight for her life anymore, cancer had spred so much, she felt so bad… i took care of her, tried to make her laugh,… meanwhile, i found out that my ex boyfriend had gotten married on december 2018, so… this year, i realised i've lost the two people i loved more than anything, nad felt guilty for spended time being sad, instead of beign the best daughter and spending time with my gorgeous mom, being present, instead of being sad. I lost my mom april 23/19, i miss her every day, i don't really talk to my sister or my dad, cause hard situations show the real people they all are, i'm not done with this, i'm just here, alive, and trying to continue a normal and beautiful life as mom would like me to. i never talk about this, english is not my nativa language… sorry if i got you depressed, i just felt like if someone had asked me how i felt, some days are okay, some days are not, and … Hannah is so right, having cancer or bad situations dont mean you are brave… some things just happen, and i dont feel strong, or weak, that's just the freaking life…

  17. I have felt really strong but weak at the same time for the last year or so. I have been struggling a lot with my (mental and physical) health, and after months I was finally diagnosed with IBS and adenomyosis, but at the same time that I was figuring all this out I also got my first ever job. Now, this meant I was absent quite a lot because of GP/hospital visits, or just being too ill to work, but still I was working hard whenever I was at work, and my manager clearly saw my efforts and was really impressed with my results, because a couple of months ago I was given a permanent contract (not sure if this translates well, but basically a better contract from my employer with more security)!

  18. I have untreated microscopic colitis (suspected ulcerative colitis) but havent been able to get treated yet. Living through the daily colon pain has been a lot. I faced and overcame quite a lot with surviving homelessness 7 times 🙂

  19. I live in a foreign country at the moment where my native language is not the primary language, especially in the small community where I work, so everyday that I manage to use and improve my language skills to get through my daily life here is huge for me. This is my second year with this job that brought me here, and it is amazing to see how much I have grown in my language skills and my confidence since I arrived last year. I love my life here, and I am so proud of myself for all the hard work that brought me here, and also that keeps me through the process with a smile on my face.

  20. Aww you're so amazing!!! I love your positivity!!!! I hope you're days are going well!!! I wish you all the happiness! Sending you a million hugs!!! 😭💕💛💛💛💛💛🙏😍😘🤗🥰

  21. Dude I get the brave thing I had cancer when I was two and people call me inspiring. But Im like I wasn't even conscious of what was happening

  22. Excellent Work, its so cool!, See this New Album 'Monish Jasbird – Death Blow', channel link www.youtube.com/channel/UCv_x5rlxirO-WKjLIyk6okQ?sub_confirmation=1 , doo check 🙂

  23. Thank you for sharing about your recovery journey and thus update. It is particularly great timing for me as I am having surgery again at the end of October. Watching your videos about dealing with U.C., surgeries, and having a stoma are what always make me feel like things will be okay. I love your channels 🙂

  24. “You’re so brave” all too often means “I can’t imagine going through what you’re going through without curling into a little ball and dying.” And I just think, No dude, you don’t understand – sometimes I WANT to curl into a ball and die, but you just gotta slog through. That’s not bravery, it’s determination. I think the sentiment is meant to convey admiration for that quality – but it can come off as “Wow, your life is barely worth living!” and that is the last thing you need to hear.

    Sometimes I look back on things I’ve gone through and wonder how I managed it. My “worst year” was 2010. I was hospitalized with a mystery illness that turned out to be autoimmune hepatitis. That meant I had to take prednisone PLUS another immune suppressant for an entire year, and being on prednisone long term is awful. I went slowly down in dosage but it seemed like every new dosage brought some new and terrible side effect, and because they were immune suppressants I was sick ALL the time. I had no paid time off left by May due to my hospitalization/recovery, and so I just had to go to work with whatever awful bug I acquired. I basically worked and slept. I don’t think I got out of bed on the weekends for over six months and I perfected the art of the car nap.

