Posted by Eric on December 21, 2008
My incision and stoma after step one
During the second of three surgeries (I had a three-step surgery, instead of a two-step surgery) a complication occurred where my small bowel was perforated. Here’s what I can remember of the occurrence. Everything was fine, I even asked the surgeon to sew up my incision instead of having staples (this is usually a choice, ask for it if you want it!). The first surgery left a huge scar, and by sewing it up I could minimize the scar the second time around since they use the same incision point for surgery #2 of a three step process.
Everything was great for a day or so; I had a nice, clean incision, I felt fine. Somewhere during the second day, I remember now that it was a Thursday, I started feeling cramps — well cramps are hard to imagine considering I had my stomach slit open. Maybe “crampy” is a better way to put it. After a while, it felt as though I couldn’t relax my abdominal muscles, then I couldn’t relax almost any muscle in my body. I tried to sleep after a dose of morphine (which gives me terrible dreams by the way). My wife was sleeping on a cot in the hospital room (something she always does when I have complications). Around three am I awoke and could no longer sleep: my muscles were tense, my mind was racing, I could not relax any part of my body. I was concerned about this tensing because I didn’t want to reopen the incision that was not healed yet. My wife tried to comfort me, told me to relax, but relaxing was impossible. I can’t recall the next few hours but I went into emergency surgery early Friday morning.
My incision after step 2's emergency reopening
Because they had to reopen an incision that was just closed not more than two days ago, the manner in which they closed the incision looks a little different than most people’s. See how it curves left and right (the picture is sideways: feet to the right, head to the left). I’ve posted a photo here with the hopes that it will help others. My takedown, or step three of the three-part surgery, was on 11/4/2008. I’ll post a photo of the current scar in a few days. It really isn’t that bad despite the way it looks here.
Sure, it took a little longer than most for me to recover from having two fully invasive surgeries on almost adjacent days. I was in the hospital for two weeks instead of one, and for a week or two out of the hospital I was very weak and still somewhat nauseous, but I held in there.
Hang in there everyone!
Posted in j pouch surgery photos | Tagged: complications, incision, perforation, Photos, septic, step-one, step-two, stoma | 1 Comment »
Posted by mark on June 2, 2008
Here is Mark just grubbing on some good mexican food, and drinking a margarita. It was really nice to be able to sit on this beach side restaurant and watch the ocean, the local families and just enjoy the day for a few hours before it was back to me since our trip to Veracruz was both business for me and a few days of relaxing. While we were outside he never had to use the bathrooom or anything, and were were there for about 4 hours, 2 margaritas later 🙂 He did say though that this lunch and hooch was hard on him that night and he was gassy and in the bathroom a lot that night.
Unfortunately Mark has some sort of head and chest cold while we were there. He hasn’t had too many colds or such since his surgeries over a year ago, which is nice that he is usually really healthy.
Posted in j pouch surgery photos, living with j pouch, living with j pouch photos, Living with jpouch, Photos, Ulcerative Colitis | Tagged: j pouch photos, living with j pouch, veracruz mexico | 4 Comments »
Posted by mark on May 11, 2008
Mark’s Step 1 surgery was a laproscopic total proctocolectomy with ileoanal reservoir reconstruction (a jpouch) with a temporary loop ileostomy until the jpouch heals (‘takedodwn’ is 2nd surgery). Step 1 was done in early July 2007 and he was in the hospital for 5 days . Thankfully, he experienced no complications from this major surgery. Step 2 surgery will happen after step 1 recovery. See on the right side there are 3 series of Photo Journals documenting the three stages of Mark’s surgery process. Click on Photo Set 1: Surgery Colectomy to see the full set of photos and journal
Mark had Ulcerative Colitis (pancolitis) for 7 years (diagnosed at 24 years old, surgery at 31 years old), an active flare for 6 years with little relief from medicine (you name it, he tried it); 3 years into the flare the GI recommended surgery, it took another 3 years for Mark to committ to the surgery. Many dietary and herbal options were tried as well. Through this process it was important he was 100% sure he had exhausted all his options so that when he decided to have the surgery, he wouldn’t have any regrets. It was a HUGE decision to make, and it was important to do it when Mark was sure all his options had been exhausted. The reason it was so important to know this surgery was 100% the right option is because there can be many complications with this surgery and life with a jpouch or ostomy. This has been the best decision for his health and quality of life. Click on Photo Set 2: Inbetween Surgeries to see the rest of the recovery and life with a bag..
In simple words, Mark’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis (severe pan-colitis) made him have chronic diarrhea, bleeding, and urgency. Then the related symptoms from those main symptoms were of both physical and emotional in nature. The surgery he had removes his entire diseased colon (large intestine) and rectum, and creates a new holding tank of stool out of his small intestine (called a jpouch). Go to this site here if you want more info: J-Pouch Illustrated. And Click on Photo Set 3: J-Pouch Surgery to see the full set of photos and journal.
Posted in Family, Friends, Ileo-anal anastomosis, Ileostomy, j pouch pictures, j pouch surgery photos, J-Pouch, Jpouch, Jpouch Surgery, living with j pouch, living with j pouch photos, Living with jpouch, Photos, Support Systems, Ulcerative Colitis | Tagged: colectomy scars, colitis surgery, Family, Ileoanal anastomosis, Ileostomy, IPAA, j pouch photos, j pouch pictures, j pouch scars, j pouch staple or stiches photos, J-Pouch, Jpouch, laproscopic, loop ileo photos, loop ileostomy, loop ileostomy photos, ostomy, Photos, stoma, stoma photos, Support, UC, UC surgery photos, Ulcerative Colitis, ulcerative colitis surgery | 31 Comments »