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Count down to reversal...

Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:09 pm
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Surgery Day + 2

Woken early again by the nursing staff and sent for a walk. The surgeon had warned me that he had given me a lot of meds and not to be alarmed if it took a week for my bowels to come to life again. The nurses, although it seemed  cruel at the time, had my best interest at heart. Walking surely does get things moving again. Surgeon stopped by for a visit. Poked and prodded a bit and had a look at my staples and wounds. He had not much to add, but did say the wounds appeared to be healing as planned. My stomach is sore. Not a sharp intense pain, but rather the pain of a work out gone to far, or an over exertion. Very sore muscles.
Only time I used the pain pump today was prior to having the open stoma wound repacked. I am glad I did. The attending nurse, bless her heart, didnt have much experience, and once the outer bandage was off, she grabbed the end of the packing material with tweezers and gave it a mighty pull. I think my fingerprints will be forever embedded in the guard rails of that bed.
Word to the wise is to have the nurses wet the packing material with sterile saline solution and let it soak for just a few minutes. This loosens any adhesions to the wound socket and makes it's removal far less painful.
Another visit from the respiratory therapist for some more breathing excercises and lung work. Coughing hurts, but the pain is eased if you hug a pillow and pull in and up on it with your hands. Like doing the hiemlich manouever to it.

Pain very manageable today.
Stoma wound repacked.
Midline incision dressing changed.
Foley catheter still in
Inflatable boots still used when sleeping
Pain pump still in, but barely used.
NG tube still in.
Good breath sounds and vitals.
No bowels sounds and no cramps.

End of Surgery Day + 2
These are the top 5 issues ostomates face:

1. Dating and relationships
2. Concealing the pouch
3. Foods to eat and avoid
4. Losing or gaining weight
5. Pouch ballooning

Check out this video from MeetAnOstoMate.
Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:19 pm
Surgery Day + 3

Same old, same old. Dressings changed again this morning. Another enema produced a lot of mucus and blood, but not much else. It is the resident's hope that not only will the enema stimulate my bowel, but help clear out some fecal matter that he knows resides inside my colon from nine months ago.
Woke up at 0400 hrs with slight nausea. Asked for an anti nauseant and got it right away by IV. relieved the nausea, but pretty much shot the morning away sleeping.
Lots of belching and gas even though I am not eating or drinking. They say it's a good sign and that things are waking up. Let's hope.

Surgeon visited. Is once again satisfied with progress. Not alarmed at amount of blood from the enema considering the amount of manipulating of my bowel he did.
Lots of walking in the afternoon.

Pain manageable
Stoma wound repacked.
Midline incision dressing changed.
Foley Catheter still in.
Inflatable boots still used when sleeping.
Pain pump still in.
NG tube still in.
Good breath sounds and vitals.
No bowel sounds or cramps.

End of surgery Day + 3
Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:28 pm
Surgery Day + 4

SEVERE NAUSEA ON WAKING. Dry heaving over side of bed. Had the NG tube not been draining my stomach, I would have been vomiting. Doctor's not concerned. Neither was I really, as this seems to be about normal for me a few days after surgery. My mistake was thinking that since it had hit me slightly yesterday that the worst was over. I was wrong.
Two IV doses of anti-nauseant needed to calm it down. Lots of sleeping, and still didnt feel right all day. Sent for an X-ray just in case. Negative results. Lots of belching again today.
Another enema. Lots of mucus and blood, and some old stool.
Pain pump was removed today. When I expressed concern, I was told that most patients do even better without it.

Pain manageable, pain pump removed.
Foley catheter removed, urinating on my own.
Midline incision dressing replaced.
Stoma wound repacked.
Infaltable boots still used when sleeping.
NG tube still in.
Good breath sounds and vitals.
No bowel sounds or cramps.

End of Surgery Day + 4
Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:38 pm
Surgery Day + 5

Woke groggy to my first full day off the pain pump. No nausea though, so I will take that trade off.
Some more localized wound pain today as a result, but very slight. Less than 2 out of 10.
I forgot to mention an outer wrap around dressing/belt of sorts that covered my other two dressings. It was not in direct contact with any wound, but helped maintain pressure on the other dressings that did. Anyway, it was removed today. No pain but where it was taped to my body. It broke the skin coming off..yay.

