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Post-Op Reversal Week One....A Week Of Wonders :)

Posted by bag_n_drag


Hi All-


Well, it's been a week and 2 days since my reversal surgery.


I came home from the hospital on Monday, Feb. 6....2 days earlier than I was originally slated to leave!  Other than some minor glitches (more about these below); I have fared FAR BETTER than I ever thought that I would at this early stage of my recovery!  They were able to do the procedure laparoscopically; and for this I am most thankful!  And, as I read up on a couple of folks whose reversals were done a week or two earlier than mine; it seems that many of us are healing well!  Fable3 just had her reversal done on the 6th and is doing well so far; and Dave_Canada is scheduled for his reversal in about a week and a half.  My prayers and positive energy continue to flow towards my fellow ostomates; as we all continue towards our journeys of health, healing and hope!


Here are some of my "week one" observations....


1.  BM's


OK, this one is a mixed pun intended! ;)  It is very weird being "bagless" after having the bag for over a year.  The bowel hath awakened with a vengeance!  

The doc has me on 5 mg. of Lomotil before each meal, and 5 mg before bedtime to help slow the bm's down.  I am also taking hydrocodone 5/500 (2 pills) every 4-6 hours for pain, and to assist with slowing things down as well.  The first couple of days after surgery, I was having about 20 liquid stools per day and a couple of nighttime accidents.  Since I've been home, I haven't had any nighttime accidents, and the total liquid stool volume hovers between 12-15 per day.  My bm's are more frequent and more liquid than some of the other reversal candidates due to the fact that I have no large intestine left.  So, my reversal procedure consisted of my small intestine being attached to my J pouch; I had enough rectum left to serve as a reservoir. In a couple more weeks (after some of the distention in my tummy subsides); I'll start on a regimen of psyllium husks before meals....this should "firm things up" a little bit, too.  Silent victories.  Small steps.


2.  Wounds


I have 4 wounds on my lower abdomen.  One is on the right, where "Old Faithful" resided for 13 months.  It is healing from the inside out.  Very clean, and together.  One is right at/above my navel; and then another small one on the left, at the waistline.  These are my "lapo-holes."  The last one is on the left; where the jp drain resided for a few days following surgery.  Again, no visible sutures.  All areas healing nicely.


3.   Diet


I am technically on a "soft" diet.....trying different, easy to digest foods that don't put a lot of pressure on things.....Greek yogurt, chicken, fish, eggs....good protein sources.  I haven't done a lot of veggies yet.  Have also done some brown rice, banana; a little french toast....some frozen yogurt.  No red meat yet.  Mainly water to drink.....I'm trying to avoid caffeine for now.  So far, so good.  Not a lot of excess gas to rumble around in my sore abdominal area!


4.  Challenges


I had a lot of low blood pressure problems in the hospital, and to combat this the docs pumped me full with bag after bag of IV fluids; sometimes 2 bags concurrently.  My bp normally runs low; so this really didn't help things and, as a result, I gained 30 lbs of water weight (yes, 30 lbs!) in 5 days!  They didn't want to send me home on Lasix due to the fear of electrolyte imbalance and/or dehydration; so my tissues are still VERY waterlogged and the skin on my ankles and lower legs is on the verge of splitting!  Does anyone know of a good otc supplement, herb, tea? that might help get rid of some of this extra fluid?


5.  Phantoms ;)


During the past several days, I have "caught" myself many times feeling over to see if my stoma (Old Faithful) is ok and if my bag needs to be changed!  Old habits die hard, yes?


My first post-op appointment with my surgeon is scheduled for Monday, Feb 20th.  I'll update again shortly thereafter. closing.....

I sit here barely able to see as the tears roll down my face.  Rest in peace, Dawneagle (Carol) are an incredible spirit who is now free to soar with the Angels.  Thank you for everything you are, and have been, to us.  You will be remembered.  FRIEND.






