I cried a couple of short times the week before my surgery. I was afraid to put myself under unnecessary pain. I kept thinking “this surgery is a choice I’m making…I could just live with the end ileostomy I have now.”
Everyone has told me to at least give the s-pouch a try. But that means to go under more pain and change and to put my life on hold for longer. I went through with it because I have insurance thanks to my age and my Dad having it and I have a great surgeon to do the job. This is the best time in my life to continue on with surgeries to get rid of waste out of my behind again: that is the goal.
I actually got really great sleep the night before the surgery. I awoke at 3:30am. I arrived to the hospital at 5:30am and started to get checked-in. This time I was able to get an epidural placed which I was very hesitant about doing. At 7:30am I began to get knocked out and all I remember is a mask being put on my face after being moved to a hard table with multiple lights above it. It almost doesn’t feel real.
I awoke with way less pain thanks to the epidural and all I was saying was “ouchy, ouchy, ouchy…” I had my parents, grandparents, aunt, and sister visiting me the first night. I tried to go for a walk, but I felt extremely nauseated from it.
The next day they took my catheter out and expected me to go pee 6 hours later which is always stressful, because your muscles get very lazy and you cannot go no matter how hard you try. I went for three walks that day. My sister came to visit me that night and my Dad picked up my boyfriend to visit me later too. I cried with my sister; I was in pain and she comforted me. I was crying when the others came too. It hurt when I walked, so I used more of the epidural and my whole left side became numb. I got help going to the toilet and when I wanted to get off the toilet…I couldn’t. I almost fell on the ground and yelled out for my boyfriend to help me. Nurses came in to get me back in bed. That night a nurse left me alone for 5 hours and my bag filled up with gas to the MAX! While she was trying to empty it, loose stool started to leak out over my incision and stomach :(. The nurse had to take everything off and replace it. And guess what, a second later it happened again! Therefore, everything came off and new supplies came on. The nurse had to put my wafer over my incision to get a tight seal.
The third day I was still in pain, because the pain team took out my epidural. The head woman of the pain team said I was the youngest person her team has worked with and that I was the toughest. She said I was the maturest 22-year-old she had ever met. I really don’t know why people say this stuff, so I asked “Why, because I want it out?” Anyways, the transition to oral pain medication did not go well. I was in pain all day and the oxycodone made me have nausea, so I did not eat anything (the day before I had all clear liquids and they went fine). My surgeon came by and saw how uncomfortable I was and ordered different pain medications. My aunt visited me and other doctors came in to describe to me that I was going to get IV ibuprofen and more oxycodone. One doctor said IV ibuprofen is beautiful. I agree. After my aunt left I finally threw-up. That really is not fun to do with a new incision.
The fourth day was my best day. I went for four walks. My pain was finally being managed. They switched me to hydrocodon-tylenol to prevent nausea, so I felt comfortable eating again. My aunt visited me on her lunch hour. Nothing else really stands out from that day. I did ask my surgeon the possible risks within the next month and he said…my bowel could twist, the anastomosis (where my small intestine connects to my anal canal) could leak/tear, and that my s-pouch could do the same.
My last day, the fifth day, I was in the middle of eating breakfast and a doctor came in to take out my drain and bridge. He started to pull the drain out which terrified me, but I knew it would be over in seconds, BUT it got stuck! He left to go ask for an opinion and I proceeded to bawl. It hurt him tugging on something inside me and it bothered me that it was not as easy for me as everyone said it would be. My wonderful nurse (that I had after my first surgery) put it like this “I didn’t expect a 2-step painful process.” I didn’t know what the drain looked like inside of me and the doctor had said, “this has never happened before.” My wonderful nurse came in and said, “no, that happens a lot with younger patients, because your skin heals faster.” The wonderful nurse saying that calmed me, but I still wanted to talk to my boyfriend and Mom. My Mom got my Dad to come up right away (he arrived once I was ready to go). My wonderful nurse gave me pain medicine twice before the doctor came back to finish pulling the drain out. It terrified me again, because the doctor had said, “it’s going to hurt.” I was really not comforted by what was coming out of this doctors mouth. However, my surgeon came in and said it probably just is the white piece around the tube that is catching. I had no idea what my surgeon was talking about until I saw the drain out of me. So the same doctor pulled it out on the count of three while the wonderful nurse held my hand. It felt like a fountain was gushing out of me, but it hurt less than the first try. The doctor came back to tug a part the bridge and slide it out from underneath my stoma. The strong tug kind of shocked me (why couldn’t he just cut it?), but it was not that bad. Later I changed my bag, packed up, and left for home. My nurse that day really is wonderful at comforting me. She helped me accept my end ileostomy right away as she was the one to change it and teach me how to do it for the first time and she did what I described above for me.
I am taking hydrocodon-tylenol, ibuprofen, and a stool softener to prevent constipation (because narcotics cause that). Btw, my drain hole is not even a hole. It closed immediately. And where the bridge was lifting my stoma, my stoma just went flat to my skin. My incision is surprisingly only like 5 inches long, all below my belly button. I forgot to mention that multiple times during the week my muscles were having spasms when a nurse, a doctor, or myself touched on or around my incision. A couple of doctors told me to drink Gatorade for the electrolytes to help my muscles, so I’m doing that. Once again, I would like to say my body is Nutzo.
Here are two pictures from this hospital stay: