After over 430 days of dealing with this pesky perineal wound, it was coming to the end of the healing process but then coronavirus meant that I could no longer see my team of nurses for dressing changes, but the NHS are still here for me, including my specialist, my surgical care practitioner and my GP surgery.

For about a month I’ve had a post in draft about how my Ken Butt wound has finally healed complete with a fancy wound collage (for those curious enough to know how a perineal wound heals over many months) but sadly the saga continues and even though it’s almost healed, it’s not quite there so that post will have to wait for an unknown date in the future.

Up until a week ago I was still seeing my team of nurses on a daily basis but for obvious reasons, the appointments with them were cancelled so it’s been down to me to ensure that it’s still healing. I’ve had plenty of practise dressing it myself on weekends so that’s not a problem and with the use of a gadget or two I’m able to take photos of the wound to check that it’s still healing without complications.

It’s been 437 days since surgery and it’s still not completely healed although the end is in sight. I do feel as though I’ve been saying that week in, week out but it could be close. The wound has covered over but things are a bit fragile down there I’m so conscious of not over exerting.

How Am I Managing During Coronavirus?

Due to the immumnosuppresives that I’m taking (azathioprine), I’ve been told that I’m not in the self-isolating category so I am still able to venture out for daily exercise, with obvious care.

Leading up to the ‘lockdown’ I was able to ensure that I had enough supplies to dress my wound and got a good supply of irrigation equipment and colostomy bags so there’s no need to worry about supplies running out in the near future.

Even During Coronavirus, The NHS Are Still Supporting Other Patients

With the focus on coronavirus, you wonder if the NHS still has capacity to focus on anything else but they’re still there to support those that need them. And in just two days I’ve been in contact with my specialist, my surgery and my surgical care practitioner.

My Specialist Is Still There For Me

I was due to have an outpatient appointment with my specialist this week but for obvious reasons it was cancelled a couple of weeks in advance and I expected to catch up with him in the future but I was surprised to receive a phone call from him near to the actual appointment time. Even though things are going well from a Crohn’s perspective, it was reassuring to have a conversation with him and reassuring for him to tell me personally what I should be doing during this challenging time.

My GP Surgery Is Still There For Me

Based on me taking azathioprine, I need regular blood tests and hadn’t had one for some time I was instructed by my specialist to make an appointment with the surgery. Despite the surgery being effectively closed, I was still given an appointment within 7 days. I’m sure I must have some clout with all the Hotel Chocolat I’ve supplied them with!

My Surgical Care Practitioner Is Still There For Me

With the perineal wound almost healed and with me being in control of knowing when the wound is healed, when something doesn’t look quite right I need to be able to check with someone and with the daily visits to the practice nurse stopped, I needed someone else to call upon.

Thankfully I’ve built up a good relationship with my surgical care practitioner who has helped me since my last surgery in September 2019 so when my wound wasn’t looking quite right this week all it took was for me to text her a few photographs and within 5 minutes she had responded telling me that even though there’s a bit of overgranulation, everything is looking good. Very reassuring.

How The Wound Looks Today

What’s Next?

Get this damned wound healed!

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Diagnosed with IBD in 2002, I have experienced the usual ups and downs of having a chronic disease and tried numerous medications but the time finally came in 2018 to elect to have surgery to improve my life. I had the surgery in 2019 and this is my journey having a 'New Bum'.

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