My story is old hat around here now. But what the heck:
My Crohn's first struck in mid-1975. I was Dx'd in early 1976. The only medication offered back then was asulfadine which I couldn't tolerate so I went unmedicated other than ER trips about once a month (menstrual period aggravated the Crohn's) for a shot of phenergan and demerol for 2 1/2 years.
Early 1978 I obstructed, the locals said perforated as well. I'd blow up like a balloon, excruciating spasms and the usual nausea and often vomiting. I ended up in ER one night vomiting what tasted and smelled like feces and was admitted.
I spent 6 weeks in hospital on IVs w/a naso-gastral tube. At 6 weeks when I complained about its causing pain I was told TS you gotta have it. I pulled it out myself. Sure enough 3 bloody rings right where I said it was hurting. When they said they had to put another down I panicked. I called Mayo Clinic, they told me to report to St Mary's Hospital's ER there. I called the airport, made a reservation, called hubby at work and told him he had 2 hours to leave work, go home, pack some clothes for me, pick me up at the hospital and get me out to the airport.
By some miracle we made it!!! Plus, keeping in mind this was BEFORE the days of 'puters, the local hospital managed to have all my medical records and xrays ready to go!!! I've always been impressed by that, even now.
I flew to Mayo the same day and had emergency open abdomen surgery the next day. They removed 18" of the mid-ileum.
AND I WAS BLESSED W/A 20 YEAR REMISSION!!!!
Since its return the Crohn's had been very mild. I'm on Pentasa and Imuran. Neither one can seem to do the trick on its own. Most all of this time since its return I've been in remission or symptomatic remission and the couple of flares I've had have been very mild.
The recovery from the surgery was actually pretty much a piece of cake. I credit that to the 6 weeks of hospitalization prior to the surgery as well as the Mayo surgeon. There wasn't any active disease at the time of surgery which I think made a world of difference and increases your chances of a long remission. I was walking the halls of St Mary's the day after the day after surgery pushing my IV pole, pump, etc. I was off pain meds well before being released and never needed any at home. I was at Mayo a total of 10 days. AND I didn't have an NG tube after surgery during recovery. I did have a tube running out of my left side for drainage which sure beat having an NG tube!!!
I do have a high grade obstruction now at the old anastomosis that Mayo would like to get at before it causes some serious problems - but I also have a benign simple cyst on one ovary that they would like to remove as well. Since neither is causing any symptoms I'm opting to wait until one or the other does and then have a two-fer surgery and get them both taken care of at the same time.
I also have COPD from 50+ years of smoking 2 packs a day and I'm gambling and figuring I'll croak from the lungs before I need the two-fer surgery.
May your surgery be as easy on you as mine was on mine, your recovery be as easy and uneventful as mine and your remission be even longer than mine!!! Good luck and God bless.