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Count down to reversal...

Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:53 pm
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Daisy Mae wrote:
Hi Dave. first time poster here.  I remain hopeful for a reversal but it is way too early to determine if I will be a candidate for one or not.  I will be reading your posts very carefully and with much empathy (as I have for for everyone on this very helpful forum).  Good luck and all the best to you.

Hello Daisy Mae, and welcome.
You will find everyone here very friendly, helpful and eager to offer advice and encouragement. There are plenty of straight shooters here that will tell you what is happening in plain english, and without the medical mumbo jumbo. Have a look at some of the folks that have posted in this thread alone. Beaner had a reversal in January and bag_n_drag had one just last week. You will find both of them very helpful
That being said, don't be shy!
I am now just over a week away from my reversal. Its almost with a sense of loss that I look upon it. I know it has only been 9 months for me with an ileo, it has become such a part of everything I do, and my routine that Im sure it will be an adjustment not having it.
Here's hoping for a successful outcome, for all of us.
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

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Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:59 pm
bag_n_drag wrote:
Hey, Dave....How you holding up?  Been thinking of you and praying for you!


Hi Darla.
Im doing ok, thanks for asking. I feel like my head is in a good place, and its time to get this done.
Ive just heen making a mental list of things to take to the hospital. You would think I was packing for a vacation!
Ive got supplies in house, and all thats really left is a last minute shopping trip to have some groceries on hand for when i get out. My date is still just over a week away, so theres plenty of time for that.
May I ask how things are with you? How are you adjusting? Things slowing down for you at all?

Keep Smiling.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:07 pm
Dave - I am doing good, thanks Smile  Just finished a blog "Post Op Reversal - Week One, A Week of Wonders" ...kinda explains where I am on everything at the moment.
I am in shock at the passing of dawneagle (Carol) yesterday....we are just talking a couple days ago.  What an incredible spirit.  She will be sorely missed.
Sounds like your house is in order and you are ready to get this reversal done!  Peace, and a sense of are in the right place, now, in body and spirit.  I'll be checking in on you! Smile
Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:19 pm
bag_n_drag wrote:
Dave - I am doing good, thanks Smile  Just finished a blog "Post Op Reversal - Week One, A Week of Wonders" ...kinda explains where I am on everything at the moment.
I am in shock at the passing of dawneagle (Carol) yesterday....we are just talking a couple days ago.  What an incredible spirit.  She will be sorely missed.
Sounds like your house is in order and you are ready to get this reversal done!  Peace, and a sense of are in the right place, now, in body and spirit.  I'll be checking in on you! Smile

Thanks Darla.
Yes, it's a sad thing. I never had the chance to interact with her as I recall, but the posts that I  have read since the news of her passing broke, have all described a very special person who will be greatly missed.

Ill keep things up to date her as well as i can from the hospital. I will have my iphone with me to pass the time, but theres no telling how well that will work indoors. When I was hospitalized this past summer, one of my rooms actually had free internet built in to the TV. The hospital that I will be going to next week has only been open for couple of months, so here's hoping!!
Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:52 pm
Dave - right before I left for the hospital on the morning of 2-1; I took a Sharpie marker and drew a smiley face on the top, inner side of my opaque (closed ended) bag; and then wrote the caption "bye bye" beside its mouth; so that when the doc took my bag off in the OR, he would possibly see it and get a chuckle in right before he went to work.  And he DID see it; he said everyone in the OR was cracking up! Wink  Darla
Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:47 pm
bag_n_drag wrote:
Dave - right before I left for the hospital on the morning of 2-1; I took a Sharpie marker and drew a smiley face on the top, inner side of my opaque (closed ended) bag; and then wrote the caption "bye bye" beside its mouth; so that when the doc took my bag off in the OR, he would possibly see it and get a chuckle in right before he went to work.  And he DID see it; he said everyone in the OR was cracking up! Wink  Darla

What a great idea. I have a sharpie on my desk that Im packing in my bag right now!
My surgeon is the type,  you can tell he has a great sense of humour, be he is very restrained. He acts as though he is shy to laugh. That should crack him.

