Posts Tagged ‘colostomy reversal’


Sorry for the radio silence. I’ve been both busy and a bit crabby and I write less when I’m crabby. I’m not the sort to spill it all out on the page. In fact, in the journal I have kept since I was 16, you can always tell something bad happened when there are gaps in the entries, but frequently, I don’t even give a hint as to what was upsetting me so much. I know that is backwards to how most people do things, but hey, different strokes and all that.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a colostomy. It was a side effect of the exploding colon. I do not like it. When I was in rehab, a nice lady from the Ostomy Association came in and gave me a pile of literature about living with an ostomy and a big running theme was, Isn’t this great?! There were little articles written by people who’d lived with ostomies for decades and just thought they were the best things, wouldn’t go back even if they could. Changing the bag is easy once you get the hang of it! It’s all easy, really! Just give it a couple of months and you’ll be happy, happy, happy!

I’m not happy. Changing the bag is shitty, much more so than just wiping your own butt. The bag is held in place by a big bandage, basically, with a hole for the bit of intestine sticking out, which is called the stoma. The bandage is called a flange, and it needs to be changed too. You rip it off and glue another on. Skin does not like this and gets all rashy. (There are many, many ostomy products aimed towards healing this.)

I’ve gotten used to all this and good at dealing with it, but I still don’t like it. Especially since my stoma prolapsed. This means that the stoma, instead of protruding only a little bit, sometimes hangs way, way out. Likes, 6 inches. Remember in Alien, when the little baby alien busts out of the guy’s belly and looks around? That’s kind of what it looks like. It’s intestine. It’s all ripply and alive.

Beyond the generally grossness of this, there’s my concern about hurting the damn thing, which makes me constantly aware of leaning against counters, putting on seat belts, etc.

So I’ve been rooting for a reversal in a big way. I’ve needed a couple tests to see if it was possible, and I had the appointment with the surgeon last Tuesday to see how possible it is.

It is. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he likely has to re-open my great big scar – the one that runs from above my belly button to my pubic bone. Hooking the guts back up carries the risk of a leak which could lead to sepsis – the problem I had in the first place. Or scar tissue could lead to blockage. The surgery also carries a risk of damaging the spleen or may require a temporary ileostomy which will then need to be hooked back up too. And I have to stay in the hospital for about a week.

That last one freaked me out more than one might expect, mostly because the father of a friend had a heart attack a few months ago and then had an emergency triple bypass and he was out 3 days later. It speaks to the seriousness of this surgery, which I had been significantly downplaying. Significantly. I’d read that reversals can sometimes be done laprascopically, so I figured, no big deal.

Only turns out it is a big deal. Hence, crabbiness.

The surgery is set for December 12th.


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