It’s been five weeks since my new bum was installed and we’re still trying to get to know one another. We really need to get on the same hymn sheet when it comes to the best times to have a poop!

Follow Up Appointment with Surgeon

As expected this appointment was very quick. Unfortunately I didn’t see the surgeon but the registrars had a quick feel of the abdomen and then a look at the Ken Butt and that was it! It was reliant on me bringing up any issues and as I haven’t got any, I’m coming back to see the team again in 4 weeks although it was completely up to me whether I felt I needed to come back. I’d rather have the reassurance of seeing them again, even if everything has healed by then.

Pooping Times

When I first was discharged from hospital with a fully functioning stoma, my pooping times where somewhat regular with not much activity throughout the day, nothing at night and then it would wake up in the morning when I got out of bed. 

It now appears that the stoma has grown more confident and decides to poop whenever it pleases

Throughout the day there still isn’t much activity but later in the evening it sometimes decides to poop before bedtime (good!) but then on more than one occasion it decides that 1 or 2am would be a perfect opportunity to fill up an entire bag (bad!).

Usually when it decides to poop at night I’m then cautious about going back to sleep because of the worry of filling up another bag. I’m still trying to figure out if waking up as the bag is filling up is a coincidence or me being subconsciously aware of it and waking as it’s being squeezed out.

State of the Stoma

The keyhole scars are hardly noticeable and the shape around the stoma doesn’t seem to be altering so maybe the top part will also protrude.

Not much has changed with the stoma in the past week. The irritation around it has improved ever so slightly but is still quite red in areas. The stitches are still in place and this may be a contributing factor to the bleeding that still occurs when wiping the edges of the stoma clean. The stoma itself is looking healthy though.

The Old Bum 

I’m on the fourth week of having dressings changed and it’s still no closer to healing. The two wounds at either end of the Ken Bum are still continually leaking and require daily dressing changes. Within the last couple of days it’s become a lot more painful so it’s also still uncomfortable to sit down, particularly for long periods and standing around also still aggravates it. 

Within the last week, and with the benefit of a full length mirror, I did take the first real good look at it and boy is it weird

Trying Different Foods

Fizzy Pop ✔️ Beer ✔️ Sweetcorn ✔️ Onions ✔️ Cabbage ✔️ Kebab ✔️ Hot Curry ✔️

I’ve been able to tolerate everything I’ve thrown at my stoma and what’s come out has been manageable. It’s too early to tell if and of the foods I’ve eaten have altered what’s come out of the other end but everything has been manageable although the smell certainly varies! 

Mobility 

Abdominal discomfort is still present but has greatly reduced and I’m becoming increasingly mobile and have achieved some longer walks. If I have to jog a little, when crossing the road for instance, that’s when I can tell that everything isn’t healed. 

Staying stood up for long periods can still be tiresome (the old bum doesn’t help!) but I’m getting better. 

I’ve also been to the swimming pool for some gentle walking/jogging and plan on returning to assist with regaining fitness. If everything continues in the right direction I’m am confident that in a couple of weeks I’ll be able to start some short runs. 

What’s Next?

Next week I’ll start back on the azathioprine tablets that I stopped taking just before surgery. I could have stopped taking tablets completely but as I’m so used to taking them on a daily basis I decided, along with my specialist, to retake the azathioprine to try and prevent the Crohn’s from making a reappearance.

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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.

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