Nurse reports that she hears bowel sounds!!! They are slow, she says but definately there!
I spent the morning wondering if I dared remind my nurse that she forgot my morning enema. When I finally decided it was the right thing to do, I was rewarded by the fact that since they had heard sounds, the daily enemas were ordered stopped!! Yay, me!

No bowel movement today, but doctor also ordered the removal of my NG tube!

NG Tube removed.
Midline incsion dressing changed.
Stoma wound repacked.
Inflatable boots still used when sleeping.
Good breath sounds and vitals.
Bowel sounds, but no cramps.

End of Surgery Day + 5
Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:50 pm
Surgery Day + 6

No bowel movements today, not even gas. Lots of bowel sounds, audible without a stethoscope.
Sent from my room today to the actual physio therapy lab. Spent 5 minutes on a recumbant bike and some deep breathing excersices.
Doctor ordered my IV flow cut in half and to try drinking..slowly..sips..small amounts.
Im holding a lot of fluid now...over 20 lbs since I was admitted...wow.
No nausea today.
Only pain killers all day where two tylenol 3's before dressing changes.
Doctor ordered a clear fluid lunch!! Chicken soup broth, ginger ale, cranberry juice, jello and tea. I remembered my last trip to the hospital and the food...this was nothing like it. I practically licked the bowls.

In the afternoon, came a more fluids. Juice, jello and tea. Seems that since I kept lunch down, they were going to increase my intake.

Transferred from Critical care to a regular room Just before dinner hour. I got a nice, private room with view.
Even though I was on an IV pump while being transferred, my IV stopped flowing in that time. Two nurses tried several attempts each on each arm to restart it. No luck.
My surgeon was not pleased with this as it is his philosophy that any patient of his, while in hospital, shall have a working IV line in case of emergency. Had my progress started to backslide, quickly, that would not have been the time to find out it was hard to find a vein.

Midline incision dressing changed.
Stoma wound repacked.
No more inflatable sleeping boots.
Good breath sounds and vitals
Bowel sounds, but no cramps or movements.


End of Surgery Day + 6
Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:58 pm
Surgery Day + 7

Breakfast was clear fluids again. Not ten minutes later....BM!!!! Loose, watery, but no blood, on my own without an emena.

Surgeon was in and informed me that they would bring in the anesthetist that worked on me to start an IV, is she failed, I would have to have a PICC line installed.
More physio therapy on the bike. 10 Minutes today, no pain. Breathing excercises.
No pain along midline staples. Slight pain at stoma site today, but less than 2 out of 10.
Both dressings changed without incident. Nurse reports good looking healing, no oozing.
Diet upped to full fluids.
Aiming for discharge in 48 hours if all continues well!

New IV Line installed. Lunch was tomato soup, pudding, lots of juices, and two cups of tea.

4 total bowel movements today!

Midline incision dressing changed.
Stoma wound repacked.
Good breath sounds and vitals
BOWEL MOVEMENTS!!

End of Surgery Day + 7
Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:09 pm
Surgery Day + 8

BM at 0200 hrs. I had lots of warning, and no accidents. (fingers crossed)
Swelling now present on top twpo inches of midline incision. I rolled over in the night and was wakened by a sharp pain here.
I complained, and the nurse reported it. The surgeon came in later and contorted me in all sorts of ways, had me cough, strain..he is convinced it is merely fluid and not a hernia....whew!!

Full diet ordered!!

Another 10 minutes on the bike in physio - no pain. Breathing excersices.
They started a new IV line yesterday, but didnt actually hook fluid to it. This morning the nurse decided she would try, since there never was an order to cancel it. Within ten minutes my arm was the size of a football and my fingers were numb. When the called the surgeon, he expressed his surprise that I still had an IV....yes...the same doc that ordered it.. This would be the one and only time the he confused me...lol.

Half of my midline staples were removed. I saw the wound and after only a week, I will admit it looks better than the last one did after a month. It pays to get up and get moving.

3 Bowel movements today...all loose, watery. No blood, no pain.

Full dinner. Pork chop,  mixed veg, scallopped potatoes, applesauce and tea. Stayed down nicely!

Eat slowly. Small bites. Chew beyond belief. Swallow. Take a break. Repeat. Its far better than having it come back up.


3 Bowel movements
Midline incision dressing changed.
Half of midline staples removed.
Stoma dressing repacked.
Good Breath sounds and vitals.