Just over a week to go for me. Blood tests and pre op visit this weekl. Trying not to let my mind get the better of me as I flop flop between aprehension and nervous excitment.
Need something to occupy my mind.
Hope things are good with you and that you are returning to normal, or as normal as you hope to get.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:20 am
Hello Dave: Wishing you the very very best for your upcoming reversal and a speedy recovery.
I am a new member to this site and have found it very enlightening and have got so much useful information from it, information that our surgeon would never pass along I am sure.
I have a son who is 38 and high functioning developmentally handicapped who is having a reversal of a transverse colostomy sometime in March.
We are keeping optimistic and hopeful as the time nears.
I am encouraging him to do kiegel exercises to strengthen his abdominal floor so it may be a bit easier on him coming through the other side.
Prayers are being sent your way and I look forward to hearing about your recovery as it moves along.
Darla, thank you for that very funny story. We all need to remember to laugh.
Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:45 am
Dianne -
Gotta keep on laughin'.....humor is medicine for the soul! Smile
Tell your son to keep on doing the Kiegels.....I started doing them about 4 months before surgery and I can already tell a difference "back there" in being able to tell when I have to go and being able to hold stuff. I haven't even been 2 weeks post-op yet and I can already "hold it" for about an hour now.  I can "tell" when I have to go at night, too, so I can get up and make it before a nighttime accident occurs!  My doc told me to do them about 10 times per day to help strengthen all those areas weakened/not used; so that became my goal.  I'm still doing them religiously!  Not perfect, but progress!
Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:13 pm
Hi Dave.  Thinking about you and your upcoming reversal. I was so excited about mine that I was counting down the hours I think. I went to the gym every day for 3 weeks and ate well so that I could go into it in the best of health. Mine was Jan. 30th. Recovery has been a bit challenging as I had to have the long incision, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Look forward to hearing how everything goes. This site is great!!
Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:08 pm
Hi guys, one thing I did notice.... food tasted a little off for about two weeks after my surgery. I think it was due to the anesthesia. Dave, you are ready! I can't wait to hear your story! Protein, fresh air, deep breathing to fill your lungs with lots of oxygen!
Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:43 pm
Beaner wrote:
Hi guys, one thing I did notice.... food tasted a little off for about two weeks after my surgery. I think it was due to the anesthesia. Dave, you are ready! I can't wait to hear your story! Protein, fresh air, deep breathing to fill your lungs with lots of oxygen! appetite hasn't really "returned" yet either....I wonder if my taster is off a little....nothing sounds good or tastes good yet.   Darla
Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:08 pm
They put me on antibiotics in the hospital. My tongue was as pink as my cat's. Same thing happened a year ago... I thought for sure that it was a yeast infection, so I loaded up on cranberry juice and Greek yogurt, but it took longer. I had to focus on imagining what it tasted like. Salmon... H,mm, I like salmon... Sometimes it worked, sometimes I couldn't get past the first bite....
Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:12 am
Salmon?...yeck. I dislike salmon immemsely. I dont know about where you ladies are but the hospital food here would be turned back by starving third world countries. I lost 60 pounds my first go around, and not all due to surgery. It got to the point that i had friends sneaking me real food in from
Count down is really on now. I go for a pre-admit appointment on Friday after noon, and then, pending that, Tuesday is the day. My mind is really keeping itself racing with all the thoughts of how things will go, good and bad. I know I read of poor fable, and her ongoing isues. At least she is in the right place and getting the help she needs. My biggest worry is the hurry. Since my original surgery left me partial paralysis and a limp. I Dont move as fas as I once did. Im just hoping old mother nature gives me fair warning, especially since my bathroom at home is upstairs...great.
Grocery run planned for Sunday afternoon to stock up on last minight soft foods. Wish I Knew how long I was going to be in.

