LETS START AT THE BEGINNING…

Ok, so here goes, my first blog about THE operation.

I have had ulcerative colitis for years, with numerous visits to hospital, with drips ,steroids weight loss , embarrassing moments of pooping myself. Not pleasant at all.

Last September, I started with the dreaded feeling deep in my bowels, of an impending flare. I saw my consultant who tried me with various treatments, and I continued to go to work. Things started to get worse, and I ended up having an accident in my pants whilst rushing to the loo. At least it was just blood and fluid ( I will ease you in gently), so I could take my pants off and go commando for the rest of my day.

Can I just say, that people with inflammatory bowel disease try really hard to work with their condition, and only take time off when things get messy, and they feel really unwell.

Anyway, I became so ill that I left work that day, and so far have not returned.

To cut a very long story ,leading up to surgery ,short, I became worse and worse over the next 6 months that I ended up with an emergency total colectomy and permanent ileostomy ( my large bowel removed , most of my rectum and a stoma on the lower right side of my abdomen, where a piece of small bowel comes out onto my skin and I poop through that). Because I was very ill before surgery, I had numerous complications.

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This photo is just before my flare became a problem, I was in Benidorm with some friends.

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This is me hours before surgery, slight difference I think.

I was petrified of the surgery, having never had an operation before, and being a wimp at the best of times. I remember being taken down to theatre and repeating in my mind  ” I need this op, I need this op”. I was left to wait quite a while as they needed to arrange my blood, ( I know I am AB+, but apparently I have a dodgy anti body, so they needed to match it specifically. Finally I went into another smaller room with about five doctors and nurses and anaesthetist etc… to start my prep. I was having an epidural to numb me from the waist down as a pain relief for afterwards.I asked to be sedated before I went through the doors of doom, and they obliged. Can’t remember a bloody thing from then until I woke up. ( really pleased about this).

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Looking fractionally better.

I had to stay in the high dependency unit for a few days. I remember some of it. I remember my family coming in and my sister kissing me and saying ” you did it, well done, I am so proud of you, Clare you actually did it.You are my inspiration (or words to that effect)” This may seem over the top, but if you knew me and my sister, this was very tame. We both had a severe fear of general anaesthetic and not waking up after.

When I woke, my throat was so painful,I could hardly swallow. This was due to the tube down my nose into my throat to stop me bringing up yucky bile from my stomach, it would collect into a bag attached to the tube, gross that I could actually see this. I also found out that I had a difficult airway, and now have a letter I have to take with me should I need surgery elsewhere. They must have faffed around in there and made me sore. Although prefer this to needing a tracheotomy. Sorry if you have needed one of these or have one now, but I can honestly say, they are the scariest of all stomas, I have huge admiration for these folk.

I gradually felt alive, and could manage a few sips of water. Begging them to take out the tube, they agreed after a few days, and it was magical and euphoric, I am not exaggerating, I could talk better and drink better. When it was in and I wanted to speak, it would move in the back of my throat , this was a horrible feeling.

I did the odd throwing up and them threatening me with the dreaded tube again, but managed to avoid it thank god. I had’t been awake when it was put in, and didn’t fancy that one little bit.

At this point I was still on the high dependency ward, so my next post will carry on from there. I hope you have enjoyed my first post, and look forward to the next.

Clare x

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