End of Surgery Day + 8
Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:13 pm
Surgery Day + 9

Full breakfast arrived. Eggs, hot cereal, tea.
As I was making this note in my journal, I could hear the rustling of papers outside my room.
Moments later, the surgical resident appeared and asked how I felt. We spoke for a minute while he examined my staples and the asked "why dont  you get the hell out of here?"

I was stunned.

I called my friend for a ride, and as I waited for him, a nurse attended to remove the remainder of my staples and repack my dressings.

The home nursing manager arrived and took my info for home care. I was given a prescription for pain killer, just in case, and that quickly, I was in the car on my way home!
Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:19 pm
Hello everyone!
It is now discharge day and a few, and I thought I would give you an update.
My home is on two levels, so with that in mind I had arranged with a friend of mine and his wife to put me up for a time after discharge. They have been wonderful. I have a huge kingsized bed just steps away from a full bathroom.

The first full day out I had no bowel movements, and then the next day I had five in a few hours. They told me this was to be expected, so it is what it is.
No accidents, so I will take that.

There are daily visits from the nurse to pack wounds and change dressings. They all report nice wound appearance and good healing.

Right now the difficulty walking from my previous surgery is more of a hinderance than this surgery.

I am on a full diet and stool softeners to prevent constipation. Other than that I havent needed pain killers or anything of the sort.

Thats about it for now..time for dinner!!
Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:56 pm
Hi Dave, man its nice to hear of surgery that has gone the way it should, just keep progressing and soon you'll be good as new and best of luck, I'm sure your story will be noted by those who will be going that same route in the future and feel inspired by your posts, Ed
Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:44 pm
                                 
gutenberg wrote:
Hi Dave, man its nice to hear of surgery that has gone the way it should, just keep progressing and soon you'll be good as new and best of luck, I'm sure your story will be noted by those who will be going that same route in the future and feel inspired by your posts, Ed


Thanks, I apprecite the feedback. By no means am I here to gloat how well it went, and I know it's merely the first week out of hospital. The main reason for me posting all my thoughts was that was exactly the sort of thing I was looking for myself when facing this operation. I found this site and a lot of wonderful support along the way. I figure the least I could do was contribute any way that I could. If it helps even one person feel a little less apprehensive about the road ahead, that I have done what I set out to do.
I can only wish for all of us the luck I seem to be having this time around. It's not over yet, I know, and things could still go wrong, but for now life seems a little better every day.
Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:03 pm
Dave-

EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, DUDE! Wink Smile Wink

In all seriousness, now, these are wonderful observations and progress notes!  All in all, I would say that things are looking up for you, friend, and I am so thankful and happy for you.  After all that happened during your first ordeal; you definitely deserved a break this time around!

I'm certain that these words of wisdom and experience will benefit countless individuals in the future.....those who, just like us, came here seeking solace and information regarding our ostomies and, later on, knowledge and support regarding the many aspects of "being" a reversal candidate and then following through with the reversal process!

A couple of questions for you:

Are you still retaining a lot of fluid from all the IV stuff?

And, did they at any point give you a Lovanox shot in the tummy for the prevention of blood clots?  I know they gave me shots AND made me wear those dang inflatable boots.....for which I alternated the nicknames "Michelin Woman" (after the old Michelin Man tire commercials) and the "Staypuft Marshmallow Woman" (after the beloved creature in "Ghostbusters!").  Just wondering if you got the shots in addition to the privilege of donning those lovely boots!

It's really great, too, that you have had NO accidents and things are expected to return to normal, bm wise, within a few months!  Sounds like both you and Colm will be blessed with an abundance of NORMALCY in the realm o' the future bm!

Thank you again for an inspiring labor of love.  Keep the thoughts, knowledge, opinions, ideas and humor coming!

Smiles Smile

Darla
Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:53 pm
Hello Darla!
You may count yourself as one of the reasons I felt welcomed here and continued to come back. Your words of encouragement and comfort have helped in so many way. Thank you.

In answer to your questions, firstly, yes, I am still retaining a lot of water from the surgery. The surgeon only gave me two doses of lasix while I was in the hospital and that was all. My left leg and foot are still swollen to the point that putting on my slippers is a struggle.
I can see it in my face and hands as well.