Keep Smiling everyone.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:39 am
Dave, I will keep on smiling for you and know that things will go well. Stay focused and try not to let your mind play tricks on you. Keep in mind all the good stories of the reversals posted on this wonderful site and forget those that weren't quite so good. Prayers are being sent your way. Looking forward to hearing from you when you are on your feet. You will be out before you know it. Dianne
Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:13 am
Thanks  Diane, just a few short days now, after the holiday weekend. i spent a really great evening with a friend tonigh..a nice steak dinner and we we went to see the star wars movie in 3D..we were the only two people in the whole freaking theatre..we laughed so hard. ill treasure tonight always.
As soon as I able post op, i will be posting my stories for those folks in similar spots to read.
the people here when i sighned up were the greatest and i feel its the least I can do to give a little something back to someone else.
Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:59 am
Hi Dave, keep yourself reasonably busy this weekend. And, yes, you will relish the thought of that steak the first few days potop, as you will be willing to pay off the nurses for even a sip of water! It has been five weeks for me, and I only have a boo boo still healing where the horn section was. Thinking of you, and so excited for you!!!! Jean
Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:52 pm
Hello Jean, and thanks for the kind words.

Well everyone, just as I thought things were going too smoothly..I was right.
Had my pre-op visit today at the hospital. Everything was like clockwork..pulse good, BP good, EKG good...Oh..just one last person wants to see you..the gas passer...
I waited..and waited..nearly 3 hours..only to find out that she remembered me from assisting in my original surgery, was happy to see me looking so well..yada yada yada..and, " oh, dont worry, you wont have nearly as many staples this time"..
I was dumbstruck. I asked her what she meant, considering my surgeon assured me he did a loop ileo, with the intention of reconnect, and that it should just be a lapro.
No, she assured me, that wasn't the case, they have to open me up to go looking for the other end, and btw, have a nice weekend thinking about it...crap.
She then assured me that my recovery would be a breeze since i still had ALL of my large intestine intact..which contradicts what the surgeon's notes say...As well, she commented, she has assisited in nearly a dozen of these this month already, with all patients pooping normally inside of 48 hours.
She says my hospital stay will be 4 days. Pre admit nurse said 7 days. I dont know who to believe anymore.
Anyway, Im having a reversal this coming Tuesday. I have to be at the desk at 0945 hrs, with the procedure scheduled for 1115 hrs. She promises I will be in recovery in 90 minutes.
Does that seem fast?
Calgon, take me away.
Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:37 pm

Deep breath.

Open you up looking for what?  I'm confused.....Looking for the other end of your large intestine to connect it to the part which is now your stoma?  I take it your rectum is still connected to your large intestine and it will be just sewing the 2 parts of the large intestine back together?

Pre admit nurse probably erred on the side of caution on the length of stay.  My doc had originally told me at least a week....I went in on Wed. and was out early Monday.
Nobody knows exactly how long you will be in.....depends on how you do from the procedure, and when you poop.  As Beaner said, she got kicked out the moment she had a bm.  I had to stay in for several days as my reconnect was different with no large intestine.  Fable had another variant in her reversal, hers was a 2 part procedure; and this 2nd part was where she developed her partial blockage.    The "gas passer" was basing her estimate on the dozen she has witnessed this month...."average patient - 4 days."  I hate it when they lump everyone in the same know the old saying "If you can't impress them with intelligence, baffle em with bullshit!"  Methinks she was trying to impress you with her intelligence; but perhaps blurted towards the "baffled" route instead!