See all blogs by bag_n_drag
Past Member: Thank you for such a clear, step-by-step explanation. I pray all continues to go well and you are back to what you want to be very soon. I know writing all that clearly was tough grieving Carol as you typed. I have to type very slowly as I cry a lot, too. Loretta So, so happy for you! Feb 11, 2012
bag_n_drag : Thank you, Loretta. :) You are in my thoughts and prayers....I KNOW you can make it thru all the recent trials and tribulations! My heart went out to you, reading about that horrible hospital experience! Just keep exploring your options and don't settle for ANYTHING OR ANYONE that's going to jeopardize your health and well being. You DESERVE to he happy and as well as possible! I'm rooting for you, dear lady! Feb 11, 2012
dandare : Hi Darla, What wonderful news that all's going so well for you. Long may it continue!! I a fit of frustration with my poor old Blackberry, I cancelled my membership last Wednesday night only to check in again on Friday to see how you all were doing, in particular to see Loretta's progress and then found out about my great mentor, Carol! I couldn't do anything at first I was so shocked. I had only emailed her to let her know that I am having surgery next Wednesday for my reversal and hernia. Oh, how blessed we all were to have her in our lives for a short while. So here's hoping al continues as well as it has for you. I''ll keep you posted how thing go this end. God Bless and take care, Colm Feb 12, 2012
bag_n_drag : Colm, so you are going in on the 15th?I have fingers, toes, and anything else I can get crossed, crossed for you. You KNOW we will all be there with you in spirit; and that Carol's spirit will be right above you; helping to guide your surgeon's hand and pouring out blessings from all of us for your successful procedure and complete, speedy recovery. I'll share a little funny with you....on the morning I went in for surgery, I got a thick black Sharpie marker and, on the upper inside portion of my opaque, closed ended bag I drew a big ole' smiley face, and then by its mouth I put the caption bye bye!; hoping that this would lighten the mood in the OR right before my surgery and sure enough, it did! My surgeon said they were all cracking up when they saw it that morning. So, if you get nervous right before time on Wed.; you can think of that smiley face going bye bye to your bag, and perhaps this will calm your spirit a little beforehand. We'll all be lifting you up in prayer!Darla Feb 12, 2012
Dave_Canada : Thanks for the step by step status reports, Darla. It's sure helping to ease my mind as I approach the big day. According to my surgeon, he only removed about a foot of my bowel, so I am hoping that things tighten up quickly. I also pray for the lapro more than you know. I had it once years ago for a bad gall bladder, and then was sliced and diced for my ileostomy. Having experienced both, I'll take the scope in a heartbeat.I would also like to offer my condolensces on the passing of your friend. I never had the chance to know her as you did, but It's obvious we have lost someone special to many people in a lot of ways.Take care and keep smiling.Dave Feb 12, 2012
bag_n_drag : Dave - if he only removed a foot or so you should firm up MUCH quicker than me; and if you have a good amount of rectum left you'll be able to hold it better, sooner, too! I was cut to pieces, too, with my ileo...from just below the breastbone all the way to the Netherlands ;) LOTS of open wound there...I had a wound vac on that incision for about 7 weeks post op! Soooo thankful this one was done lapro! One thing you may want to ask your doc about, once you have the reversal and see what kind of incision you have, is putting a little bit of colloidal silver on it afterwards for a few weeks. It aides in the healing process. They did this for my ileo incision and I am putting just a tiny bit on the holes I have now. Be sure and ask your doctor about it, tho....since you are diabetic, too, it may be a good option as a little extra healing insurance. You can get it as a spray at your local pharmacy or health foods store. Thank you, friend re: Carol. Nice to have so many caring people here...what a blessing! Feb 13, 2012
dandare : Oh Darla, Thank you so much for those comforting words. They certainly help. And you're correct, whenever I get myself all worried about the surgery I can almost feel Carol's hand on my shoulder and telling me that 'this too will pass'. I can feel an air of calm come over me.And yes please, I could do with eveyone's positive thoughts and prayers this Wednesday afternoon (GMT) to help see me through.Loretta, again your words of encouragement mean a great deal to me. It helps knowing that you're not alone on the journey. My prayers are with you too.And Dave, let me wish you the very best of luck with your surgery. I know we'll all be behind you too with our prayers and thoughts. I know I'll be posting too as soon as I can after surgery to let you all know how things are. God Bless and take good care, Colm Feb 13, 2012
Beaner : Colm, best wishes for a successful reversal and speedy recovery! It has been one month since my reversal, and, aside from minor discomforts, all has been moving along smoothly...ha ha. I will be praying for you! Feb 13, 2012
