I’m going to provide a breakdown of the procedures that I have had and everything in between. It has been a rollercoaster of hospitalizations, surgeries, complications, and endless bad news since day one.
January 16, 2015: My first surgery. The removal of my colon and rectum, the creation of the J-Pouch, and the creation of the of the loop ileostomy. Recovery time in the hospital, 8 days. Recovery time at home, never… lol
This ileostomy (which I had named Pooh Bear lol), gave me so many problems, I wanted nothing more than to rip it off my body. The intestine would swell causing extreme blockages and I would end up in the emergency room, admitted to the hospital, and severely dehydrated, at the verge of death. I would have to catheterize, meaning I had to insert a catheter into the stoma myself, in order to open up the intestines that were sticking together, to make way for the stool to pass and clear the obstruction. The worst memory that I have with this ileostomy was one week after I came home from the hospital. I had my first obstruction, my first near death experience, the emergency that caused the worst possible trauma with my ostomy. I lived with my son and his father, my boyfriend at the time, and my sister and best friend came to visit me along with their spouses and children. Through out the entire day, I had very minimal output, which means that I was not eliminating waste as I should have been. Everything that I was eating was getting stuck inside of my intestine and I had absolutely no clue. Come night-time, the pain started. It’s difficult to describe but it felt like very strong labor contractions. Super enhanced contractions, like the kind that made me wish I was giving birth all over again because at least those pains were a piece of cake compared to these. Heck, I would prefer to pop out 17 more kids, one after the other, non medicated, instead of this feeling this obstruction pain. By the end of the night, I was on the floor, screaming at the top of my lungs, and begging my sister not to take me to the hospital. I knew at this point what was happening, I had spoken to my surgeon and he told me to immediately go into the emergency room. I refused; and I regretted it an hour later. I didn’t want to go in because I didn’t want to be hospitalized and spend anymore time away from Aaron. But I should have gone in as soon as I was told because what he saw and the condition that he saw me in, traumatized him as well. And then, the vomiting began. I’m talking about exorcist style, non stop, where the heck is all of this food coming from, vomiting! Because if it’s not coming out the way that it should, it’ll go right back up the way that it came down right? After vomiting my life away and having nothing left in my body, I fell unconscious and all I can remember was being carried out into the cold air, in to the car, and rushed to the hospital. The moment that broke my heart was when Aaron came near me with nothing but fear in his eyes and a shaky voice… “mommy are you going to die?” Holy fuck did that crush my soul. By the time that I reached the hospital, the obstruction cleared on its own. My boyfriend at the time, drove like a maniac to get me there before it was too late and he succeeded. The bumpy ride, the pressure of trying to continue vomiting, and the position that I was laying in, pushed everything through, so when I got there, I was out of extreme danger. God was definitely on my side. If the obstruction wouldn’t have cleared, that night would’ve resulted in emergency surgery or extreme dehydration and eventually death. I was admitted and I spent a couple of days away from Aaron; which is what I was trying to avoid. But that heart aching question, that worried little voice, helped me realize that I have to take care of myself even if that means going back to the hospital. After this, it kept on happening. Obstructions, vomiting, emergency room visits, pain, and the shattering of my self-esteem, my hope. My surgeon decided to schedule the reversal surgery sooner than planned, way sooner. But it was only because this ileostomy was causing major complications. So my second surgery was scheduled for February 27, 2015. Just a little over a month after the first one, and I could not be more freaking relieved at knowing that this God awful DEMON OSTOMY was finally going to be removed. I despised it, I was scared of it, I did not want to hear about an ostomy for the rest of my life. I was mortified with it… it had to come off!
February 27, 2015: My second surgery. The reversal of my ileostomy, the beginning of my J-Pouch journey, learning to use my butt again, the happiest surgery that I ever had. Recovery time in the hospital, 8 days. Recovery time at home, 2-3 months… Until shit hit the fan (literally) and I discovered that I wasn’t in fact healing as I should. During the recovery period after this surgery, I felt amazing! I was invisible what with my new butt and everything. I went on vacation, engaged in social activities, began working out again, and began preparing for my return to school. Although I knew that I had to take it easy, I do admit to moving a little fast into “normality”. I was just overly excited with how great that I was feeling & I pushed my limits. Then, some time in May, I began experiencing a bit of pain and difficulty during bowel movements, I ignored it for a while longer and figured it was probably my body still adjusting to my new “system”. Until one particular incident one day, convinced me to go back to my surgeon and demand examinations over the sharp pelvic pain that would leave me gasping for air. I was home all alone one day and I recall sitting on the toilet while crying hysterically because I was in excruciating pain. I honestly didn’t think much of it, until the medical exams came back positive for intussusception (the folding of the intestine back into itself) and surgical adhesions, which were blocking my intestine from passing waste correctly. (Story of my life lol) This meant, surgical repair. So there I sat, in my surgeons office, suddenly discussing and scheduling surgery #3 for July 10th, 2015.