If they find what they are looking for quickly; you may not be in surgery that long....I was in for 3 hours due to a bunch of rectal scar tissue that the surgeon had to clean up laparo-style; but he had originally told us 2 hours until he hit that snag.   I wasn't in recovery for very hubby says about an hour.  I was still pretty out of it when they took me to my room; so I'll have to rely on his expertise for that timeline. Wink  You could realistically be in and out of surgery in 90 minutes; if everything goes well, which we KNOW it will. Smile

If you aren't satisfied with who said what, then call your surgeon's office on Monday morning and ask for a clarification of exactly what is being done to what much large intestine you have left, etc. before you go in on Tuesday morning for your procedure.  You are entitled to know exactly what you have left, what it's doing now and what it will be doing afterwards, and HOW you are going to get from Point A to Part B.  Before I had my procedure, I had the surgeon show me a diagram of the intestinal tract and explain to me what was gonna happen, what I was missing, what was being reconnected, and how it was going to get there.  In fact, I had him do it twice because I got confused about whether or not I was having a J Pouch constructed or not after some comments made by others on this forum concerning the criteria for a J Pouch.  Knowledge is power.  It promotes peace and calms fears.

Take some time out to do some mind-distracting things this weekend.  Try not to dwell on it.  (I know, easier said than done!)  Continue to prepare; but resist the urge to obsess.  And let us know if you need us!  Smile

Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:12 pm
Hello Darla.
Thanks for the rapid reply and for talking me down of my ledge. Yes, you are correct in what she says they have to look for. My understanding was that I had a loop ileostomy, which, by definition and diagram isnt fully cut as and "end" ileostomty is. The small intestine is pulled out through a hole in the abdomen, split partway through, and left this way. One end forms the stoma. The other end sits idle as whats now called a mucus fistula.  Thats a fancy term for the other end of the pipe the still leads to your rectum. It also includes a "rod" that the intestine is looped over to hold in place from falling back into my abdomen during healing. Ive discussed this with my surgeon. He  not only explained it to me, he SHOWED it to  to me while I was still in the hospital.I have one of these. I have seen and removed a mucus plug from the mucus fistula.
Its done this way to allow healing of the injury and prevent them from having to go digging around up to the elbow looking for the end to re attach. (pardon me if you know all this, but im in a mood. Ive also found that a lot of folks arent being educated properly by their doctors.)
Now she tells me today that this is not the case at all, and that i have an "end" ileostomy and they have to go looking for the other end to reconnect the plumbing.
You can understand my confusion.
The length of stay issue, in reality isnt an issue as much as it was my concern of more misinformation. As well, I have family intending to travel to help with after care, and now I dont know what to tell them as far as arrival dates...sigh.
I do thank you for  your advice on calling the office. It's so true and Im as guilty as the next person of failing to ask the questions that I have every right to.
That being said, Monday is a holiday here and the office is closed.
Im certainly going to address this with him tuesday before i go under.
Still looking for something funny to write on my "final" bag.
Regardless of my surgery time, Im expecting a longer than average recovery room time anyway. I had some severe complications from my first procedure and still suffer the effects to this day. (look up "trauma neuropathy") and they expect that I will have some issue again. Not to the same degree, but they will be using muscle relaxers, so they want to keep a sharp eye on me for longer. I wont fight them on that one.
Thank you again Darla, you are a blessing all by yourself.
I eagerly await your blog entries.

Keep smiling. Dave.
Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:26 pm
Yeah I remember reading about some of your complications after the 1st fact I went back the other day and re-read some of your earlier posts on what happened the first time.  I will definitely look up trauma neuropathy and read up on it.

"Final bag" thoughts...
"R.I.P."...DON'T R-I-P!  (One final "rip" for the road, that is Wink)
Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:31 pm
Hello all.
Well, this is it. Probably my last entry here before I head out in the morning for my reversal. I don't know how long I will be in, or when I will get near a computer again, but I will do my best to remember all I can to share with you all later.
I am taking my phone with me, but I don't know right now if I will be able to access the internet.
One of the hospitals I was in had free internet right at the bedside.
Anyway, I digress. Before I go, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone here that has posted such helpful replies. Its done wonders for me to be able to just vent and converse with people that can relate.
As I said, I will do my part to get back here as soon as I can to share my experiences with those that may be facing the same situation themselves.
Im going to be spending the rest of the day packing a few things, and puttering about. Im in a good place mentally, and want to carry that forward into tomorrow.
Take care everyone, and I hope to talk to you all very soon.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:25 pm
The best to you, Dave, I'll be thinking of you. I am 3 weeks post op today and doing pretty well: driving, walking around the block etc. Look forward to your being back online and giving us updates.
Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:19 pm

