Christ.

December 19, 2011

Just FYI, last night’s packing change was a NIGHTMARE. It was soooo painful. There wasn’t any bleeding or anything, but it was probably some of the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. I had to tell Rob to stop. I could not tolerate it at all. I literally sobbed after it was finished, and I’ve always thought myself to have a high pain tolerance.

Today, Rob got off the hook, because I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor and she changed the packing. Not as bad as last night, but still very painful. I was very tense and nervous the entire time. She also removed the drain which was no big deal in comparison.

Anyway, I got her to write me a prescription for a stronger pain medication. The percocet just was not cutting it, so she wrote me a prescription for dilaudid. I’m hoping that this helps a lot more, because I do NOT want to go through another packing change like that. Ever.

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Slightly Traumatic

December 17, 2011

I spent two nights in the hospital, and I’m home now. The biggest thing to deal with now is wound care and pain management. I still have the penrose drains in until Monday when I have my recheck appointment.

Basically, I have two wounds. I have the smaller wound where the draining tract to my abscess was in the middle of my buttcrack; my surgeon made it a little deeper and scraped out the granulation tissue. Then I have the deeper wound where my rectum and anus were removed. Both need to be packed daily with gauze and “Intrasite” wound gel.

Last night was the first night Rob had to change out the packing. He has been dealing with the smaller wound for a while now, but the deeper one is new. He watched the surgeon do it in the hospital, and it’s a simple task, but it’s still pretty daunting. An entire 4×4 gauze fits into that wound, and it’s a pretty painful experience to go through.

He took out the dressing and I took a shower to clean it off. After I showered, it started bleeding a good amount and didn’t want to stop, which made it difficult to insert the packing. It was just extremely frustrating and slightly scary.

Then, a little while after, the packing became extremely painful. Like, I was shaking painful. It was really awful. I felt like I could hardly move. But then, I adjusted position, and it felt like some more blood came out and I felt immediately more comfortable. I don’t know. It eventually stopped bleeding, but damn.

I’m hoping tonight goes much smoother, but we’ll see.

Buttpocalypse 2011

December 14, 2011

So, it’s finally here. December 13th, 2011 was the last day I’ll ever have a butthole. Just to reiterate, I had already had a permanent ileostomy and total colectomy, but a very small portion of my rectal stump and anus had been left intact so I wouldn’t have to deal with a nonhealing wound at the time. That was a year and a half ago. More recently, I had been having complications with the rectal stump. There was purulent (pus) discharge from my anus and my biggest concern was an abscess that had formed a draining tract to the outside of the middle of my buttcrack. It was some painful stuff, plus sooo annoying to deal with all that discharge.

But, uh, yeah. Today: no butthole. The worst thing about it was the fact that I had infected tissue, so my surgeon had to leave the wound partially open and pack it. There’s also a penrose drain in for a couple of days. But yeah, she just cut it right out and packed it right up. I spent the night at the hospital and had my first dressing change this morning, which explains why I’m up at 7:00am. It wasn’t TOO bad, mostly just scary to think about. I have a lot of healing left to do though.

I can’t end the post without giving a shout out to my boyfriend, Rob. He has been right there beside me since the beginning of this whole infection mess. He’s helped me change dressings and was SO brave about it even though it probably pained him as much as it pained me. Plus, he’s right here beside me sleeping in my hospital room. I couldn’t ask for a better support.

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2011

A day late maybe, but still.

2010 was a completely life-changing year for me. The beginning of the year was pretty rough, and it really pushed me to make some tough decisions about my health. There were a lot of tears and a lot of thinking about what my future would be like if I elected to do surgery… or if I would even have a future if I didn’t.

Luckily, I believe I 100% made the correct choice. After my surgery, everything fell into place. I have a job I like, great friends, a great boyfriend… and most importantly, I am able to enjoy them all because I am healthy enough to do so.

I have high hopes for 2011. I just want to be happy and live my life like I’ve never been able to do before!

Relationships and Sex

November 28, 2010

If you have an ostomy or are facing having ostomy surgery in the future and you are worried that the dating or sexual part of your life will be nonexistent because of it, DO NOT think that way! Trust me, if you have a positive attitude and you accept yourself for who you are, the right partner will not care about your ostomy. There are nonjudgmental people out there who will love you and be attracted to you like you deserve.

I was never one to be involved with the dating scene before my surgery, because I was so sick all of the time with Crohn’s disease. My first two relationships were with guys I had already been friends with for a while, but ultimately they didn’t work out for one reason or another. Eventually though, I got so sick that I needed to get ostomy surgery. At this point in my life, I was single. Naturally, I was worried about how I could ever meet a guy and tell him about my ostomy.

Well, less than a year after surgery, I was able to date someone, tell them about my ostomy, get asked to be in a steady relationship with that person, and have a sexual relationship with that person. My attitude towards my ostomy was that it made me feel like a healthy, happy person and that it was no big deal, so his reaction was also that it was a good thing and no big deal.

Of course, after I told him, I was still worried about the sexual aspect. I was unsure if he had completely understood me since he had never heard of an ileostomy before I told him, but he reassured me that he did. I was excited to start a sexual relationship though, and I was completely comfortable with my own body, so we just got to that point like a normal couple. I made sure the ostomy was empty first, and I put a hand over it when it seemed necessary. I didn’t use any fancy covers or anything like that. My ostomy is now a part of my naked body, and I feel that it should be accepted as such.

I have to reiterate that this is my experience *less than a year after surgery!* It may not work like that for everyone, just as it wouldn’t work like that for everyone without an ostomy, but the surgery is not a reason to stop trying. The ostomy is not a reason to give up on love or on anything in life. You can do anything you want, so don’t be afraid to get out there and do it!