Four weeks later!

Yesterday was the four week mark since having my stoma taken down and my life with a j-pouch began. So, how has it been? Different is probably the best way to describe the last month for me. I’ve had good days and bad days. On the good, my pain levels have been pretty low and I’ve had a decent appetite which hasn’t caused discomfort when “going”. One bad days though, my pain has spiked and bathroom visits haven’t exactly been pleasant.

I’m taking paracetamol and codeine twice a day at the moment but sometimes I need ito take it more. I take it mostly for my stomach than anything else because occasionally I’ll get cramps which I’ve found recently happen just after eating. They pass soon enough but sometimes it gets a bit too much. Another thing I’ve notice happening this week is mild pain in my legs during the night and after walking around for long periods. I hope that’s not a DVT thing but I’ll be keeping an eye on it and talking to my GP if it continues.

Lastly, I’m due back at work in a week which, at the moment, I’m feeling quite positive about. I want to get back into a normal routine so the sooner I get back to work, the better. I’ve only got a month left with my current job before I leave though as I am starting a new job in May. I’ll be doing a separate post about starting a new job with IBD later so keep an eye out for that.

Day 20 – an update

It’s been almost three weeks since I had my stoma closed and things are going fairly well; I haven’t had any accidents (yet) and I’m slowly reintroducing foods I enjoyed with my stoma. I have found that if I eat too much though (for example a whole oven pizza), I don’t have a fun night. And what I mean by that is a lot of discomfort in both my stomach and my pouch as that much food travels through my gut. I am able to control this with painkillers, though.

My wound was checked by my GP nurse last week. It’s healing nicely but the middle was still a bit open so she left in four of the clips. I’ve got another appointment with her tomorrow where, hopefully, she’ll remove the rest of the clips. I’m looking forward to it being fully healed so I can have a nice bubble bath, something I haven’t been able to do for quite some time.

As for my mobility, unlike last time, my legs haven’t atrophied so walking or standing for any length of time is a lot easier than it was after either of my previous surgeries. My stomach is also not as sore as it was last time. I think both of these are because of how simple and straight forward this last surgery was. Where as back in June, the surgery was quite a bit more complicated (they were reconstructing a lot and moving my guts around quite a bit) and the recovery directly after was difficult due to the aforementioned moving of my guts making them shut down temporarily (otherwise known as ileus). This time was easier as the surgery itself was only two hours long and it involved a lot less handling of my gut meaning I was less likely to develop ileus.

For the most part, I feel fine. I’m able to walk around and do a few household chores but this does tire me out and I find I need to rest for a while before trying to do anything else. I spend a lot of time sitting at the moment (mostly reading or on my computer) but I am starting to go outside. I was able to go for a short walk the other day but, again, this made me quite tired. I’m sure this will improve overtime as it has in the past so I need to be patient, recover isn’t linear.

I am home!

Sorry for the lack of updates the last few days, there hasn’t been much to report. But now, I am home. I have been signed off work for the next four weeks so I’ll have plenty of time to adjust and get used to my new “plumbing”.

So far, everything is going well but it’s early days. Hopefully, things will continue to go smoothly and I’ll have little to no issues with my j-pouch.

Surgery tomorrow!

So, tomorrow I am having my stoma taken down. It’s odd but I’m not feeling as nervous as I was a few weeks ago; I’m sort of just impatient to have it over and done with now.

A few weeks ago, I was thinking perhaps I’d made a mistake to have the j-pouch but after talking things through with several people, including my partner and people on an IBD forum, I decided I may as well continue with this route instead of backtracking and arranging to have a permanent stoma.

On another note, I have finally sorted my prescription for
colecalciferol tablets. It’s taken almost a month to get it due to several delays but it’s sorted so that’s one less thing to worry about.

Update

I’ve had an interesting last couple of weeks. Aside from the aforementioned surgery and subsequent cancellation of said surgery, I found that one of my surgical wounds from June was starting to open. It’s situated under my bag so I didn’t notice it until last week but the very end nearest my stoma had started to open and has formed a tiny hole about 2-3mm long. Not really a problem until I noticed it was bleeding. I called the hospital and they said speak to my GP who, after a phone consult, gave me antibiotics because she said it sounded like I had a minor infection.

