Preparing for surgery #2

I feel very blessed that I have had such a positive experience with having my colon removed and living with an ostomy. Especially compared to many of the others out there that I know with an ostomy, I really haven’t had any major issues arise. However, there have been a few things that have caused me to worry a little.

Let me start by explaining a little about my previous surgery. When I had my colon removed last May, the doctor left about six inches of my colon inside me. This part is tied off and is usually left to allow for the possibility of reconnection. Basically in some cases (usually if the patient has ulcerative colitis and not Crohn’s disease), the surgeon can reconnect the small intestine to what’s left of the colon and your digestion should function in a more normal way, eliminating the need for an ostomy. I talked about this with my surgeon at our follow-up appointment a few weeks after my surgery and wrote about it in one of my blog posts, Doing A-OK.

In my case, those few inches of my colon are still pretty diseased. I can tell: I still have that feeling of needing to go to the bathroom and I fairly often still have blood in that area. Plus, leaving that portion of your colon in for many years can increase the risk of cancer in the future. I have come to terms with the idea of having it removed and making my ileostomy officially permanent, but had planned to wait until after having kids to have another surgery.

But like I said, a few issues have come up recently. There’s the joint/muscle pain that I’ve been dealing with, that could be due, at least in part, to there still being inflammation in my body. Plus, I’ve had some irritation problems in that area since pretty much just after my surgery. The final straw for me was the inflammation in my eye. Having that come up made me worry about having active inflammation in my body and what else it could possibly cause.

The week that issue came up, I called my surgeon’s office and said, “It’s time to book the surgery and the sooner the better.” I also said that I had committed to this half-marathon and I wanted to wait until after that. So we booked for as soon after that as possible: 2 days after, in fact. Just one month from today, on June 3rd, I will go back in for my second surgery to have the rest of my colon completely removed.

The recovery should be fairly similar to my previous surgery. I should be in the hospital for 5-7 days and have another 2-3 weeks of recovery time after that. Having any surgery makes me a little nervous, but I’m just ready to have it done with. Honestly, I’m not even sure that this is the root issue, but if it is, then I just want it gone, but if it’s not, then at least I will know and can move forward from there.

10 thoughts on “Preparing for surgery #2

  1. Jes

    Here’s to a speedy recovery.! And Welcome to the Barbie butt club! Hoping you will get the relief you deserve!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie Hughes Post author

      Haha! Thanks, girl. Just looking forward to being done with it. Here’s hoping it’s the LAST surgery!

      Reply
  2. Kim

    Will be praying for you, your future surgery and recovery. I hope this will help resolve your other health issues. March 17 was the one year anniversary of the operation for my permanent ileostomy. Today, thank the Lord, I am doing well. I am sure you will do well after your surgery. Good luck and God bless.

    Reply
    1. Stephanie Hughes Post author

      Thank you, Kim. Yes, I’m hoping this will just take care of everything! Glad to hear you’re doing so well.

      Reply
  3. Christopher W. Parks

    Just ran across your great website via your twitter post. I’ve had Crohn’s since 1983 and a permanent ileostomy since 1991. Thankful for the life I have with it compared to the pain with the colon. Praying that you have a quick recovery. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    Reply
    1. Stephanie Hughes Post author

      It’s nice to meet you, Christopher. And thank you for your prayers. I always love hearing from people like you who have been living with an ostomy for many more years and still thankful for it!

      Reply
    2. daisy hanast

      Had a colostomy in 2011. So far it’s going well. Have some unresolved issues though I wish I could get together with you all to discuss some issues.

      Reply
  4. Lee

    I have had a permanent ileostomy since I was 16 due to severe ulcerative colitis. I have been fortunate to have had only a few problems in the 34 years with my ostomy. I just want to tell you that there is so much that you can do even with an ostomy. People are surprised when they find out that I have one. It is truly a blessing that my life was saved by this surgery many years ago. I always remember that there is always somebody who is worse off, that cannot do what I can. Enjoy your new life!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie Hughes Post author

      Thank you for the encouragement, Lee. I’m so glad to hear that even 34 years later, it’s still going good for you! It’s been such a blessing to me, too.

      Reply
  5. Brandon Hewitt

    Just thinking about it scares me a lot. I know a lot of people who undergone surgery and I don’t want to ask about it even more. About your Chron’s Disease, I’m terribly sorry you have to suffer like that. I so hope that you recovered.

    Reply

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