The last few weeks have been really tough. My colostomy reversal 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.
[bctt tweet=”People underestimate what trauma does to your emotional well-being #PTSD” username=”tyrannyofpink”]
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. There’s no trauma quite like surgery.
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!
Dina Strait says
Hi Jonelle, I had my first diverticulitis surgery after sitting in the emergency room for 4 hours and my colon and lower intestine erupted! An hour later I was in emergency surgery have 8 inches of my colon and intesine removed. Only.to wake up with a colostomy bag and a nasty open incision. Happened Jan. 2020 right b4 covid. Had to wait until July.2020 for reversal. My question to anybody is…does the PAIN ever go away? It has been over a yr. Since 1st surgery and 9months since reversal. Still have pain and bowel issues and bladder issues. Surgeon and specialist say im fine jst scar tissue damage and all the trauma. Anybody else in my boat?
I’m sorry to hear about your experience. That would be so terrifying. I can’t answer your question unfortunately, my colostomy was the result of an injury from childbirth. I haven’t had much pain outside of surgery. I hope it does go away – what does your surgeon/ doctor say is normal?
Hello, I’m2 months post ostomy. I went into surgery not knowing I would wake up with a Foley and stent and an ostomy bag. Life been a bitch. I can’t find a bag to stay one more than a day..yes its getting easier.. Is having the reverse surgery harder? And why?
Thank you for posting. Helps to know I’m not crazy
Hi Rachel, it’s such a big shock to the system isn’t it? But I promise you it gets easier. I found the reversal surgery really scary and taxing emotionally, I almost didn’t have it because I was healthy and I didn’t want to end up back in hospital. Eventually, I weighed up my odds and had the reversal and because I was SO much healthier, it was a lot easier to rewcover from. I’ve written about it on my blog. I have absolutely no regrets! You are definitely not crazy, this is so hard but yes, one day at a time and just keep trying to find supplies that work for you. xxx
I’m so happy I found this blog. I recently had an emeergancy c section and they nicked my bowl after weeks of calling and trips to the ER I finally went to a different hospital and they saw I had a severe infection so they had to rush me into another surgery. I woke and had the surgeon by my side explaining he had to removed part of my colon and my appendix because of how bad the infection was, then….he pulled up my robe and explained why he needed to place an ileostomy. Tears, panic instantly I’m 29 my miricle baby I am 48 hours strong being home with my now 1 month newborn. The emotional pain is unbearable some days. I cant catch a break between 2 surgeries, recovery, dehydration, and then my insision needed to be cut open because of drainage…. thank you for the good read that I am normal to be feeling the way thay I am.
Hi Kayla, Wow, your experience sounds as awful as mine (and quite similar too) and I can understand how you’d feel about being ignored when you KNOW there is something wrong and they just don’t know what. I got my colostomy during my surgery, without knowing it was going to happen. Was it easier do you think? Knowing what to expect? I’m really sorry that you’ve had to go through all this at only 29, I don’t think it ever gets easier to be honest. The pain and the surgeries and the recoveries really knock you physically and mentally but the bright side is being here and being with your miracle child and every single day since the beginning of this journey is gifted time – don’t you think? That you for reading and thank you for leaving this comment! After three years, I’m still coming to terms with what happened to me and believe it or not, your story is inspiring to me too! <3
Wow. I had similar situation. I was in ICU for a month and am facing a reversal. ( and have recently been having pelvic pain we think is kidney stones) do you have any suggestions on preparing mentally and physically for the reversal?
Hi Sally, I’m sorry to hear you’re going through a similar thing – it’s not the greatest experience to share. I was absolutely terrified going in to my reversal but what helped me was thinking about it logically – so many people have the surgery and it turns out perfectly well. Just remind yourself why you’re choosing to have the operation. Try and focus on the outcome and how life will change after surgery instead of focusing on the surgery itself. As for physically, I hadn’t done anything exercise wise for the months prior to my surgery since I was constantly recovering. If you can, get yourself as fit as possible. Walk a lot, eat healthily and get your body as strong as possible. All the best for your surgery and feel free to contact me if you have any more questions. I will do my best to respond as honestly as possible! xxx