dandare : Thank you so much Beaner! All prayers very much appreciated! Could be a long surgery as they'll have to open me up like first time. Yourself and Darla have been a great inspiration...again thanks for keeping our spirits up! God speed your recovery. Take care, Colm Feb 13, 2012
stpetersburg : Hi Dave,Good luck on the reversal. Mu husband had his done and only a foot of the bowel is missing in total. Could not do it laprosp-y though so he was cut and sliced again. His BM was not liquid at all, cam back normally very fast which he was very relieved. Feb 14, 2012
Yukon steve : Good luck with your reversal my surgen did mine from the stoma opening by pulling enough out to resect the illium then stufed it back in and sewed me up he did not want to go into the origanal insision if he did not have to as he had allready gone in the same insision 3 times before. he told me that I was the firstone he tried it on and if it wouldnot have worked he would have had several more hours of work ahead Feb 14, 2012
fable3 : I've been told that I've had only small amounts of my colon small intestine removed but that the anastomoses could be inflamed causing a temporary blockage. I've pulled myself off of all pain meds, all anti emetics, etc and have been walking the halls of this hospital for 8 days. I had one small movement. I'm on clear liquids only am totally frustrated starving. The nurses and doc hear lots of bowel sounds. I haven't thrown up yet. What do I gotta do to poo?!?!?!Sorry For the vent. Feb 14, 2012
Beaner : Everybody is different. I did nothing for five days, which meant nothing but liquids til I at least passed gas. The good news is that they hear sounds! I was stark raving starved, couldn't believe I could even function without something in my body! Your body goes into a period of total rest. When it is ready to wake up, it will. The key is that it has to be ready to WAKE UP.Don't be afraid to ask for something to keep you calm til it happens, or you will drive yourself nuts.... Feb 14, 2012
fable3 : Well CT scan revealed a partial blockage that will be surgically corrected tomorrow afternoon. Will let you know how I come out the other end!!!Take care, Fable Feb 15, 2012
bag_n_drag : Fable -Bless your heart! I was hoping that you would not have to endure anything else but when things were a no go for so long, I thought you might have a little something still needing attention. My prayers will be flowing for you as you undergo your correcting procedure tomorrow afternoon. It'll be WILL come out of this bagless and goin' like a fool soon! A lot of people hit a little bump in reversal recovery and have to go back in the least they didn't let you go home just to have to march you right back in! Things will go well tomorrow, I just know it. Please keep me posted, ok?Darla Feb 15, 2012
Dave_Canada : I know it's esay for me to say as I am not affeected like you, but look at it this way. Your susupicisons were correct, and they are being addressed. Hopefully thats a relief to you as opposed to not knowing. Keep the faith.Dave Feb 16, 2012
Dave_Canada : And to you Darla, I ask how things are progressing? I Cant thank you enough for your words of encouragement and support. Dont forgot that your loyal readers need your updates too!Keep smiling.Dave Feb 16, 2012
bag_n_drag : Dave - I had to go to my PCP yesterday for the swelling caused by too many IV fluids being given in the hospital; trying to get my blood pressure up. I am still holding on to over 20 lbs of fluid that has seeped into my tissues...PCP put me on Lasix and gave me a steroid cream for the places on my legs and feet that have started to split from being stretched out so much. So now I'll be going out BOTH ends 15 times a day! This should help with the waterlogging, tho. My PCP told me that I should have been put on steroids for a few days; it appears that my adrenal gland shut down temporarily from surgery related stress, causing the bp problems. So where was SHE a couple weeks ago? My surgeon called her in for a consult but she never showed!Reversal wise, everything is still healing and progressing. I have a post op appt. with my surgeon on the 20th; the day before your reversal. I'll update all again after my appt. on Monday.As for YOU....hope your pre-op stuff goes splendidly. It will. We are all lifting you up in our thoughts and prayers and you, my friend, are about to embark on a new and exciting journey....just think about all the wisdom you can share with others! You have gallantly fought your way back to this point, against the odds, and you will triumph with this reversal! Wishing you blessings and calm nerves! Darla Feb 16, 2012
Past Member: I'm still praying for you, Darla, Dave, and Colm. Keep healing. I just know you're each going to resume the full life you had before your ostomy. Loretta Feb 16, 2012