Secondly, yes, I was giving shots in the belly for blood thinning. I am embarrassed that I forgot!
I got them every day, too. The exact name of the drug, I have no idea.
Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:40 am
Hi again Dave, And yes I totally agree with Darla about your progress updates. Your detailed progress notes will work wonders for anyone needing comfort in the run up to reversal. I know this site has been great with all the encouragement but adding your information should definitely allay anyone's fears. I had such a similar experience myself except for a few details, I thought you'd been filming my own progress. So again well done! And may the road be smooth from here on in. Take good care, Colm
Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:44 am
Dave it's great to hear that you are doing well and the surgery went smoothly. I haven't read any of your progress updates as reversal is not an option for me. But I am sure that they have proved helpful and insightful to the people who have an upcoming reversal procedure. If I may ask why was your leg and foot affected? I have seen stories on this site where there are others who seem to have a problem with a foot. Just remember to take it easy and have patience - healing as you know can be a slow process. All my best and take care.
Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:29 pm
                                 
Dave_Canada wrote:
Hello Darla!
You may count yourself as one of the reasons I felt welcomed here and continued to come back. Your words of encouragement and comfort have helped in so many way. Thank you.

In answer to your questions, firstly, yes, I am still retaining a lot of water from the surgery. The surgeon only gave me two doses of lasix while I was in the hospital and that was all. My left leg and foot are still swollen to the point that putting on my slippers is a struggle.
I can see it in my face and hands as well.

Secondly, yes, I was giving shots in the belly for blood thinning. I am embarrassed that I forgot!
I got them every day, too. The exact name of the drug, I have no idea.


Right back atcha, friend. Smile  

Remember a couple of months ago when we were both contemplating all the pros and cons of reversal surgery and whether or not we could let go of the fears; take the risks and just "go for it?" I don't know about you, but the morning I went in for surgery I visualized taking a piece of all of us here, with me...........kinda like a beautiful quilt with many different squares; each one representing a different person on this site.  I visualized this "quilt" being wrapped around me as I was wheeled into the OR.....this really helped me to "center" as I started "the countdown"; and I just knew that when I woke up, everything would be ok. Smile  Anyway, your compassion and logic that night really helped me to think things through instead of relying on feelings alone.....and, as a result, a new friendship became a part of my life during a life-changing process.  With me, it's WYSIWYG!  People don't care how much you know til they know how much you care.

My swelling continues to be a problem now, even almost 5 weeks post-op.  I never really got rid of all the fluid; but for the past couple of days it has been really bad again so I was wondering if this is just a post-op thing, or what?  It is especially bad in my left leg and foot as well.  My left side seems to be my "worse" side for troubles.  I go back to the surgeon on Monday so I will definitely address the swelling issue then.....
Colm, Beaner, Yukon Steve, Fable, Patrice....anybody else experiencing a lot of swelling/fluid retention since surgery?

Also, wondering if the Lovenox shots are protocol for most surgical patients along with "the boot" or if it was more of an either/or deal.  Those little buggers (shots) sting like crazy!....I had a hard time finding a spot for them since my tummy "looks like a roadmap"....too much real estate in a confined area! Wink
Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:02 pm
Dave: So glad to see that you are now home. Your posts over the days for your stay in hospital are fantastic. Thank you so very much for taking the time to do that for all of us here. You have truly inspired me, along with Darla for the days to come for us as my son nears his reversal date of March 26th. Keep the positive stories coming. Dianne.
Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:05 pm
                                 
Biddydi wrote:
Dave: So glad to see that you are now home. Your posts over the days for your stay in hospital are fantastic. Thank you so very much for taking the time to do that for all of us here. You have truly inspired me, along with Darla for the days to come for us as my son nears his reversal date of March 26th. Keep the positive stories coming. Dianne.


Dianne-

So we have a date of March 26th, now!?!   This is WONDERFUL news! SmileSmileSmile

Please feel free to share with us ANYTHING that you feel comfortable in doing so in these days ahead.....this is a "great" great big deal......and your unique perspective on things will be such a PRICELESS ASSET to others out here!  

We'll try and keep the "air" light and open....kinda like a sunny spring day....a day where the curtains are blown back and the windows are open.......open to healing, and  possibilities, and light.....and LIFE! Smile

Blessings to you and your son!