    Then at the end of the year, just after I was starting to feel slightly better – but by no means fully recovered – my best friend died unexpectedly. That became its own slog through grief and depression. I look back and I really don’t know how I managed to keep going through all of that – but you do what you gotta do. People never really know what they’re capable of withstanding until they’ve gone through the fire.

  25. Two months ago I broke down in my doctor's office and confessed to the eating disorder I've had for seven years. Just over a month ago I was hit by a car while walking home. It was something I never expected would happen to me, and the recovery process with healing and catching up in school while still trying to battle my eating disorder has been the hardest thing I have ever done. This video, especially what you said about bravery being active and not realizing how incredible out bodies are, really struck a chord with me. Thank you for all that you do with your platform, you truly are a role model.

  26. I found out over a year ago I have Madelung Deformity which lead to me having wrist surgery in London (I'd moved to Worcester during the process) in June this year. They needed to remove a significant amount of bone and put in a metal plate to get the ulnar to grow straight. I was petrified as I've never general anesthetic or any type of surgery and there's always that thought in your head about not waking up. I cried nearly everyday leading up to it. I was in a full arm cast for about 4/5 weeks and then a forearm cast for another 2. (I should add this was during the heatwave we had in the UK, so it wasn't the most comfortable thing to wear!)

    Recovery has been hard but I have the majority of my wrist/hand movement back and now working on my grip strength, etc. I probably have one more physio session to go and I'm quite proud of myself for getting through it! It really helped that I had family in London to look after me and my boyfriend when I'd got back home. 😊

  27. I love when you have surgery and loss weight because you can eat anything then you are told drink ensure or boost and they all don't taste good. I have had ups and downs over the many years after my J pouch have done alot of races. Then had to stop after the 1/2 Ironman. Then had to give up my running and tri's . I had to have spinal surgery.

  28. Honestly, I hope I'm in the middle of what'll be my 'surprised at my own strength' story. I'm having open abdominal surgery in a week to get out a Large Boi cyst that's been wrecking havoc covertly for at least 6 months. I'm kind of freaking out, but I've managed to stay positive so far – it's been a whole 10 hours since I had the surgery talk with my doctor, so honestly I feel like I'm doing pretty well. In the past year I've gotten through depression and a pretty bad case of burn-out, and I have an even better support system in place now. Having watched your recovery definitely helps as well, even if our situations are different.

    This was a good video for me to watch today, thank you!

  29. I had knee surgery 10 weeks ago and the first time I left the house by myself was… weird. I felt embarrassed because of my limp and my crutch. I felt like people were staring at me. I was worried I would fall over and hurt my knee further. But actually everyone was lovely. The bus driver and passengers were patient with me when I was getting on and off the bus. I got offered a seat and I made it to the hospital by myself for my physio. Now I feckin love my crutch. It gives me so much confidence and just reminds me to take my time when I'm getting about.

  30. When I was 11, I got sick. After several months I was diagnosed with ME/CFS. I was bedbound, sleeping 23 hours a day. Since then I’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic migraines and colitis (they aren’t sure if it’s UC or crohn’s but they are sure that it’s one of the two). When I was 14, there was trauma that led to PTSD and an eating disorder. I started smoking weed a lot (which was great for my pain but not for my mental health). I’m now 26. I am no longer on antidepressants or any medicine for my mental health. I can walk with a walking frame usually and sometimes even without a walking frame and I have a much more normal sleep pattern. I’ve had relationships, which would have been impossible at my worst- how can you meet someone when you’re asleep 23 hours a day? I’ve got 8 GCSEs, 1 A level and 1 AS level and I did a year and a half at the Open University before I decided it wasn’t for me. I’ve taught myself spanish, guitar, ukulele and piano and I’m writing a book. I also put together a poetry anthology for charity that came out last year. I’m still unable to work but I’ve accepted that and manage to be content with my life most days. It’s taken a lot of work, physical therapy and mental therapy to get to this point. People tell me I’m brave. But I had no choice but to keep going. I was too terrified of dying to kill myself, though I often wanted to, so if I didn’t kill myself because that was too terrifying, my only option was to keep going. There were things that were a choice- keeping going with education and music and spanish, but they were a choice between watching tv all day being bored and finding something to do so I still find it weird when people call me brave.