I’ve been taking the pills for about a week now and they seem to be working but I’m still a little concerned as the hole hasn’t closed completely. It’s not bleeding anymore though, so I guess that’s a small sign of improvement. Because it’s under my bag, I do wonder if something got into the would from the adhesive or while I was changing my bag and that’s what caused it to open. Because the adhesive sits right on top of the wound, I’ve started covering it with a small plaster so I’ve finally found a use for the tiny round plasters that every pack seems to include but no one ever has a use for. I think that’s helping to keep it clean, at least, so it should heal a little faster.

No news yet on a date for my surgery but I’m hoping it’ll be soon. On an entirely unrelated note, I’m thinking of started my own WhatCanIEat blog website. I’m not sure when or how but I’ll post more if/when it happens.

I have a date for surgery!

I got a call from the hospital this afternoon, my surgeon had a cancellation so they offered it to me. The only issue I have is that it’s for next week so very little time to prepare mentally. I know I’ve been a little impatient about getting my stoma removed but now that it’s less than two weeks away, I’m a bit nervous. Not because it’s surgery though, it’s more what comes after; the pooping “normally” and what that entails. I’m sure I’ll be fine but I guess we’ll see.

Saw my surgeon this morning. My contrast enema showed my jpouch should work fine, no signs of stricture or other issues so I’m being put on the list to have my stoma take-down as soon as possible. I asked for it to not be before the end of October because I’m going to watch Wicked in the theatre then and really don’t want to miss it, so he said he’ll try for November. Finger Crossed!

Returning to work…

I went back to work last week but on a phased return basis meaning I’d work from ten in the morning until two in the afternoon on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (with Thursday as a day off) for at least the first week. I thought that went really well last week so I decided to increase my hours abd stayed until four yesterday. Despite it being really quiet at work, the time went somewhat fast and I felt fine afterwards. Until I got home that is. Then it hit me just how tired I actually was. I had to miss D&d because there was no way I’d be able to consentrate for that long, and ending up spending the evening in bed watching Scrubs. As a result I only worked until two today. I’ve got tomorrow off but I can’t sleep in because I’ve got an appointment to see my surgeon in the morning. I’m going to go back to working six hours on Friday and Saturday but I won’t be increasing my hours any further for at least another two weeks; I don’t want to risk burning myself out before I’ve even get back up to fulltime hours.

Recovery update!

I managed to go out twice in the last five days! I’m back to using my walking stick but I don’t think I’ll be needing it for as long this time. I can walk faster and for longer now verses last year, but I still need the extra support when going out for a long time. The stick also acts as a warning to others that I can’t move that quickly and they may need to be careful when moving around me. It doesn’t always work though as I have had a couple of people (noticeably older people) who have felt it would be fine to just knock me with their bags. Luckily, I was stationary and with someone else when this happened but still.

(Side note: It’s odd but I have found that the people who are the most considerate and take note of my stick are around the same age as me (30) or younger. I don’t mean this as a slight against older generations, it’s just something I’ve noticed.)

Anyway, in terms of eating, I think I’ve been over-estimating my guts capacity because I have had stomach cramps on and off for the last few days. It was worse yesterday (Tuesday) but it seems to have gone for now. I’m finding that the cramps are most severe if I eat too much stodgy food (like bread, batter, pastry ect) and this makes me feel sick. I’m going to try and eat four small meals a day instead of two big ones (I don’t eat breakfast). For today though, I’m only having snacks every now and then because my gut is still sore.

An interesting week

I’ve had an interesting week; Tuesday night through to yesterday (Wednesday) evening, I experienced horrible stomach cramps and my stoma stopped working. I called my GP for a phone consult and she did a home visit (because she didn’t want me to walk upto the surgery) to listen to my gut and check I wasn’t distended. Typically, my stoma started working about half an hour before she arrived at my flat, but she said my gut didn’t sound blocked. It didn’t, however, sound quite right to her either so she said to drink plenty and to only eat when I felt like it. I didn’t have much of an appetite yesterday but it seems whatever was causing the cramps has passed because the blobs been active all day today and I’ve been eating little meals throughout the day too. Doctor said to call if the cramps start again so I’ll need to keep an eye on things.

Other than that, I feel OK in myself. I’m sleeping a little better and I’m wanting to move around. I’m getting a little restless sitting at home all day everyday so I’m planning on going out for lunch with my mum tomorrow. I just hope the weather is nice and that I can manage the walk.