Darla Smile
Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:32 pm
Hi there Darla, Oh I'm so sorry to see you're in such a quandary! I'm afraid I was taken off all IVs quite soon after surgery..........perhaps Day 3 or latest 4 and I was only getting antibiotics at the later stages. For the saline solution I was finished on Day 2 as I was allowed drink small amounts of water (30ml) per hour. I even had the catheter removed on Day 3. So, I'm sorry to say I've not had any problems regarding fluid retention....I suppose I should say that I'm happy to report not having any problems. I do hope you manage to see your surgeon tomorrow and that he may be able to relieve that retention. Like Dave said earlier I should thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement right from the start. You continue to be in my prayers! Take good care, Colm
Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:38 pm
Biddydi - Hi Dianne, Like Darla says what wonderful news about your son's reversal. And when the time comes, know that you both will be in our prayers and thoughts! We'll be right behind you. I know it has been a difficult road for you both, but let's hope that from here on in the road will be much smoother. I think Dave has done a wonderful job here to make everyone understand what to expect. Give or take a few days I had a very similar experience.

So, please do keep posting here and let us know your progress. Take good care, Colm
Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:11 pm
                                 
bag_n_drag wrote:


Right back atcha, friend. Smile  

Remember a couple of months ago when we were both contemplating all the pros and cons of reversal surgery and whether or not we could let go of the fears; take the risks and just "go for it?" I don't know about you, but the morning I went in for surgery I visualized taking a piece of all of us here, with me...........kinda like a beautiful quilt with many different squares; each one representing a different person on this site.  I visualized this "quilt" being wrapped around me as I was wheeled into the OR.....this really helped me to "center" as I started "the countdown"; and I just knew that when I woke up, everything would be ok. Smile  Anyway, your compassion and logic that night really helped me to think things through instead of relying on feelings alone.....and, as a result, a new friendship became a part of my life during a life-changing process.  With me, it's WYSIWYG!  People don't care how much you know til they know how much you care.

My swelling continues to be a problem now, even almost 5 weeks post-op.  I never really got rid of all the fluid; but for the past couple of days it has been really bad again so I was wondering if this is just a post-op thing, or what?  It is especially bad in my left leg and foot as well.  My left side seems to be my "worse" side for troubles.  I go back to the surgeon on Monday so I will definitely address the swelling issue then.....
Colm, Beaner, Yukon Steve, Fable, Patrice....anybody else experiencing a lot of swelling/fluid retention since surgery?

Also, wondering if the Lovenox shots are protocol for most surgical patients along with "the boot" or if it was more of an either/or deal.  Those little buggers (shots) sting like crazy!....I had a hard time finding a spot for them since my tummy "looks like a roadmap"....too much real estate in a confined area! Wink


Im no doctor, but as it was explained to me the Lovenox shots are the standard now for just about anyone that may have limited mobility. The boots as well, but they did away with those once I moved from critical care down to a regular unit. When I asked about the boots, having never seen them before, I was told they are the replacement for the old elastic stockings that were standard. The on and off compression causing the blood to flow, not just keep it out of the leg/foot area.

As for the swelling, like you, mine is mostly in the left leg and foot, although I can still see the effects on my hands. I am seeing the surgeon at the end of this week and intend to ask him how long I can expect it to hang around.
Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:23 pm
                                 
tess45 wrote:
Dave it's great to hear that you are doing well and the surgery went smoothly. I haven't read any of your progress updates as reversal is not an option for me. But I am sure that they have proved helpful and insightful to the people who have an upcoming reversal procedure. If I may ask why was your leg and foot affected? I have seen stories on this site where there are others who seem to have a problem with a foot. Just remember to take it easy and have patience - healing as you know can be a slow process. All my best and take care.