  31. My surgery got cancels as I was sitting on the trolly with my bum showing through the wonderful nhs gown. I just want my New anus and colon but it's just a waiting game. Glad your doing good and still upbeat. Your eyes say it all…have a nice night.

  32. I felt damn proud of myself taking an overnight trip on the motorcycle the other week. Due to my disabilities, I can’t drive a motorcycle. But thanks to an injury to my knee, I wasn’t riding because…how do I walk when after you get off?

    Folding cane. It rocks.

    Also delighted I am still horseriding through all this. 500kg of horse is one heck of a knee brace. No way the knee cap can float out of place with the horse pressing against it.

    Two hours a week, I get to be fierce and free, thanks to my loyal (borrowed) horse.

  33. Yeah, I wouldnt call it bravery either. But what they mean is that you are a strong person to get through all that with your head held high and such a positive attitude. Im suffering from an autoimmune disease which prevents me from having a normal life. But I try to keep positive and be grateful for what I can do – I can walk without assistance, which shouldnt be taken for granted. Instead of focusing what I cant do and what I dont have Im trying to focus on what I can. But I sometimes feel sorry for myslef as I know my problems are chronic and thus never ending.

  34. I realized something between watching this video, a Taylor Swift compilation, and a Louis C. K. stand up performance; a click track is exactly what you imagine it to be! No but seriously, I just found out what that was today. Okay that said, the grander revelation is how younger generations have become more sensitive. While walking my dog it came to be in a brilliant flash; social media has essentially made keeping a journal more popular than sports and fashion. It use to be that writing down your thoughts was the domain of brooding outcasts, heartbroken folk, therapy patients, and shut-ins. Now a strobe light and speaker system has been installed in the diary and now you can't beat back this capacity crowd. Tech giants have Marry Poppin's a generation into thinking introspection is cool. They didn't even see it coming.

    On the whole I think this is a good thing. Sometimes you have showcases of overly dramatic expression (I wouldn't know anything about that at all) and other times you have the feigning wellness, but on the whole I think we care more about our inner life than previously. We want to be fitted with our neighbor's moccasins. If life is about communion, even though social media is reviled as an evil cesspool, I see something different in these formats. I see a clumsy but determined march toward prizing relationships over material things and vain benchmarks.

    Being articulate in print may give some the impression of a fire breather in person. I am all but mute in daily life. With the exceptional company one or two, my lips barely part. I almost feel like the blind when dueling with the sighted. There is always a moments where a light bulb blows and the line of, "Welcome to my world," must be delivered prior to a proper ass kicking. I am actually more than happy to share this space with new comers. I simply request the rank of king 😉

  35. Thank you so much for sharing this. I also live with IBD. I lived with an ostomy for about 6 months and now live with a jpouch. So true. We can #faceanything & certainly agree, recovery is so different for everyone. You are deff an inspiration! xxx

  36. Thank you for making these videos about your recovery journey. I was always terrified about the idea of getting surgery for my UC. I ran across your channel describing your experience as I was starting to run out of meds to try, and it showed me that while it was definitely a big thing to go through, I could get my life back after. I had a colectomy in April, and in two weeks I'll be going in for my second (of three) surgery to have a J-pouch made. I know the recovery will be rough, but I've seen how much progress I've made after the first one and I'm actually excited to get through the rest.

  37. last year i've made a NYear resolution to do a 30 pushups a day for a year, bc that was the thing i was so very bad at. and i did (minus the days i was sick or somethign). now i can do 50 (70% of days). Even though i still do it on an angle, pushing from the bed, it helped me develop real life pecs??

