3 Months Post-Colostomy Reversal: My Healing Journey and Mental Struggles

Replies
12
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380
MoeMoe
Jun 01, 2024 5:10 am

Hi everyone! So in 3 days it will be 3 months since my colostomy reversal surgery. I still get these shooting pains in my rectum, but they are not as strong as they used to be or as frequent, and it's mostly when I sit in an awkward position or if I've been sitting for a while. For now, I don't cross my legs, but I can sit Indian style without pain or discomfort. There's no pain when passing gas, and I can pretty much eat anything now per doc's orders, but since I had a blockage at week 7 post-colostomy reversal from what I believe was spinach, I do not eat leafy veggies or indigestible foods. My bowel movements have started to go back to my normal pre-ostomy routine. However, when I get the urge to go, it doesn't feel the same as pre-ostomy. I get this weird sensation in my belly like cramps, not painful, but more like discomfort and pressure. After I poop, that sensation goes away. Every now and then I get pain and a soreness feeling at the stoma and incision sites. Oh, and the bloody stool has finally subsided, thank goodness, because that was quite scary. I have a BM two times in the morning, about an hour apart, and once in the evening. It's normal, not watery or loose, and I can hold it if necessary, but I do get that same shooting pain if I don't go right away. I'm still wearing the abdominal binder when I walk or hike for extra support. I think I'm healing pretty well. As previously mentioned, I had a blockage and was in the hospital for four days at week 7 post-reversal. The blockage was definitely a setback but not a roadblock. It passed, and I was free to go home. Honestly, to be candid with everyone, my only struggle right now is with mental wellness. My brain is completely terrified of the blockage happening again (like everyone else, I absolutely HATE the NG tube), so I'm extremely cautious of what I eat/drink. The depressing part is that I thought that once I had the reversal, I would be free from blockages because I was stoma-free. However, I've come to find out that since I've had all these surgeries, I'm more prone to blockages because of scar tissue. It's a bit depressing and crosses my mind every day. If I feel a tiny pain, I start to panic and worry about blockage. Doc said for me to just go on about my life since there aren't any precautions I can take to avoid blockages. Easier said than done because my brain is drowning in anxiety. So for now, I chew, chew, chew my food thoroughly as I did when I had my stoma, drink lots of water with meals, and keep hydrated throughout the day. My diet hasn't really changed from what I used to consume while I had the stoma. I'm scared to eat new foods LOL. I'll post again at month 4. I'm sure all will get much better and easier as time passes. Until next time, be well everyone!

Bill
Jun 01, 2024 7:14 am

Hello MoeMoe.

Thanks so much for the update. It is very useful to hear people's experiences of reversals, even if some of us have no chance of treading that path.

Your account sounds quite positive in the sense that there seem to be small improvements over time, and it sounds as if the advice given by your doctor is reasonable in the circumstances. As for mental wellbeing, this is nearly always a tricky one for most people, whether they have medical problems or not. 
There is lots of advice about managing this aspect of life on the internet, so I won't offer any of my own. just to say that many of us can relate to how you feel in this regard.

Best wishes

Bill 

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Axl
Jun 01, 2024 9:12 am

Go Moe 💪

Kas
Jun 01, 2024 12:04 pm

Wonderful! So glad you're doing well! And it is so awesome that you continue to update us, as this information will help a lot of folks.

eefyjig
Jun 01, 2024 1:35 pm

Oh Moemoe, our heads can really do a number on us, huh? Hopefully, as you progress with your careful eating and have no blockage, the memory and attached anxiety of yours will fade into the background. It would probably help you to hear back from other reversed people. Meanwhile, your daily pooping habits sound ideal. Also, just a note, you can drink your fruits and veggies. I get (I think it's called) Power Greens or something like that from Trader Joe's. Or V-8 makes one, with no tomato, which I've had. Hang in there. I get your anxiety. 🤗

 
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aTraveler
Jun 01, 2024 3:52 pm

MoeMoe, you may want to consider a low-residue diet to ease your anxiety about what to eat. With adhesions/scar tissue, blockages are a concern since the digestive passageway has been narrowed. Residue in your digestive tract can build up and cause a blockage. You may have been on a low-residue diet for a short time following your surgery. You may need to follow this diet longer term. I still adhere to the diet along with fruits and vegetables blended up in a smoothie. Also, as Lori mentioned, you can drink your vegetables. I have provided a link below to give you more detail on the low-residue diet:

https://www.verywellhealth.com/low-residue-diet-tips-797574

 

 

MoeMoe
Jun 02, 2024 5:55 pm
Reply to eefyjig

Thanks eefyjig, yep, our minds have a stronghold for sure. Thanks for the recommendations, I'm going to have to check out what TJs has.

MoeMoe
Jun 02, 2024 6:05 pm
Reply to aTraveler

Thank you, aTraveler. I do low fiber, mostly been low fiber since my first surgery a year ago. I take liquid supplements and drink a protein shake daily now because a lot of my hair fell out and I lost so much weight during the first 6 months after surgery. I'm going to have to drink my fruits and veggies as suggested until I get the courage to try again one day in the far future. LOL, thanks for the link!

Morning glory
Jun 04, 2024 1:18 pm

Thanks, MoeMoe, for the regular updates. Hopefully, your anxiety will continue to decrease as time goes on. Since, as your doctor said, you have been a real trooper and helped so many people along the way.

DexieB
Jun 04, 2024 9:09 pm

Thanks for the update, MoeMoe! I understand your struggles. I believe I had PTSD after the whole medical disaster that caused my ostomy. It's hard to get over, but time will help heal you. Praying for your continued health and happiness :)

MoeMoe
Jun 05, 2024 5:55 am
Reply to DexieB

Thanks, DexieB! I'm pretty sure I have PTSD too from all of this, but as you mentioned, time heals.

DexieB
Jun 27, 2024 5:54 pm
Reply to MoeMoe

Hey there - just wondering how you're doing? I have a weird question... I know you had some bloody stools after surgery, but have you ever passed mucus with stool since the reversal? I had a few little balls of that today with my poop. I haven't seen that since having my colostomy. I thought it was weird... I mean, I know we all pass it, but normally you can't see it, and I'm almost 5 months post-reversal. I don't know if my body is still adjusting, or if something is wrong? I don't have any pain or anything. I hate bugging my surgeon about every little thing, so I was just wondering if anyone else that has had a reversal has experienced this. As you mentioned, it's the mental struggle... anxiety for me when anything is out of the ordinary. The PTSD is real! Hope you are doing better.

MoeMoe
Jul 12, 2024 12:45 pm
Reply to DexieB

Hi, sorry for the late reply. I'm doing well, thank you! Yes, I had mucus in my stool, but it was not little balls as you described. It was mixed in with the stool, and it only happened for the first two weeks after the reversal. I couldn't really see it, but I could feel it when I wiped. You should call your doctor. I called my doctor for every little thing. The receptionist got tired of me calling for sure, LOL, and told me to relax, but the surgeon herself was kind and understanding of my fears and anxieties since I had been through so much. PTSD is awful, but not only do we need to care for our physical bodies but our mental state as well. I started seeing a therapist, and it has eased the PTSD some. I don't know if I will ever get rid of it.
I hope you are doing much better now and the mucus has subsided.