Today, I am announcing to the world (sort of officially) that I have an ileostomy. I am sure many people knew/suspected it already. I suppose I just wanted to make it official. I decided that if people don’t accept me just because I have different plumbing than they do… if they make fun of me for it… then they really aren’t worth dealing with. If they talk about me behind my back, FINE! At least they are inadvertently helping to spread the word about Ulcerative Colitis!!! I am choosing to view this as a positive thing.
What some may not know is that I am expecting this ileostomy to be temporary. In about nine weeks, I should have my takedown or reversal. I am both excited and nervous about this. I hear that many people go into the second surgery expecting things to work exactly the way they should instantly… but that isn’t usually the case. What happens in general is that at first, it may feel as though your UC symptoms have returned. I hear this can put a lot of mental/emotional stress on a person. It can take up to a year for your j-pouch to “regulate” itself into the new normal. I am trying to prepare for this.
Yesterday I hit two “milestones.” Firstly, it marked three weeks since my surgery. Secondly, I changed my appliance all by myself for the very first time (more about that in a later post)!!! I know that I have gotten better… it is still a slower progression that I wanted, but hey! At this point, I’ll take any bit of progress I can get.
I tried to go into work today. I’ve been working from home for several days now but have nearly run out of things to do so I was going to go in. I only lasted half a day and realized that it was probably too soon to try. My husband protested at first, but I went anyway and regretted it. I am a bit frustrated (’cause I’m sick of being cooped up at home), but oh well! I’ll get over it.
Also, I’m still having my freak out moments with every little change in my stoma and incision. Lately I’ve been freaking out about the serous drainage. I talked with my doctor and told him it’s a watery yellowish-clear. He was not concerned. He told me if it’s pink, red, milky, green or truly yellow and smelly I need to worry. Some warning signs of infections are a fever above 100.6, pain near the drainage, redness near the incision, and chills. So, I’m obsessively monitoring everything and trying (but failing most of the time) not to freak out.
I am tired. I am weak. And I am slightly miffed that I’m not better than I am. I foolishly thought that I’d be up and at ’em in two weeks’ time! HA! I guess I was wrong.