So far so good with the bum thing

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I forgot to let you know how one of my previous posts “A pain in the arse ” was going.

Very good is the answer. I went to see my surgeon about the small hole that leaked after the proctectomy. It was called a sinus and can heal itself sometimes. Other times they need opening and draining, sometimes they need much more serious healing strategies, like using skin from your thigh and covering the scar with that. I have no idea how any are done and how they work, but needless to say, I hoped it would be the first option.

Well , he said he would book me in for an MRI of the pelvis and rectum to see how superficial the sinus was, and go from there. I had been leaking for months now so was pleased something was being done. My MRI wasn’t immediately and my next appointment was for the end of May, so still a while to wait.

Well would you believe it, the leak stopped dead about a week before the scan, and hasn’t reappeared since. I am pleased and just hope it stays that way. My appointment to see him with the results has been moved to August anyway so its a good job.

So the moral of the story is…. have faith that things will work out usually, and not panic about what could be.

Perineal sinus after proctectomy

Went to see my surgeon today for my post proctectomy review. Because I had the pelvic abscess, my wound isn’t fully healing. It is reasonably common in this type of surgery, to develop a sinus ( hole where there shouldn’t be one, that drains pus or fluid usually.) I have done my usual trick of looking it up on the internet, wished I hadn’t. If it doesn’t heal after the first look ,

He said I need an MRI to see how deep the sinus is before he decides what to do. There is not a big rush as I am well in myself, but because it is a nuisance and could potentially cause more issues, it is best to get sorted. He thinks that he will need to use a probe and it will be a general anaesthetic again. After that, I didn’t really understand what would happen.

These surgeries are a long haul, and take it out of you. I really didn’t know there could be so many complications with it all, and I can safely say, that I have had most of them. This is because of the mess I was in coming into surgery in the first place.

 

Pain in the arse

This post might have slightly too much info for some of you , but I would like to share this for those of you who may have similar, or may be having this surgery in the future. Ok so nine months after my original total proctectomy, and two months on from perineal proctectomy, I am still leaking infection from my back passage. How, you might ask, if your rectum and anus were removed and sewn shut?, the answer is a small dot of a hole.

It was great for a few weeks, even though I was still a bit sore, I wasn’t leaking. Then all of a sudden it started. It isn’t just a small bit either, its a constant dribble or drip.

Now, to set things in order. I had the rectal stump blow out nine days after surgery, which gave me pelvic sepsis. I had to have a rectal drain into my pelvic cavity, and it never really stopped from then. I had intravenous antibiotics quite a few times whilst I was in, and came home 10 weeks later still with the catheter in situ. Eventually, my surgeon removed it and said that the infection would continue to drain through my stump , and I had to wear padding. It was expected to slow down or stop but the proctectomy would make things ok. I thought, at least it isnt giving me a temperature anymore.

Well it hasn’t really cured it at all. It started to leak from a very small hole in the stitched wound, and the wound healed but still left the small hole. I went to my GP who put me on antibiotics yet again, and took a swab. I had a call a few days later to say that the type of infection that was there,needed a different antibiotic so as soon as I had finished the first one, I was to start the second one. It did actually stop for a few days and I thought that was that. But alas, no such luck. It started again with a vengeance and is really uncomfortable, as you can feel it wet and sore. I again went to my GP but because the hole is so small, I can’t have it packed .

The hospital had already changed my post surgery appointment twice , so now it was way off in April. So now I had the task of trying to get in earlier. Eventually the colorectal receptionist got me squeezed it at the end of February. I still have a month to go and even then, don’t know what will happen. I have no idea how serious it is to leave it either.

I know that the NHS is so busy, and do not blame them for this, its just a real pest after all these months of problems and surgeries, it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Will let you know the outcome , except to say that when I googled it ( I know, bad move) that it is quite rare with the blowout and sepsis that one person had to have a flap of skin of his thigh placed over the wound. Sounds lovely.

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RECTAL STUMP BLOWOUT

So when the result of the CT scan came back, I was told I had a collection of puss and fluid in my pelvic cavity, infected abssess caused by a rectal stump blowout.

This mean my rectum was so badly diseased, the stitches didn’t hold and the end blew causing major problems. I had to have a rectal catheter inserted into my rectum ( only 2 inches left) and into my pelvis through the burst stump. That then collected the nasty stuff.It was quite painful at times, especially when sitting , as the balloon bit that stops it coming out, used to press against my internal wounds.I have to admit that the temperature and ill feeling was much better with the catheter in, even though it hurt.

After a few weeks they tried to remove the rectal catheter, but ended up putting it back in because my temperature came back.This was very disappointing and I was upset, but onwards and upwards.Meanwhile my scar was still scary looking with the gaping wound being packed.

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This is it when the wound was starting to open, you can’t really stop it until it decides.

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This was it just starting to heal. Weirdly it didn’t really hurt too much, although it looked like it should. It was very scary to see, and again I used to not look when the nurses cleaned and re-packed it, eventually I would look.

I have no pictures of the rectal catheter in situ lol, not that brave.I was in hospital for over 2 months because of complications. My scar is very nearly healed now but the scar is much wider than the rest,luckily any underwear, bikinis etc cover the wide bit, no such luck with the catheter, so I stayed home until it was taken out. I am due to have my rectal stump removed in November to stop the discomfort and fluid/blood constantly coming out.(sounds as gross at it is).

I am not the only one who has had these things, and knew nothing about these things before surgery. While in hospital I met people with much wider scar problems who needed vacuum dressings. I was the only one on the ward at that time with a rectal stump blowout. The depression and tears are the hardest to cope with, for me and my family. You cannot help it, it just comes over you like a wave, you cannot believe what you have had done and how ill you are, and you don’t know when you will be ok if ever. I am grateful that I recovered eventually, and don’t underestimate the operation. I have scars and my stoma for the rest of my life, but I do have life.I am showing these images so that others know what we had to go through to be alive, and that a stoma is not a taboo subject anymore, nor is it a gross thing, that smells and is for old people.

More on moving forward….