Ileostomy surgery

I haven’t felt able to blog lately. I don’t really know where to begin.

Everything going on right now seems to personal, in many ways. It’s always been helpful to write things down.

This past couple of weeks of my life have been really hard. I had my surgery, subtotal colectomy and ileostomy, which was not actually the hard part because I was drugged up to the eyeballs and when I woke up I felt great, temporarily.

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A while after, I don’t even know how long, a day maybe, I started feeling sick. I didn’t know this at the time but I had ‘ileus’ which is when your bowel stops working. It was the middle of the night so obviously there were no doctors there to tell me this. It was the worst pain I have ever felt, I was vomiting green bile. Vomiting and retching itself was incredibly painful because of just having had surgery the day before. As the morning neared and the nurses rotated sick bowls, with me rocking and screaming non stop, I expect, I can’t really remember it properly, I just remember I was in my hospital gown, covered in vomit, I’d ripped the cannula out of my hand and blood was spurting all over the bed. I didn’t care I just wanted to not be in pain. At about 8am I remember asking the nurse to ring my mum to come in. When the doctors finally arrived they decided to put an NG tube down to drain the fluid from my stomach. After having been retching all night this was in itself a horrific experience, it took them three attempts. It did the job though and stopped me from vomiting, as now all the bile collected in the bag hanging from my nose. Still in a state they sent me for Xrays. Again pain of having to lay flat on the Xray table was excruciating. I remember my mother telling me I had to be more polite to the nurses. I just remember being in pain and not caring. That was the night I really did want to kill myself.

I had an uncomfortable, painful next night with the NG tube. The next day, my bowel started working again. Everything came out, my bag filled and filled repeatedly. The doctors were very happy. They left my tube in for a bit at my request as one of the doctors said we can take it out now, but my have to put it back down. I told him he could just bloody leave it where it was until they were more sure I wouldn’t need it.

I’ve never had an operation before so I didn’t know what to expect. I’m not used to not being able to do things for myself / reach things / walk. The pain was horrific even after they discharged me, at home, for the first week. Now I am definitely on the mend.

I am relatively ok about having an ileostomy bag. And a stoma. We have called him Sammy stoma. I have posted about it all over Facebook. Everyone knows I have it. In a way I’m glad I had the experience of it not working, pain aside, because it means that now, when I have output (when poo comes out) I feel relief. Thank God it’s functioning and I haven’t got a blockage. So I have that positive association. The worst thing about it is emptying the bag. I usually sit on the loo and empty it between my legs. It stinks. It’s more liquid, and it hasn’t been digested in the same way. So that is just the gross factor, purely because it gets up my nostrils.

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Sammy stoma himself, and changing bags has been fine. It is weird, to see a bit of your intestine sticking out of your stomach. And I’m still a bit scared of it, just because it seems like it’s fragile, even though the nurse assures me it’s not.

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None of this is actually the personal stuff I was meaning to write about. Which involves feelings. And my mother. And my trans-ness. And death. And relationships and things like that. And everything interlinks in life, at least in blogging, I can space it out better.

3 thoughts on “Ileostomy surgery

  1. I can’t imagine the number of people who will find strength in reading about your recent surgery. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading more of your writing.

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