Dave_Canada : I've always found it amusing, some of the names people have come up with for their stomas. I never had one for mine, the most obvious choices like 'old faithful long ago taken...until this past weekend, when mine began to make some of the loudest noises it has ever made, of course, during a quiet moment at dinner with my family. When my niece giggled and ask why my tummy was so loud, I explained it away as my stomach doing band practice. (no, I dont know where that came from) her reply? Guess its the horn section's turn.The horn section.I go for a pre-op appointment in the morning, and the horn section is due to be permanently silenced on tuesday. One bit of good news i got today, visit with my family doctor for blood work revealed a hemoglobin A1C result of 6.3. Sweet!You diabetics will know what that means.Keep smiling, everyone. Any news on Fable? Feb 16, 2012
bag_n_drag : A 6.3....that's pretty darn good! May the horn section be with you! ;)Haven't heard from Fable today.....hopefully we'll get some news tomorrow. Feb 17, 2012
Past Member: Dave, that is great news and I know how happy you must be to begin Silence of the Horn. Good luck on Tuesday. I'll be sending prayers your way. Loretta Feb 17, 2012
Dave_Canada : Silence of the horn...classic.Thanks for the prayers, Loretta. I'll take all the help I can get. Got some confusing information today at my pre-op consult. They gas passer assured me that they have no choice but to open me up again, regardless of what my surgeon has lead me to believe. Oh well, I guess I will find out Tuesday when I wake up. Feb 17, 2012
bag_n_drag : Hi guys - Quick update: I got out for the first time tonite post-op for a meal....went to a nice Italian seafood restaurant and had seafood stuffed shrimp! Best part....NO ACCIDENTS OR LEAKS! Man, it was weirdness not having to worry about my bag!! I did have to take a couple of potty breaks, but I was able to get out to eat! YAAAAAAY! A little more progress, and a nice date night with my hubby! ;) Feb 17, 2012
Dave_Canada : Yay,You! You are both a joy and an inspiration! Congrats on the progress. Feb 17, 2012
Primeboy : I am a believer in maintaining great expectations for surgical outcomes. Why? Sometimes we might be tempted to restrain our hopefulness if only to protect ourselves against disappointment. I would prefer to remain positive, not because of any naive commitment to the Pollyanna principle, but because there's therapeutic value in optimism. After my reversal in 2004 my confidence in a rapid recovery paid big dividends when I found myself in a county-wide golf tournament just 10 days after the procedure. There are no guarantees in life, only percentages. Expect the best! PB Feb 18, 2012
Past Member: My gosh, Prime, I did not know that! I thought you were still a bagger. What wonderful visions you swinging a club so soon after reversal gave me! Fear is ALL that is holding me back. I've even got the money saved. I sold my second car and cashed in a CD. My recent CT scan at the hospital showed I am a perfect candidate for reversal. I am just so frightened after the horror of that blockage. Thank you, thank you for writing this. I had no idea about your history. How wonderful of you to have stayed with us after your reversal and recovery. We so need examples like yourself to keep our hopes up. Loretta Feb 18, 2012
Past Member: Darla, I am so delighted about your outing. It is a dream of mine to actually be on a date with a nice someone and EAT rather than just sitting there holding my breath and stomach in, praying nothing that shouldn't come out will. Hurrah! What terrific news today. Loretta Feb 18, 2012
Past Member: Okay, Dave, my prayers for your success are being upped. You seem like such a strong, fearless man. I'm sure that even if you wake up stitched from teat to thigh, you WILL heal and have the same sort of stories as Prime and Darla to tell those of us still waiting in the wings. Loretta Feb 18, 2012
Primeboy : Sorry for giving you wrong impression, Loretta, but I am a bagger now. In May of 2004 I had my January 2004 ileostomy reversed. That reversal worked really great and I had a very active life with a J-Pouch until 2010 when they found precancerous cells in my pipeline. As a consequence, they removed just about everything leaving me with an ileostomy and an option for reversal again with a small K-pouch. I declined to have this second reversal since I knew I would need to run to the BR much too frequently. If your doctor believes you are a perfect candidate for a reversal, commit yourself completely to the process and let fear strike out. The best of times is ahead for you, Dave, Darla and Colm. I can only add that I never stopped living a full life even with an ostomy. One of my favorite poets, William Blake, wrote about mind forged manacles that imprison us by unnecessary restrictions we place upon ourselves. Instead, let's drink to life and live it as fully as we can. PB Feb 18, 2012
bag_n_drag : PB....Was it the poem London by William Blake? He has always been one of my favs, too. He, and Rainer Maria Rilke.One of my questions to self that let me know I was ready to undertake a reversal was Could I fully accept myself again and move forward with living my fullest life should the process eventually fail? Until I could say yes to this question, I knew that I really couldn't commit fully TO the reversal. Once I made peace with what happened, initially, and could whole-heartedly move forward from what brought me to this point; I knew that I could pour that same level of commitment into a reversal process. And, so far, I have fared better than I ever thought possible with the reversal process. Should I find myself with an ostomy in the future, I can again accept this and move forward with the same level of commitment to living life to its fullest. No guarantees....but no regrets. Thank you, PB, for your sage wisdom. :) Darla Feb 18, 2012
