My Journey with Digestive Issues: From Diagnosis to Surgery


Around five years ago, I had a spell of passing a lot of bloody diarrhea and it cleared up after a week or so, but in May last year, it started again. I'm not someone to cry to the doctors every time I sneeze, so I just left it, thinking it would clear up like the last time. After around three weeks, I ended up going to the doctors because it had gotten worse. I was referred to a specialist, but because I was treated as an outpatient, it was going to take around six weeks to see him. That weekend, I was really ill and was rushed into A&E, and things kind of went from there..

I lost three stone in the first two weeks of being in the hospital as I couldn't eat a single thing and had started being sick every time I went to the toilet. As if the stomach cramps weren't already bad enough, my entire chest ached as I was forcing bile up all the time. It took eight days to finally have a sigmoidoscopy(?) after which I was put on all kinds of steroids and anti-inflammatories. They had little effect, and so I was given something called infliximab(?). Although this did have some effect, it wasn't doing good enough fast enough, and I was told I would need to have surgery. I asked when the surgery would be, the surgeon said it was in six hours' time, which came as a bit of a shock. All of this happened within the first five of the six weeks I was in the hospital. Over this time, apart from losing so much weight, I also practically lost all my body muscle. I found it difficult to walk or move, and I was so weak that I couldn't even flush the toilet without putting a lot of weight on the handle and without getting cramp all the way up my arm and into my shoulder.

I was told my operation would be between two to three hours long. Five hours later, I woke up, and the surgeon said that although there were a few complications, everything went fine, and he spent a little extra time sewing me back together nice and neatly =) Apparently, my colon was the most diseased he had ever seen and had no idea how I had gone so long without the surgery. Rather than being put on the intensive care ward, I was put back in my cozy little side room, which suited me fine. Three days later, I was up and walking around the hospital as if nothing had ever happened.

I'd had such an amazing start to 2010. I had gotten a new, very well-paid job, been on two holidays, and bought a new car, but then spent the entire summer in the hospital, which sadly included my 21st birthday =( Because I was so ill and wouldn't have been able to go back to doing the same role, I lost my job, and I felt as if I was given everything and then one moment later had it taken away.

Looking on the brighter side of things, I have healed fine from my first operation and was quickly put on the waiting list for a "W" pouch reversal. It only took a few weeks before I was told I would be having surgery on the 21st of January 2011, so I was only on the waiting list around four months. Less than a week ago, I met the anesthetics, and everything is looking good, and the operation is still all systems go =) It's just over a week now until I'm back on the slab being sliced open again, and I'll make sure that when it's all over and I'm home, that I come back and let you all know how things went =)

Wishing you the best of luck and speedy recovery!

Steve, I literally went through the exact same process you have, with the steroid overdose then the rush surgery. It was a complete shock to the system. I hadn't heard about a bag until a few hours before I actually was being 'fitted out' for one!! Anyhoo, I'm just writing to you to wish you all the best in the world and I'll defo say a massive prayer for ya on the 21st. Not long now!!!!! Heard that the reversal knocks ya for ten, so get your strength up, mate! I've had the whole bowel removed due to colitis and hoping to go for the pouch reversal this year too! I was told by previous pouch reversals that it was the best thing they've done and that if ya think about it too much, ya won't go for it. But hey, as they told me, I'm so freaking young not to go for it and the worst part is already over. The disease has been removed, it's just a bonus to get the bag removed too!! I was the same with the blood and the running to the loo every wack about, so Steve, it's all uphill from here on out. The worst part is over, ya!!! Really hope ya do well with the op, my thoughts are truly with ya. Keep me posted on how ya do too xxx

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I was in a really bad way before I had my first operation and I also had my entire colon removed. Like I said, I'd lost a shitload of weight and practically all my body muscle, so I was surprised I healed as well as I did. I'm obviously much fitter going into this surgery, and I've been trying to get plenty of running and golfing done as I can. (You might not think it, but golfing can be pretty tiring =D)

I'm expecting the following few months to be hell, rushing to and from the toilet and possibly in and out of the hospital with some kind of infection in the pouch, etc., but I'm hoping it will all be worth it.

I don't know anybody that has ever had a reversal, so I still don't know 100% what to fully expect, but my Stoma nurse is awesome and a great laugh and will no doubt help me out where she can. My surgeon has had brilliant reversal results as well and has done hundreds of procedures, so I've also got a lot of faith in him. Especially after he spent the extra time trying to do as neat a job as possible with the stitching and scarring after my first operation.

I'm expecting to lose a lot of weight again, and I'm sure I'll be sick to death of tomato soup within the first week, but I'll be happy when I can get back onto some solids again. I eat a lot of fruit and veg though, so I'm sure that everyone else I live with won't be looking forward to my trips to the toilet, and I'm sure there will be a tower of Oust Odour spray in the bathroom when I get home from the hospital =D

Steve, sounds like you have been through hell and come out the other side. I wish I had seen the doctors sooner too. Instead, I lived in agony for 20 years and didn't do anything about it till my bowel perforated and the choice was taken out of my hands. Being a tough nut doesn't pay, does it? Anyway, thinking of you. You have so much of life to look forward to. I know you will do it.


Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

The first 2 or 3 weeks in the hospital were hell, but other than that, I think I've been quite lucky compared to some of the stories I've heard from others. I just hope I don't have any complications with the reversal =)

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