  38. To the editor of the video.
    Hey there, please, slow down! There were so many chops, cuts and zooms in this that I literally couldn't watch it, it was making me feel sick! It was so disjointed in places that I really felt queasy, and I don't tend to get like that.
    Sorry, but I had to mention it.

  39. I have so many gastro. Issues and Hannah you are such an inspiration and you have helped me so much. I have IBS-C and gastroparesis. I felt strongest when I got tested for all my illness such as two endoscopy, dyed gastroparesis Test, pelvic floor balloon test and I’m so grateful my body keeps going ❤️🤗

  40. Omg yes the "youre so brave" because i went through 2 surgeries while everything shouldve been fine after the first one and never expected to have to go through everything again. Yes it sucks but i dont really have a choice. I also had that i cried so much after my (second) surgery cuz i couldnt stay awake to text my (long distance relationship) boyfriend. Had so similar experience with mentsl health its so chill to hear im not alone. Atm 7 weeks post surgery

  41. You're so strong having to go through all those surgeries! I've only ever had one surgery experience but it was elective cosmetic and recovery was painful and took 3 weeks for the pain to go, but emergency op and feeling ill must have been tough. I used to work in general surgery and I remember bowel obstruction was not uncommon. Glad you made a good recovery,

  42. I've been through a rough couple years. 2018 was the year of the knee surgery. I had surgery on my left knee, recovered and then had the same surgery on my left knee. Only my left knee didn't recover as well and left me a bit disabled. This year I've had some GI issues and just a few days ago was diagnosed with gastroparesis, which basically means I have a paralyzed stomach. So much has changed in my life lately but I'm still kicking and doing my best despite how awful I might feel.

  43. I had 3 surgeries through my GCSE years. Managed to get 7 C's which was so proud of. Then went to sixth form and had another surgery to correct a Scoliosis. Did my A-levels over 3 years and managed to get accepted to university. Was a dream come true. My own independence and freedom. Didn't have to be the ill girl anymore, could start afresh. First year was the hardest as had to build a lot of muscles and stamina. That was the start of my recovery. I couldn't walk far. Had so much pain. Now 7 years later I go out for runs, do 10k steps a day, getting married next year, hold down a good job and living my best life. My past teenage self wouldn't have believed it as things were really tough. Same as you didn't ever think I was brave as just had to get on with it. Every day was a new day

  44. Well, since u asked…😋…I got chronicly ill at 25 (chronic fatigue, low immune system, chronic pain,…) was in bed most of the time for a few years. Had to stop working, my sickness- benefits were so low at some point that I couldn't pay rent anymore. Had a financial crisis, got super depressed and suicidal. Then survived a huge fire with explosions, got very bad PTSD. And many other crazy things happened in a short period… I really was so shocked of how life could look like. It felt like I was in a television soap. I liked hearing from u how u learned to live more in the moment. It reminded me to see it as a good thing as well. And not only see it as 'I can never plan anything'.

  45. i love that you totally celebrated your body and mind at the end. I love youuu!!! I have had chronic depression for half my life and I feel insanely proud that I am about to finish my master's degree in Linguistics despite having about two episodes a month which render me completely useless for days at a time.

  46. I think a big achievement for me was pushing past my social anxiety at work and offering to help with the social media. It took so much and was really scary, but has been the most rewarding thing in creativity and in terms of taking control of my anxiety. That was a year ago, and I now lead the social media team!

    I’m so proud of myself for being able to push past my anxiety in that moment a year ago, and how far I’ve come since then.

    Thank you for this video, Hannah 💛

  47. when i first went bra shopping. i wasn't sure i would survive that. i'm a man in a deep south american state. i wouldn't change that at all. if i had it to do over again. i'd probably do it sooner than later.

