6 Weeks Post Colostomy Reversal Op! I survived!
The last few weeks have been really tough. My surgery went amazingly (Read about that here) well and a week after being sent home from the hospital I went for a check up and my surgeon happily reported that everything was perfect and it’s all over.
I smiled all the right smiles but in my heart, I knew that if something seemed too good to be true, well then, it probably is. Sadly I was right.
From right after surgery, I’d had a sharp pain just to the right of my surgery cut. I’d kept telling the surgeon but he suspected it was a stitch pressing on a nerve. It wasn’t till a couple of weeks later when a hole opened on my surgery site and it started weeping. Yup, look away now if you don’t like gross factor stories – it was leaking pus. YUCK!
More tests and another stay in the hospital
I went back to him and he sent me for scans. The pain was AWFUL and I was already weak from the entire surgery ordeal. The scan (which was painful in itself as the radiographer pressed her little scopes all over my hole) revealed that there was indeed a collection of pus that was travelling up to the hole and seeping out. The good news was that it needed to come out. The bad news was, it might make a second hole closer to the collection.
In fact, it made two more holes that I had to dress and clean for weeks. The last of the holes is only just now closing but I’ve also had some ridiculous pain in my bladder and in fact I was admitted AGAIN on Friday night for observation.
The Surgeon ended up ordering a CT-Scan to get to the bottom of this pain. Again, turned out there is a pool of pus under the surface which is causing pain as my muscle contacts and relaxes around it. So for now, peeing is a bloody bitch. YAY!
The good news is, as the swelling goes down, my new belly button looks more and more lovely. He had to completely reconstruct my belly button which was completely destroyed by the previous surgeries and the hernia which pushed it out and stretched it terribly. I feel so happy now when I see my new navel as I always had such a cute belly button.
The healing begins
I’m finally able to turn without too much effort. You don’t realise how much you miss just being able to turn over in bed without using your hands and legs to help you manoeuvre.
I’m finally able to walk (short distances) without panting. I’m finally able to sleep through the night again without much pain.
I haven’t taken painkillers in weeks and that is HUGE for me. I hate pills and I hate taking them and to finally not be swallowing pills every 4 to 6 hours is amazing.
I’m finally able to take care of my son and play with him without much pain. This makes me most happy. Although I still can’t bath him. I love bath time and so does he so it makes me sad but I sit in the bathroom while he baths and that is some sort of consolation prize.
Things that make it easier
My mom has been helping with making dinner and bathing my son every evening which has been amazing because otherwise my poor husband would have to do everything on his own. We’ve also been binge watching Masterchef which I am ADDICTED to.
Life feels like it will go back to normal soon. Which would be great. In the meantime, I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself to get everything done. I’ve been neglecting my blogs the last while. It hasn’t been easy, especially not watching my stats drop like crazy but I’ve had to prioritise my health.
I think it’s paying off with healing but my mental health is deteriorating. I’ve been having so many self doubts about everything I do. Wondering what the point is of it all.
The point is, I get to live. I get to watch my son grow and I get to do what I love!
The emotional aspects
I think when you’ve been through so many surgeries and one recovery after the other, you can’t help being emotionally affected.
Sometimes I struggle with doing things and I am so hard on myself. At one point things were so tough I wondered if it would have been better on everyone if I had just died. I don’t wish I’d died but I watch everyone pulling the slack and I can’t parent properly and I’m so hard on myself.
Post traumatic stress catches up with you so quickly and I’ve got to be aware constantly of letting myself slip down the rabbit hole. Some days I just want to stay in bed and feel sorry for myself. It’s on those days when I make sure I get up and get in the shower and try to achieve something on my to-do list. That always makes me feel better.People underestimate what trauma does to your emotional well-being #PTSD Click To Tweet
Trauma is really not easy on a person. It’s tough going through all of this because your body struggles but your mind takes a HUGE knock and that’s the part that no one really gets.
I think I’ve done a pretty decent job at getting by. I’m happy, I’m thankful. I’m slowly recovering and I can finally see the light at the end of this tunnel. I can’t even believe that 9 months has gone by while I’ve been dealing with all of this but it really finally seems to be coming to an end. I survived!
What comes next?
I’ve decided that after all my experiences with near death and becoming an ostomate, I’m in a good position to help others who have been through similar traumas so I’m going to work on starting completely free workshops and doing public speaking on surviving the ordeal.
Motivational Speaking and Survivor Workshops – I SURVIVED!Coaching and Motivational speaking for anyone who might benefit from changing their outlook on life #ISurvived Click To Tweet
The coaching and motivational speaking sessions would be perfect for anyone who might benefit from changing their outlook on life. This includes patients, their families and anyone who has lost a loved one and can’t deal with the grief that arises from that loss. Sessions would also be suited to someone who has lost their focus and needs to realign their goals and motivation towards reclaiming their life.
I’m also going to be doing private coaching sessions for anyone who needs it, for free, because I know what this feels like. I know all about the survivor’s guilt and pressure you put on yourself to get better faster. It’s not easy and there isn’t much support available out there.
Topics I’ll cover under private coaching include but are not limited to:
- Address the question “WHY” – Why did this happen to me?
- Feeling like everyone knows and what to do about it.
- Deciding whether to share your experience with others.
- Coping with being an Ostomate / Living with your Stoma without feeling ashamed.
If you know of someone who might benefit from the experience then please put them in touch with me. It is tough going through this alone and wondering if you’re normal.