The leg and foot issue also includes my hands. When I finally woke up after 10 days of being in a coma last may, I was told it was time to get up and walk. The trouble was, I couldnt. I had a burning sensation in my left foot and noticed my toes sticking out from the end of a very tight elastic stocking. I suggested if they removed that, it might end the burning. Well, it did that, only to give way to a lack of sensation at all.  They asked me to walk, and I could not.
In the end I had no use of either leg from the knees down or in either hand.
Over the last nine months it has begun slowly returning, but the process is painful. I am on many powerful drugs including a fentanyl patch. The drugs dont necessarily regenerate the nerves, only time can do that, but they ease the pain. I describe it like this...you know when your leg falls asleep when you are watching tv and you get up during a commercial to pee...there is that few minutes of agony as the nerves fire again?..well..times that times 9 months. It may all come back, it may not.
Im sure your next question is "why?".
There are few names for it such as trauma neurpopathy and such but it all basically boils down to the same thing. My doctor explained it like this. I was given powerful drugs to keep me in a coma when I could not be stabilized. These drugs act as if  your body is under the stress of hypothermia. The blood supply is kept away from your peripherals such as fingers and toes and directed more towards the vital organs. You can live without a toe, so the body sends the blood where its needed. Now, do that for 10 days..the nerves die. If they come back at all, it takes time. Others here have suggested its the result of as bad surgeon or a cutting of something vital by mistake. I do not agree. They arent near anything like that for starters, and if a nerve was cut, it wouldnt come back at all. At least, that's my belief.
Past Member
Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:25 pm
Darla,
I feel I was destine to meet you! One of the good things came from this horrible incident will be meeting you!  a comfort and relief I get from you is indescribable. I don't know how I would have coped with my feelings without your words. Please keep in touch.

Blu,
I am open person, too. I have no hesitation telling friends about breast implant Wink but this is different... I just can't tell. Besides, if I don't tell, nobody knows. I don't want to be known or seen as such.
Maybe your friends and sister don't know how to act so they joke about it to lighten you up??
That's what I don't want. make others uncomfortable or don't know what to say. I don't want either sympathy nor joke. If the situation is the other way around, I will not know what to do and I would prefer not to know.

Dave,
I read your day by day journal intensely. Thank you for shearing. Do you have J pouch? Darla doesn't. Darla, do you know why your surgeon didn't create J pouch? My surgeon prefers to do reversal in 2 stages. In stage 1, he will create J pouch. You still have a stoma, then after 6 -8 weeks, making sure J pouch is healed, in stage 2, he will connect J pouch and anal then take down stoma.
What was your original reason for colostomy? Sorry if I missed your previous post.

Dianne,
It is such a great news to have a date set! I am waiting for my date. What was the reason for colostomy? How long has he had a bag?

oh, and Dave, how do you feel not having a bag anymore? I like to hear your true feeling to encourage us all who are waiting for reversal.

Good night.
Happy always,
Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:41 am
                                 
Happyh9 wrote:
Darla,
I feel I was destine to meet you! One of the good things came from this horrible incident will be meeting you!  a comfort and relief I get from you is indescribable. I don't know how I would have coped with my feelings without your words. Please keep in touch.

Blu,
I am open person, too. I have no hesitation telling friends about breast implant Wink but this is different... I just can't tell. Besides, if I don't tell, nobody knows. I don't want to be known or seen as such.
Maybe your friends and sister don't know how to act so they joke about it to lighten you up??
That's what I don't want. make others uncomfortable or don't know what to say. I don't want either sympathy nor joke. If the situation is the other way around, I will not know what to do and I would prefer not to know.

Dave,
I read your day by day journal intensely. Thank you for shearing. Do you have J pouch? Darla doesn't. Darla, do you know why your surgeon didn't create J pouch? My surgeon prefers to do reversal in 2 stages. In stage 1, he will create J pouch. You still have a stoma, then after 6 -8 weeks, making sure J pouch is healed, in stage 2, he will connect J pouch and anal then take down stoma.
What was your original reason for colostomy? Sorry if I missed your previous post.

Dianne,
It is such a great news to have a date set! I am waiting for my date. What was the reason for colostomy? How long has he had a bag?

oh, and Dave, how do you feel not having a bag anymore? I like to hear your true feeling to encourage us all who are waiting for reversal.

Good night.
Happy always,


Happy-

Yes, I do believe we have met for a reason.  There are a couple of folks out here that I believe were placed into my life at this point for reasons that may be somewhat evident now; or may reveal themselves to be even more relevant and evident in the future.  Call this phenomenon a "kindred spirit" connection, of sorts.  Rare, and precious.

