One year ago today I was getting ready to go into surgery to have my colon removed!
I had already been in the hospital 5 days due to my ulcerative colitis flare up. I hadn’t been keeping anything down for several days before I was admitted to the hospital. The day I was supposed to have my consult with the surgeon I called that morning to see if I could get worked in earlier, since my appointment wasn’t until the afternoon. I was throwing up so frequently I could taste blood and the little bile that was coming up was a little dark. I knew it was just the strain on my throat. I couldn’t get any relief. Thankfully the nurse talked with the surgeon and they called me back telling me and my mom to come to the hospital that the surgeon was going to admit me and we were gonna talk about surgery there.
I was ready. When I finally met him I threw up in front of him trying to answer his questions. Everyone was trying to give me as much medication as they could to help with the nausea. I only got brief periods of relief when certain medicines would knock me out. My surgeon wanted to try to get my colon calmed down a little before he removed it, not that he wanted to wait long but he wanted to give me through the weekend and then would perform step 1 of the 3 surgery process. It was Wednesday evening and I just wanted to cry because I wanted the relief so bad. I wanted my colon out.
I ended up with an NG tube the next day. I hate them but they help you to stop throwing up as they create suction to pull all the crap in your tummy making it upset. I waited as long as I could before I asked for it. The weekend went by in a haze. I kept having accidents and ended up just wearing the hospitals disposable underwear because it was just easier that way.
On Sunday, one of my surgeons associates who was on call for the weekend came by to see me and marked a good spot on my belly where my ileostomy would be. I couldn’t get a good idea of where it would be in relation to clothes because I was too ill to care.
By Monday I was so ready, it was surgery day! My surgery wasn’t scheduled until late afternoon so the wait was excruciatingly long. I was so ready to feel some relief and also nervous about having surgery in general. Everything went smoothly during the surgery. I was drugged up due to the pain and it wasn’t until the next day that I saw my stoma when the surgeon came to check it. I didn’t really realize how swollen it was until the stoma nurse showed me how to change my bag. Holy crap was that thing swollen! It’s common for it to be swollen and usually within 4-6 weeks it’s gone down to the size that it will stay and you don’t have to measure it as frequently when cutting the size out for your bag.
I’ve come a long way since that day a year ago. I’ve had set backs, but I’ve come out a stronger person than I was before. My little stoma, Miss Moaning Myrtle, has given me a second chance at living life! I’m so grateful for my little sidekick and honestly she’s such a part of me now I don’t know if I can give her up. That’s a decision for another day, but today I’m loving my little rosebud.
Surgery can be scary, but know that having an ileostomy or colostomy is not the end of the world. You can live such a full life with a bag! It shouldn’t be looked at as a bad thing because it has taken all that pain I would feel in my colon away. I’m celebrating my life with my ostomy bag!
Until next time,