I never sleep well in hospital and the first night, with it’s frequent observations, make it particularly difficult to get any quality rest. The beds are uncomfortable and there’s always someone that snores like a horse.

The lights go on at 6am to signify the start of numerous tests and visits from registrars, specialists and junior doctors. It had been 36 hours since I’d last had any food and was feeling peckish but would have to wait another 12 hours before I could start eating simple food. The fluids were any more interesting with only water allowed. 

Operation Get Mobile

The first visitor I had was the physiotherapist to check the chest to ensure I wasn’t developing an infection. I was given the all clear and the next task was to start to get mobile. He was confident that with my level of fitness, in addition to moving from the bed to the chair, I could go for a stroll. I managed walking to the corridor and back with a walker but he decided we’d ditch it for the next session. 

Moving from the bed to the chair was as painful as you’d expect and it was tender to sit down due to the rectum being stitched up.

Away with the Fairies

Registrar: Can you remember me talking to you in recovery last night?
Me: Nope
Registrar: I introduced myself and you said hello.
Registrar: I then asked if you were away with the fairies and you said yes.
Me: ?

Jokes aside he commented that everything went to plan and the procedure trying!was performed almost entirely laparoscopically, a small incision needed to be made whilst tying up loose ends. 

Trumping Like a Trooper

A little popping noise – that was the first sound that I heard escaping from my stoma. I guess you could call it the first fart from my new bum. I was warned by my surgeon that I would likely experience a bloated and distended abdomen as excess gas built up. Throughout the day my belly ballooned and I was trumping like a trooper. Unfortunately you can’t control them and they only give off a feeble wheeze so you don’t get the same pleasure as a regular fart. 

Crohn’s Be Gone

Later in the day I had a visit from my surgeon and like the registrar earlier in the day, he was pleased with how the procedure went. Unfortunately he had to make a larger incision in the rectum due to him finding a second fistula but right now everything related to Crohn’s has been removed from my body. No more rushing to the toilet, no more peri-anal abscesses, no more fistulas and no more worrying. 

The drain that had been inserted from my rectum and out the side of my abdomen had barely been used so was removed. The guy across from me has had his in for a week so possibly another good sign. 

I also had an unexpected visit from the anaesthetist and she was pleasantly surprised by how well I looked considering the procedure I’d had. 

How I Currently Feel

The Recovery Bear sent by my niece keeping me company.

I knew that I would have plenty of pain after surgery but I didn’t know where exactly the pain would be and how it would effect sitting, laying down and standing. It effects everything! Rectal and abdominal pain make it difficult to sit down and abdominal and chest pain makes it difficult to lay down. Even just readjusting myself in bed is a challenge. It’s all expected though and will only get better. 

Today’s Plan

Hoping to get a bit more mobile with the physio (we may do stairs!) and hoping that I can spend more time out of bed. Today will also be the first time the colostomy bag is being changed ? At this stage, the stoma nurse will be performing the change. Today will also be an opportunity to experiment with some different foods.

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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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