The reason I did not have a J pouch is because I had enough rectum left for my surgeon to use as my "reservoir" for holding stool.  If I had no rectum left or very little left, he would have had to construct a J pouch to serve as the reservoir and set the "stage" for evacuation.  That's why J pouches usually have to be done in 2 phases....phase 1 where the J pouch is constructed and heals; and phase 2 where things are reconnected and the stoma is taken down.  One of my rehab nurses had this J pouch procedure done about 2 years ago, and she is doing GREAT and functioning quite normally and well, now.  She told me that after about the first 6 weeks following her take-down; she just kept getting better and better!  She had been a 30+ year sufferer of severe Crohn's; and had her entire large intestine and all her rectum removed at the same time a little over 2 years ago.  She says she is happy she had it done and it has improved her quality of life immensely!  We are all different; so what worked for her may not work as well for someone else; but hers is a great success story which she freely shares with those who wish to learn more about the procedure!

Also, there is a personal "mother/daughter" experience I would like to share with you.....
When my daughter was little, I had a favorite song I used to sing to her when I would rock her to sleep at night....or put her down for a nap....or if she needed a pick-me-up.....this song was "You Are My Sunshine."
When I had my emergency ileostomy last year; I almost died and was in a medically induced coma for 2 weeks.  They had a hard time waking me up from being on the ventilator....but when I finally did start to wake up, the FIRST thing I remember is looking up and seeing my daughter's sweet face....she was looking down at my face from the top of the bed and singing very softly "You are my sunshine.....my only sunshine.  You make me happy, when skies are gray, and every day!  You'll never know dear, how much your Aly loves you....please don't ever, ever, ever go away!"  I can't even type this without the tears rolling down my face.  So you see, your girls will ALWAYS love you and admire your determination; your tenacity and courage.  We are so blessed to have their presence in our lives!  So lucky and so blessed! Smile

Darla
Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:13 pm
Hello Dave!

Just popping in to say Hi and to see how you are progressing, post-op!

I went to my surgeon yesterday for a post op visit....will be blogging about it soon!

Hope things are dandy and you are getting lots of time to rest, both in body and spirit. We're thinking about you!

All Smiles Smile
Darla
Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:39 pm
                                 
bag_n_drag wrote:
Hello Dave!

Just popping in to say Hi and to see how you are progressing, post-op!

I went to my surgeon yesterday for a post op visit....will be blogging about it soon!

Hope things are dandy and you are getting lots of time to rest, both in body and spirit. We're thinking about you!

All Smiles Smile
Darla


Hello Darla!
I am doing well, thank you. I had the predicted round of constipation..wow..but a little laxative and a little time straghtened me out. Good news is, even with the laxative, no accidents.

I have to thank you again for some advice you gave me week ago. As well, to anyone out there reading this, take it from those who know...flushable wipes are a must have post reversal.

I am also certainly getting my rest. My sleep was all over the place prior to this and I find it to be even worse now.

Looking forward to reading the blog update from you. Nothing new to report on my end but that may change Friday as that will be my first surgeon visit since being discharged. Kepp your fingers crossed for me.

Hope all is progressing well with you. Thanks for checking in on me.

Keep smiling,

Dave
Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:53 pm
                                 
Happyh9 wrote:
Darla,
I feel I was destine to meet you! One of the good things came from this horrible incident will be meeting you!  a comfort and relief I get from you is indescribable. I don't know how I would have coped with my feelings without your words. Please keep in touch.

Blu,
I am open person, too. I have no hesitation telling friends about breast implant Wink but this is different... I just can't tell. Besides, if I don't tell, nobody knows. I don't want to be known or seen as such.
Maybe your friends and sister don't know how to act so they joke about it to lighten you up??
That's what I don't want. make others uncomfortable or don't know what to say. I don't want either sympathy nor joke. If the situation is the other way around, I will not know what to do and I would prefer not to know.

Dave,
I read your day by day journal intensely. Thank you for shearing. Do you have J pouch? Darla doesn't. Darla, do you know why your surgeon didn't create J pouch? My surgeon prefers to do reversal in 2 stages. In stage 1, he will create J pouch. You still have a stoma, then after 6 -8 weeks, making sure J pouch is healed, in stage 2, he will connect J pouch and anal then take down stoma.
What was your original reason for colostomy? Sorry if I missed your previous post.

Dianne,
It is such a great news to have a date set! I am waiting for my date. What was the reason for colostomy? How long has he had a bag?

oh, and Dave, how do you feel not having a bag anymore? I like to hear your true feeling to encourage us all who are waiting for reversal.