  48. This may seem not that impressive compared to other people's stories, but two years ago I went to Germany to be a teaching assistant on my year abroad and it was so hard. I was living on my own in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no one my age in the town, I had no wifi and the teachers in the school were unfriendly and did not help me to settle in at all. At the time I didn't realise how down I was, but looking back at my 5 year diary (I also keep one!) I can tell that I was just so unhappy, so I'm really proud of myself that I got through it. I'm also proud that I found a solution – I decided to move to a city nearby and even though that meant I had a 3 hour round trip each day, I knew that it was worth it.

  49. I had emergency abdominal keyhole surgery (appendicitis) in 2017 from witch I’m unfortunately still trying to recover. Your successive recovery process is helping me with my own very slow recovery journey.

    I think that by sharing your story you are giving lot’s of people hope that they can get through really though things.

  50. I'm a student mental health nurse and we talk a lot about "discovery" rather than "recovery". Recovery seems to mean either getting back to who you used to be or going towards something, neither of which are that realistic or meaningful for people. Discovery is more of an ongoing process where you find out who you are now, maybe many times over. I feel you may identify with that! Lots of love, you're amazing xxx

  51. I got severely ill with pericarditis in jan 2018, and am still recovering as I developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Pain, POTs syndrome/Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia and IBS. It was tough, I was barely in school and lost a lot of friends and mentally I was in a bad place. My life had fallen apart, I didn't feel like a person, I wasn't able to do things I loved or just be 'normal'. My partner at the time left me nearly a year ago, which was another low point, leaving me feeling unloved and unwanted and like there was nothing I had to give in life. I was just a burden. But a year and 9 months on, I've come so far. I built up stronger connections with a couple friends and I have a strong relationship with a partner who is everything and more. I even managed to get an A Level, and now I'm working towards an AS Level, grade 8 bass guitar and grade 8 LAMDA (to build up my confidence). I can do more than a year ago, even though it doesn't feel like it. I'm able to judge my energy levels better and find ways to manage my energy and so I can actually do more. I still struggle and have bad days, but I'm mentally in a better place, and know that I can get through things. Even if it's difficult. I know myself better, and I don't think I would ever know myself as well as I do now or be in such a mentally better place if I hadn't got ill. I have support and I'm forever grateful for it, and I'm proud of how far I've come.

  52. Pulled myself out of depression, put my needs first, and made some major life changes that helped me truly thrive 🙂

  53. My teenage years… Moved school at 13 because school couldn't deal with me having mental health issues & suspected autism (still undiagnosed, not fun) to a Christian school where I was never accepted and constantly having to stand up for my little band of queers to senior management, lost a friend to a very public suicide & didn't tell anyone for 5.5 years, bullied & abused in almost every way possible for 3 years at school, dealt with my dad's health issues, came out as trans at 15 & lost all of my friends over it and family didn't understand enough to accept it, sat my GCSE's mid mental health crisis with no support, chronic, undiagnosed, untreated pain and recurrent injuries, moved out of my parent's home at 18 to keep myself safe, had another mental health crisis before my A levels and was in hospital when I should have sat them, had everyone in shock that I've survived so many suicide attempts and 7 years self harming with barely any support, 2 OD's in the space of a month that could have killed me, best friend saved my life from 100 miles away by getting people to look for me when I couldn't keep myself safe, 3 times. Lost another friend to suicide, found out 3 months after he died on world suicide awareness day, had to deal with the pressure of trying to look after my little sister, OD'd again because I couldn't cope.

    Now I'm alive because I metaphorically and literally chose to walk myself back from the edge. Redoing my last year at college and on track to potentially get 4 As, applying for uni, leaving supported accommodation as soon as I can, finally fitting in with a friendship group at college and long distance friends that are my chosen family.

    I didn't feel brave because it felt like a passive participant in it all. But I consciously decide every day to get up and keep going, and I feel brave for that.