I have been thinking of you all day today.....kinda knowing where you are, mentally, on this "Reversal's Eve."..... "Twas the night 'fore reversal, and all thru your bag....there were googles and gurgles.....the sounds didn't lag.  Your bags are all packed with great stuff to hopes you'll be home, safe and sound; with great care!"

A good friend of mine, one who I hold very close to my heart, had a friend who recently fell down a flight of stairs and suffered a brain injury....we were all very worried about her; but we all banded together and, as my dear friend says, "held her in the light".....within 2 weeks this lady has made a miraculous recovery.....she is almost 100% back to her pre-accident self now....and I attribute much of her remarkable recovery to all of us rallying around her and remembering her in thoughts, prayers, positive energy, whatever you wish to call it.  But now, dear friend, if you don't mind,  I will hold you "in the light" and pray for a successful reversal procedure and a rapid, complete, and minimally painful recovery period.  I KNOW that everything is going to be ok.

So, as you go into surgery tomorrow, take a tiny little piece of all of us with you, ok?
And put a smiley face on the inside of your bag!  (Methinks we should all start a tradition....the "bye bye bag" team....whenever one of us gets a reversal, we should "sign" our bags for the surgical team!" Smile

Good luck and Godspeed to you! Smile


PS: I went to the doctor today....when you wake up and feel like checking in on us, you should see an update on my blog entries.
Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:17 am
PS. I wrote on my final bag? will you?
Past Member
Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:13 am
Good luck Dave!  I'm a new guy, just got done reading all the posts on this thread, and you're probably in surgery as I type.
I had emergency surgery on Jan 10 for a ruptured large intestine, and woke up with a bag.  My surgeon said 3-4 months and I could have a reversal.  From what I've read here, I guess I'm very fortunate.  I'm not going to have it long enough to get "attached" to it, I just want it gone.  The associated hernia is painful, getting supplies is a nightmare because of my insurance, it's just a nightmare.  So I'm counting on a 3 month reversal, though I don't have a surgeon yet since the guy that did the emergency isn't in my "network" and won't be doing the reversal.
After reading your posts, I have some questions about the pre-op procedures.  What do they have to do?  What kind of tests do they have to do, and how long after the tests do they get to the surgery?  Is the surgery scheduled and then the tests done?  I'm just anxious to get to it.  According to my calculations, I'm 7 weeks from the 3 month date if you go by calendar months, or 6 weeks by 4 weeks/month.
Thank you all for sharing your experiences, and best of luck to you all.  I can't wait to share about my reversal!
Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:21 am
Dave: You must be at the hospital and well on your way by now. Wishing you the very very best on your reversal procedure and sending prayers and warm wishes your way.
I look forward to your future posts.    Dianne
Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:26 am
9 hour Procedure. Pain pump. Sitting in a chair. No bowel sounds yet, as exPected.
Awake. Aware. Alive.
More later.
Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:29 am
First of all, THANK YOU GOD!



Rest.  Recover.  And may the wind be at your back! Wink

Prayers and good thoughts continue!

Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:33 am
PS:  So much for the gas passer's 90 minute surgery assessment, aye???????

9 hours.....good grief!  Did they have to go on a treasure hunt???

Don't answer now.  REST!

Later, gator! Smile
Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:21 pm
Hi Dave, I'm delighted you made it. Sounds one hell of a day. I know mine just took short of 7 hours, but I had a hernia repair too. Just remember we'll continue to keep you in our prayers and wish for your speedy recovery! God Bless, Colm
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