Goodbye Colin… and Good Riddance! (Surgery Part One)

NOTE: This post may not be for the faint of heart. I will be including “graphic” details that involve issues that arise for those who struggle with an IBD (Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis). This post also contains photos of a somewhat “graphic” nature. So, those with weak constitutions should probably avoid reading this post altogether. :) You have been warned. ALSO, “Colin” is the name that my husband gave to my colon. It is not a misspelling.

DAY AFTER – HEAVILY DRUGGED
Tuesday, 6:45am – My husband and I arrived at the hospital. I was tired, hungry and afraid. I looked at my husband like a deer in the headlights and said, “Is this a mistake?”
“No.” He replied with full confidence.

They called us back there. I’m not sure what time it was, but it was probably shortly after 7am. I was ok. Shaky, but ok. I said to my husband, “This is a mistake!”
He shook his head and assured me that it wasn’t as tears welled up in my eyes.

The nurse who was to prep me entered the room, took one look at me and said, “Are you nervous?”
I shook with tears and said, “Y-y-yes.”

She looked at me with the greatest sympathy and said, “Are you afraid of being put under, or…?”
“I’m afraid of the… the ostomy!”
She nodded in a “knowing” fashion, and said, “I understand that!”

She tried to prepare my IV to no avail. They always have a hard time with finding my veins…. when they do find a vein, they either burst or roll. FRUSTRATING!

After about 5 minutes, she called in the “good” nurse who was a “pro” at doing difficult veins and she couldn’t get one either.

BREATHING TREATMENT

The first nurse turned to me and told me that they’d have the anesthesiologist do it later. “Oh, I uh… also have a surprise for you…”
“Oh…?” I asked.
“Yeah, he wants you to do an enema…”
My heart sank. “Oh…”
“I don’t mind doing it, but you are more than welcome to do it yourself if you want…”
“I’m more than familiar with them.” I replied. “I’ll do it.”

Great! An enema. My favorite. Well… I thought to myself, This won’t be the first… but it will surely be the last! So, on with the enema. It was worse than I remembered.

Last time I did an enema, it was Mesalamine–a medicinal enema–THIS time it was a saline enema… for cleaning you out. Sigh! That’s what I thought the not eating anything yesterday was for! Ah well, life goes on. I had my husband leave the room briefly (because NO, I’m still not comfortable with him watching me do such horrors!).

After about 3 minutes of private enema time, I ran to the bathroom and there I sat for about 45 minutes letting it do it’s thing. The pain of UC came rushing back. The bleeding, the diarrhea, the burning sensation, etc. It was then that I realized that this WAS in fact NOT a mistake. It must be done. And I was ready. As ready as I’d ever been and as ready as I’d ever be.

With one last kiss from my husband, they wheeled me off. I don’t remember much about it. I remember them drugging me. But after that, not much else. Supposedly before they gave me the really good stuff, I somehow bummed a phone off of one of the nurses and called my husband to tell him that I was “Surrounded by spiritual lights.” I do not remember that at all, but hey… whatever!!!

I vaguely remember waking up. I do not remember who it was standing me over me. It might have been the surgeon, his assistant or even the anesthesiologist. Someone, however, told me that I had just come out of surgery and that I was now colon-less.

I don’t know how much time had elapsed, but I remember being in a ton of pain. They told me to keep pressing the button to release the morphine. At first, I did it only sparingly and my pain level was about an 8-9… but once I started laying down on that button, I got it down to about a 2-3 (which is where they wanted it).

SWOLLEN & MAKING HIS DEBUT, PEEVES, THE STOMA.

I learned that the surgery was done in “record time.” What was supposed to take 5-7 hours only took about 2. I don’t remember much about that evening except being in pain and pressing the button for morphine pretty regularly. It makes a cute little chirping noise when you hit the button. My dad stayed in my room the first night and commented the next day that it sounded like a bunch of crickets in the room. 

So there it is… Day One of my hospital stay. A lot of it may be slightly muddled as I was heavily medicated during this time. I will try to post more about my hospital stay in the days to come. So far, life with an ostomy hasn’t been so terrible… but it is definitely an adjustment. I will be blogging again in the near future so until next time… stay well!