  54. I understand the whole mental and physical recovery issues. I just turned 50, and so far I've had 30 surgeries and currently need #31. I've averaged one every 12 to 18 months for the last 10 years. Most are small surgeries thank goodness, but I still have to recover from them. I'm at a point I no longer worry about the surgery, that's old hat. It's the recovery that worries me. So Hannah bravery may not be the word to describe what you're going through. But you are being a badass for making it through to the other side of 2 surgeries.

  55. You are absolutely spot on with the bravery assumption, its the same with 'you're such a fighter, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' as the opposite suggests that those who don't make it through either were weak or didn't 'fight'.

    Anyway, in 2006 at the age of 20 I was diagnosed with Diamond Blackfan Anaemia, a really rare bone marrow failure disorder that is usually diagnosed in childhood. In brief, my bone marrow doesn't produce any red blood cells (amongst many other things), and since then I have had a blood transfusion every 6 weeks. I forget sometimes that not everyone has a day case admission as a routine thing. I have a full time job, a husband and live a normal every day life, being able to do that is the thing I feel most proud of. Its actually made me a better person, I'm more self aware, more considerate and mindful, but also more inquisitive and empowered to learn. As its such a rare condition it is very unlikely that I can visit a Doctor who has both experience and knowledge of the condition, so I have had to find the balance between making sure I get what I need without sounding like I am trying to undermine the professional. Its a very fine line!

  56. I got into my maths degree after a really hard last year of school in a bachibac program (mixture of the Spanish and French education system, which meant I was doing a French and Spanish history, a French oral and a French literature exam to get into uni as well as a maths, physics and biology exam, also to get into uni)!!

  57. Times I felt capable or brave?
    Running my 1st Half Marathon, despite having a snapped MCL from an old injury.
    Didn't think I could do it, set my fastest time, a PB.

    Raising money for Cancer Research by setting a Guinness World Record in gaming.

    Going self employed full time… this is probably the biggest one, that I'm thankful for every day.
    I have ADHD, which make a "Typical" work day difficult for me.
    Now I can set my own hours, I get varied and satisfying job, and even gave a talk at EGX recently to help people get in the same field.

    I try to keep perspective on all accomplishments in life tho, very hard to do.
    Too often we concentrate on the next achievement, pushing our goals further away as we achieve them.
    Sometimes it's worth being present in the moment and appreciating our achievements, loving ourselves and the life we have crafted.

  58. Thank you for such an inspiring video. It's so nice to hear someone talking so openly about disability. When I was 14 I was diagnosed with a brain tumour which I had removed, but it led to complications meaning I now have a shunt (plastic tube and value keeping me alive!). When I got diagnosed it ignited this weird passion to do well in my GCSEs which I was doing at the time! I managed to get 10 A* grades and I'm damn proud of myself for it. I rocked it! Life isn't completely easy now, but whenever I'm going through something I always remind myself that I got through that. Xxx

  59. Hannah, thumbs and fingers and all digits up to you – you are awesome. I am struggling with my own health issues (at age 72 – so not so strong) but determined to win out. And watching you an what you've been through is encouraging to say the least. Happy Days : )

  60. Dont think it is really rare. Have had numerous surgeries since my emergency ileostomy. Just have to keep positive. It gets better. Eventually

  61. I'm feeling proud and capable right now because I just moved into my first apartment on my own from living in a toxic family home and I've been working hard to build consistent healthy habits! It's an imperfect journey but in still proud ♡

  62. You are brave, by choosing to have and maintain the best attitude you can, when you could choose to complain and wallow in self pitty forever. it is a choice and you are making the best one for you and the people that love you by loving yourself well

  63. hey hannah, I know that a while ago you were going through your make-up and figuring out what's cruelty free and what's not. I wanted to let you know that Olay is not cruelty free in case you were still sorting out your cosmetics by that.

  64. I always laugh when people talk about how brave I am for being able to go through all my health issues (total collectomy/ileostomy in 2015 and lived transplant in 2017). I don't usually know how I respond and just laugh it off saying "Eh. It was either that or die".

