Sunday, November 29, 2009

Monthandahalf Post Surgery Update

Hi, everybody!

No new exciting health news to report... guess I've just been too busy living life! ;) So I'm just going to update how ALL the post surgery stuff is going! It might be a little boring or gross, so feel free to skip today if you'd prefer not to hear it!

My J-pouch has been a little more "active" the last few days. Not sure what causes that, and it's not painful per se, just a little annoying, that's all. I hope it will adjust, since it is most active at night, which is disruptive for sleep. I have complete control over the J pouch, which is a good sign, I think. Stomach is great - eating anything and everything. Doin' my yogurt every day for the calcium and probiotic benefits. I am trying to train myself to like eating yogurt. No success so far, but I'll keep you informed. ;) All the UC pain and cramping is just gone. My joints are slightly stiff, maybe from the rainy weather (and I'm starting to s-l-o-w-l-y cut down a tiny bit on steroids) but nothing compared to how they used to feel! My incisions are healing up great - they are soo tiny - the biggest one is less than 3 inches long! The others are just miniscule.

Am I still happy I had surgery? YES! Even the bags and I have reached an uneasy peace, and taking care of them is easy and routine. My sole complaint is that Squirt is in-between barrier sizes. Barriers are like a band-aid that protects the skin around Squirt. The bag attaches onto the barrier. Since Squirt is oval-shaped (thanks a lot, Dr. A, for creating an irregularly shaped stoma), horizontally, he's one size, but vertically, another. So the barriers tend to be either too big (leaving some skin exposed, and therefore, it gets digested) or too small (so stuff is more likely to leak under the seal - not a full leakage, but enough to irritate the skin a little). I can't win. Grrr. I've learned good tricks for protecting the skin, which is good, and this is NOT a major problem, just a teeny-tiny annoyance. I will possibly put in a call to the ET nurses before I order my next batch of barriers, and see if they have any suggestions, as they are wise in the ways of stoma care. This small complaint is a far cry from bags leaking left and right and raw bleeding skin like I had about a month ago! See, look how far I've come (now I'm guaranteed a leak... better stop bragging)!

After my Dr. A follow-up, I was thinking I might want to keep Squirt forever, or at least post-pone surgery as long as possible. While I pretty much forget he's there most of the time, I'm starting to feel more ready for surgery #2 (and to lose Squirt, as cool as he is). The next surgery is something that I want. No, you can't even tell Squirt's there no matter what I wear. No, he's not a total pain to care for. No, I wouldn't be depressed if I had to keep him forever. No question, he is better than having UC. But - I am looking forward to being more, um, anatomically "normal"... at least externally. Inside, I'll always be "semi-colon," which is cool with me. I'm just ready to get all the being sick stuff over and done with! Ready to see what my "new normal" will be. I think it's great that I'm getting more excited about surgery #2 - means my body is healthier and my emotions and mind are getting re-fortified... now I just have to wait for 6 more months! I'll be super-incredibly healthy and mentally prepared by then, I bet.

I go back to the ID doctor tomorrow. I feel better than I did on Wednesday, but I still feel kind of "off." I don't feel awful, but I don't feel quite right. It's hard for me to tell exactly what's wrong. I'm not dying or horribly ill like I used to be, so I'm not sure if this is normal or not. Just have vague back and abdominal pain and feel slightly blah. After being so sick for so long, it's easy for me to ignore what my body is saying. So I can't tell how seriously I should take this. Just don't know if it's a big deal or nothing. Hopefully it's nothing!

I have a BUSY week of school coming up. I missed some class over the last week or two from this stupid infection stuff, so I have a lot of catch-up in addition to a bunch of stuff being due. I need to be diligent to work hard so I can get caught up! At this point, I feel like I'm just making excuses if I tell the professors that I'm still sick - I'm sure they are real tired of hearing that. And I am so much healthier than I was a few months ago. It's unbelievable. However, I just feel like I'm struggling to stay afloat in my classes. The kidney infection just dragged me down some, unfortunately. Hopefully the shots from last week combined with the break will kick all the way in and I'll have a fantastic week!

So overall, I'm back to life and look and feel just so much better than I did before surgery. I'm so thankful! It's a good feeling. No, it's a WONDERFUL feeling! Now if I can just kick this infection, I'll be beside myself!

Hannah ;)

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