Past Member: You are so wise, PB. I did not know about the second operation. Blake is one of my favorites, as well. You sound like him even though you are optimistic about people's abilities to overcome and he was mostly not. I will think very seriously about what you and Darla said...about commitment to success and living life to its fullest no matter the outcome. I guess a large part of my fear is that I have not done that and the fear of never getting the chance to right that wrong scares me. I really admire both of your strengths. Hope I can be as brave and accepting. Loretta Feb 18, 2012
bag_n_drag : Loretta - If you could only see what we see...a brave, compassionate, intelligent, vulnerable, erudite, kind woman...a woman who is giving to a fault....a woman who needs to give herself the permission to LIVE. And I believe that you are working towards allowing yourself these permissions! We are ALL works in progress...all's about finding our joy in the journey; whatever that journey entails. :)One of my favorite Rilke poems goes something like this:Out of infinite longings risefinite deeds like weak fountains,falling back just in time and trembling.And yet, what otherwise remains silent,our happy energies—show themselvesin these dancing tears.We're all behind you 100%!Darla Feb 19, 2012
dandare : Well said PB and darla, what two great mentors you are. And yes Loretta with all these positive vibes going round, you'll do just fine. P Boy's attitude is probably one we all should seek. But remember that we're all here for you and don't be afraid to shout! God Bless and take good care, Colm Feb 19, 2012
Past Member: Thank you, Dave, PB, Darla, and Colm. Your support is more helpful than you will ever know. Those positive outlooks differ so greatly from the negativity that I live with each day here with Mom. Her regret at her unfulfilled life is so toxic. Gosh, I don't want to end up like that.Darla, that verse was beautiful and is exactly how I feel. My longing to be distanced from both bags is just like those weak fountains. It falls back just as reality sets in, but my contained energy continues to dance. I just received an email from a friend who said that I should get away to that mountain town I was telling you about even for a week or two. I've been up since 5:00 a.m. trying to pave a path to do just that and schedule affordable 24/7 care for Mom. These last 3 years with my ostomy and her animosity need a smiley face like the one you drew on your old bag. Love to you all. Loretta Feb 19, 2012
Yukon steve : I hope your revesal is healing as well as mine and you lose some of the water they pumped into you I had the same problem with blood preasure but mine went way high so they started me back on my old meds to control it and it seems to be working take care Stephen Feb 27, 2012
bag_n_drag : Thanks, Stephen :) I still have some is going down, slowly. I always have problems w/ low bp but that's because my adrenal gland shuts down during periods of high stress....they should have given me steroids for a few days, NOT more than 100 bags of IV fluids which did not help raise the blood pressure one bit! :-0 Darla Feb 27, 2012
izipizi : I am scared. I had chronic diverticulitis and had an elective laparoscopic sigmoid colectomy in oct.2018. I went home after 2 days . However on Post op day 4 I developed severe pain, and an anastomotic leak,peritonitis (blood and stool in my abdomen) and ended up having emergency surgery for colostomy and Hartmann's pouch.
I have developed large incisional hernias.
Now I am scheduled for reversal of colostomy but will get ileostomy ,temporarily ,and will have abdominal wall reconstruction.
My fear of surgery and complications is overwhelming.
Mar 03, 2019
dandare : Hi there Izipizi, it's been a while since I had my reversal. But like yourself I originally suffered complications resulting in peritonitis. I've had a successful reversal thanks to a wonderful surgeon and his team. If you can, speak with your gastroenterologist and surgeon to allay your fears. I do have several mesh repairs done to incisional hernias too. And some years down the road I'm only showing a minor hernia due to not wearing support. I'd recommend taking things very carefully with only very light lifting for at least three months. Know that there's plenty of support here with plenty of advice to see you through. If there's anything else I can help with, please don't be afraid to ask. Stay strong, Colm Mar 03, 2019
izipizi : Dandare ..thank you...I am having serious issues dealing with fear of surgery since my initial elective procedure failed and I ended up with a colostomy. Now I am terrified of an ileostomy ....they sound bad to deal with and then that will need reversal and Im scare of that leaking. Mar 07, 2019

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