  65. So much of this video resonated for me and I am so glad you shared it. I had a total hysterectomy at the age of 26 after fighting life threatening complications from delivering my son for nearly two years. By the time I found a doctor who would listen to me, I was already dying. The surgery saved me physically, but I was in a really dark mental and emotional place for a long time. Healing from all of that DEFINITELY made me realize how strong and determined I am. Now I look back on it as a gift in disguise. I hope you continue to gain strength and healing!!

  66. In the words of Brene Brown "There is no courage without risk". So just surviving – going about your day – isn't a risky activity. Or it is at least the one risk (risking you won't suddenly die for some inexplicable reason) we can't really bother ourselves about. So that is why I agree that it wasn't necessarily brave of you to go through recovery. It was perhaps resilience but not bravery.

  67. I totally relate to what you're saying about bravery. I was born with a birth defect called a cleft lip and palate and have had around a dozen surgeries since infancy to correct it. Friends and family told me from a young age how brave I was and it never made sense to me. I always felt like bravery had to involve a choice to do the scary thing, and I never had a choice. I kind of hate the word brave for that reason. Thanks for making videos like this, Hannah! They've really helped me along my healing journey and recovering from a lifetime of surgery. Much love ❤️

  68. Have always loved your videos Hannah. A week ago I got diagnosed with a chronic kidney stone condition and told I will have to have my kidney removed. I now can''t work or do much until I have had the surgery which they said could be in 2-3 months since I am on a waiting list. I am nervous about it all but it feels like this video came at the right time and shows me that things will be okay and I will recover and feel better than I do now

  69. Well I never really recovered, it effected a lot of parts of my body. U have to be careful osteoporosis, chronic infections, tendinitis….. take care of vitamins and other ingredients your body doesn’t get anymore. Mentally I m fine;)

  70. I'm just a month and a bit into recovery (I rolled a wheelchair van of 9000 lbs/4000 kg and my left arm was pinned under the vehicle) and… yeah. I still have the arm! But I am just starting to regain use of the arm and then I'll be relearning how to use the arm. I'm trying to curate my emotions (not denying the 'negative' ones but rather reinforcing the 'positive' ones) but… i'm just so tired.


    My friends and family have been so supportive and functionally helpful. I still have the arm and will regain most of its use. And while the scars won't be pretty, and I lost a patch on my head where hair won't grow back, I'm choosing to live without hiding any of my scars. I want people to see that they don't need to hide their scars to be pretty and confident or strong. Heck with it. Mentally I'm… crushed. I'm so used to having excellent propioception and my left arm feels like a foreign body at the moment. But I can recover and I hope someone sees my scars and is less afraid of how theirs will be perceived.

    But that's still not brave to me. In my mind, this is just how I need to be to survive. Anything less than facing this head-on and treating it as a fight, and I'll collapse. I am pretty sure the first person to call me brave will just cause me to start bawling lol

  71. Hanna, I have had 11 surgeries, three of them for adhesions. My first surgery was at the age of five for appendicitis. I am 82 years old, so you have some time to catch up with me. Getting old is a priviladge that many people do not receive.

  72. You are an amazing person Hannah. I suffer from an illness that can 'Hit" at anytime. Sending my body into complete chaos. No warning. Leave my house perfectly fine, 15 minutes later- on my way to the hospital. No warning. Just BAM. This has been ongoing for years. Concerts? Events? Travel? I sometimes feel fine. Sometimes get a tour of the emergency health facilities. Add in anxiety, and over time, depression, things get bad. So Positivity? Just one day at a time. Sometimes and hour at a time. Living in the present moment, and SO grateful for days without issues. It's all we can do sometimes.

  73. I am proud of my body for adapting after fourteen surgeries and so many obstructions on order to have an amazing son who is going to be 10 soon. He and I are both autistic and have EDS but we never let anything stand in our way or hold us back

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