Good night.
Happy always,


Hello Happy,
and so sorry for the late reply. I am so glad to hear that someone has read my journal and it helps. Please remember though, its my experience, yours may not be the same.

As far as a j-pouch, no, I do not have one. There was enough left of my colon to simply reconnect it.

Your question about what caused my initial condition is a good one. I wish I had the answer. I dont.
The doctors have no idea. Of course, that makes me wonder if it could ever happen again, but I hope not.

How do i feel about not having a bag? Its wonderful, as I didnt think the day would ever come, but its scary too at first. At first, its another major surgery and thats always a risk. There is also the risk that it may be worse than having a bag. As much as having the bag was a pain and could be socially awkward, I knew how to manage it on car trips, or outings and I knew I was never going to soil myself. (had two leaks in nine months...both at home..not bad).

The second day I woke in the hospital, the first thing i did was a "bag check" for air...i laughed.
I do catch myself now and then reaching down to check it, almost not believing its gone.

I have just been wearing loose clothing and jogging pants since getting out, so I havent had the test of dressing up yet. I know the placement of the bag was an issue before. As for now, the incision is still healing and I dont want to put a strain on it.

How do I feel?..I was scared going into it, but now that it is done and I am healing, I am glad I took the chance. Darla will tell you that I thought about not doing it for a time. After talking it over with a few people I realized I owed to myself to do it. I try not to be too excited out loud here as I  know there are lots of people that dont have the option. I am telling you if you do have a chance, go for it!

Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have.

Good Luck

Dave
Past Member
Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:07 pm
hi everyone,

I have been extremely busy past week. My business and also my daughters were both sick at home for a week...

I just want to thank you for the reply. Thank you for taking time and getting back to me. It always moves me.

I have been using Colopast ever since surgery but I ordered Hollister 2 pieces this time. I am so surprised how thin the barrier is compare to Colopast! I hope this gives me more flexibility not leakage.

March break next week, I will be busy with daughters and not much time to sit down and open this site...

Happy Spring!
Happy Always,
Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:33 am
Hello everyone,
Just a quick update on things here. I saw my surgeon today for the first time since my discharge from the hospital just over a week ago. He examined my staple line and stoma wound and was thrilled with the progress in just a week's time. No signs of hernias so far. He added that at the rate Im going that I can expect the stoma site to be closed in about another two weeks!
No accidents, and BMs are now 2-4 per day..usually clustered together over a few hours then done for the day.
He then dropped the bomb. Unless I have other concerns, he no longer needs to see me..ever..done..kaput!
"You no longer have a bag. You got your life back"

When I asked about a return to work, he said surgically he will leave it to my discretion, just no lifting anything heavier than 10 lbs for another 6-8 weeks. He did add that since I have already been off for so long, the he recommends not returning until at least mid-April to ensure healing, but that he will support any decision that I make.

WOW. That's all I can think right now. After the nightmare that was my original procedure, I'm having trouble believing it was all so simple this time.
WOW.

Oh, and Darla, he did tell me today that he laughed when he read my "final bag message" in the O.R.
Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:13 am
Dave-
I see we are both night owls this evening! Wink

Wow, such GREAT news today, eh?  I am SO happy to hear that you are healing nicely and that the bm's have already settled into a "pattern" of sorts.  I got the dreaded "tincture of opium" today and took my first couple of doses.  No real difference yet; but it will take a couple days to get into my system and start slowing things down.  Heck, I'll settle for 10 bm's per day right now.....that will whittle about 6-8 off the daily count!  And, man, is this script expensive!  My copay for it is $80 US.  However, the total price of the medication for a 30 day supply is a whopping $1280 US!  Thank God for insurance; otherwise I would be going without this one!

So, may I ask what type of work you'll be returning to?  Are you looking forward to it?

It is truly a miracle that the nightmare that was your original procedure has become the sweet dream of a successful and uncomplicated reversal.  We both have so much to be thankful for.....and among my "thankful" list is the blessing of meeting you, and others, here; who have been lifted from this forum canvas and placed onto my "life" canvas as FRIEND! Smile

And, kudos to the doc's response on your "final bag" project! Glad he saw it!  Laughter is THE best medicine! Smile

Off to dreamland; doin' the HAPPY DANCE!!

Darla
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