My recovery update
On April 30th, I went to see my lovely Surgeon Dr D. Recently, my emotions have been all over the place. Recovery from Barbie Butt surgery hasn’t been easy and I have been tormenting myself over the last six months by wondering if putting myself through that surgery was the right decision. I have been having issues that were a possible end result of having the surgery carried out, along with feeling that perhaps my Crohn’s wasn’t still under control. The problem with having this illness is the fact that it is invisible, yet on the outside I look and act like a fully-functioning 33-year-old female.
The usual feelings of nerves and anxiety kicked in while I was sitting on the train, as heading back into London is a normal part of life for me and I have spent a fair amount of time within the four walls of the hospital. I was nervous because I would be getting the long-awaited pathology and histology results back from all the parts they removed from my operation back in October.
My appointment time was running late by an hour and a half, but I had a book to keep me entertained which took my mind off of things.
When I got called out, my heart jumped into my mouth a little. My brain was thinking that if the results came back all clear, then that would mean I put myself through several months of recovery and a fair amount of pain for absolutely nothing.
Going into the room with Mr D always puts me at ease. He is probably one of the only doctors I have ever put my full trust into. I went through the niceties, had my stomach examined and then got down to business. My reports came back showing that my Crohn’s disease had impacted my rectum and large bowel and was pretty much a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. I mentally high-fived myself for that one, as it wasn’t all just part of my imagination.
The next part wasn’t so great. I was told that the Crohn’s has jumped ship and has impacted what little of my small bowel I have left. I had inflammation in the parts that were removed and my bowel, at the time of the operation, was ischemic and lacking in a healthy blood supply, so having the operation was the wisest of decisions. It also explains why my stoma was rather sluggish and took a while to restart after, as they had to reconnect blood vessels to make sure it was healthy and not requiring more removal.
The drainage issues I had been having are a normal part of the course of recovery. It was explained that the inside of my abdomen is now like a honeycomb – I have old scar tissue, new scar tissue and pockets of fluid in-between, which can take a year or so after surgery to resolve itself and in my case, it was coming out of my only exit.
It was a very productive appointment. For the first time in 17 years, I had actually been discharged from a medical consultant, which means no more surgery in the distant future, which is absolutely amazing. I feel like over the last 10 years, my life has always been on some kind of hold due to my illness. To think that I can pretty much roam free and cause havoc is an absolute relief.
I left the appointment being referred back to my GI and needing to go back on the immunosuppressants to limit the active Crohn’s disease, but that I can handle and will only mean two days out of 4-6 weeks, of being less able than normal.
I left the hospital feeling rather light on my feet, so I headed for the nearest coffee shop to have a celebratory latte and then headed home.
For all of you either facing surgery or recovering, there is always a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. It took a little longer for me to get to the end, but I have had one hell of a journey where Bertha is now a permanent fixture and my Barbie butt has its novelty uses of being a rather crude conversation insert, but ultimately choosing to have the surgery done was the best, yet hardest, decision I have ever had to make.
Many thanks for reading,
This blog post is intended to give advice to ostomates. The information given is based on Louise’s personal experience and should not be taken as clinical advice. Each ostomates needs are unique to them and their stoma care routine. Please consult with your Stoma Care Nurse before undertaking any changes to your stoma care routine.