Today I had a post-surgery follow up consultation with my gastroenterologist and the aim was to review how I’d been getting on with the new bum and to review a blood test after restarting Azathioprine.

I’ve had the Crohn’s Disease for around 17 years and for the entire time from initial diagnosis through to post-surgery he has been dealing with me. He’s performed numerous flexible sigmoidoscopies and colonoscopies so he’s really understood everything that I’ve gone through.

Respectable Bloods and No Signs of Cancer

After a brief introduction to take notes on how I was getting on, whether I was back in work and any medication I was taking he gave me an update on the outcome of biopsies on the diseased gut that they threw in the bin. It was very ulcerated as expected but there was no signs of any cancer which was a great sign.  My bloods were ‘respectable’ with just some residual inflammation which was nothing to worry about. He also reminded me of the Gilbert’s Syndrome that I’ve got (with everything going on that one must have dropped off the radar) but thankfully it’s nothing to worry about. 

I’m Special

My specialist was quick to mention that there weren’t many people like me out there and that I was pretty unique. He had already mentioned this to me when I was in hospital and was keen to reiterate the fact that someone with Crohn’s in the lower part of the bowel doesn’t tend to have surgery. My presumption is that if you have ulcerative colitis you will have the entire large intestine removed and if you have Crohn’s you may have all removed and have an ileostomy, partly removed (and retain the anus) or all removed and join the small intestine to the anus. 

“There aren’t many people like you out there.”

As there aren’t many people like me that only appear to have had Crohn’s in the sigmoid colon and had a proctocolectomy there is little evidence available to indicate what will happen in the future. All that my specialist can base his prediction on is that my Crohn’s has never gone further than the descending colon in the 17 years that I’ve had the disease so hopefully that will continue to be the case in the future.

Rescue Kit

Luckily I have a great specialist who knows that I’ve had enough experience to know when I’m getting an infection so based on the fact that I recently required a course of antibiotics for an infection in the Ken Butt I was given a spare 10 day course so that I can save a trip to the GP if I get some unwanted guests. 

Follow Up

Based on being ‘back to normal’, I don’t have to return for nine months which is the longest gap between appointments for many years. If things stay as they are hopefully that could be reduced to once a year. 

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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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