Got a tatoo yesterday... :)

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LittleE
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 4/18/2008 3:15 PM (GMT -7)   
A tatoo for where my future stoma will be, that is! :P
 
I had my pre-op consult (my surgery for a permanant ileostomy is on May 6).  I had a million questions for the surgeon...!  Many were about things I have read/learned here!
 
Anyway, during the consult, the stoma nurse took awhile and marked several places on my stomach with a pen based on my sitting position, where my pants lay, etc.  I mentioned casually, "I heard they actually tatoo a spot on you at the Cleveland Clinic," and she started laughing and pointed to another nurse behind me...apparently I had not seen the other nurse come in, who was holding a big bottle of ink and a needle!  (my surgeon was trained at Cleveland Clinic, which I forgot)
 
My fiance came with me, and I thought he might be more nervous/put off by going with me and hearing so much about what to expect, but the truth was, he was even more at ease with the idea of the ileostomy than me when we left!  The nurse showed us some flanges and bags and how they would fit on me, and the are smaller than I thought they would be (thank goodness!)
 
I am excited to be able to go and get a nice dinner with my fiance, and not feel bloated/horrible afterward...that will be so nice!  I also have lost a lot of weight recently, and am looking forward to gaining it back!
 
So, here's to May 6......I am nervous, but I know it will be a good change!

Equestrian Mom
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 4/18/2008 5:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow, you sound great in your post.  It is the best thing I've done for myself, and you will soon find that out for yourself.  It is great to have someone in your life who is just as comfortable with the procedure AND outcome, too.  Don't be nervous and don't forget to push the button for pain and to walk asap!
 
Let us know how it goes!

flchurchlady
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 4/18/2008 6:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Is this your first tattoo? tongue

I'm glad your fiance went with you and is comfortable with your upcoming surgery. My husband has been very supportive of my ileostomy, and his comfortability with it helped me accept it quickly.

Please don't be nervous about the surgery. They will keep you very comfortable with pain medicine. Make sure to get up and walk as often as you can after surgery, because that will help wake up the bowel. The sooner it starts working, the sooner you can eat and go home.

If your concerned at all about intimacy after surgery, please don't be. For me, it has improved, because I'm just not sick anymore. If you have any questions about anything, please ask.

Take care,
Cecilia
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again :)


LittleE
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 4/20/2008 9:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Cecilia,
 
It IS my first tattoo, haha!  (I could never think of anything that I would want on my body Forever, you know?)
 
Thanks for the words of encouragement.  I think our intimacy will improve as well, since I won't be feeling sick all the time like you said... :-)
 
Ohio, thanks for your words also!  I will be up and walking as soon as I can, even though I am sure that I won't want to.. :)  I am determined to heal as fast as I can, I think attitude can help a lot with that!
 
I am completely okay with the colon removal, but I am nervous about the rectum/anus removal, and the wound that will have to heal---does anyone have any words of advice for the care of this wound?  THAT is the part I am least looking forward to... :(
 
Also, I guess I am just really weird, but the nurse gave me a two-piece bag system to look at/take home, and the other day I decided to wear it for a couple hours to see what it was like..!  I was shocked that I could not even "feel it" under my clothes, and when I was trying on all of my pants, you could not see it at all!  Again I was assured that "hey this is not so bad after all!"
 
-Erin :)

flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 4/21/2008 4:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Erin,
I've got good news for you... the rectum removal is not that bad. You do have to pack it with saline-filled gauze, which is no big deal. I just bent over a long mirror and packed it myself. It heals slowly over several month and really doesn't hurt that much.

It's the abdominal incision that's more painful, since you have to use your stomach muscles to get up out of bed and when you walk around. It gets better after a couple of weeks, though, and they'll give you good pain medicine to get through that period.

I'm glad you tried on a bag to find out what it's like. Isn't it amazing how you can't tell it's there and can't see it under your clothes? I just started a new job, and nobody there has a clue that I have an ostomy. I'll let the cat out of the bag (no pun intended) :-) one of these days, but for right now, it's my own little secret.

It sounds like you've got a great attitude and wonderful support from your fiance and family. You are going to do great and get through this with flying colors!

Keep smiling,
Cecilia
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Small Bowel Obstruction Surgery in '08, caused by adhesions.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again :)


ME!
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 4/21/2008 5:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Erin,

You have a good attitude and should do fine getting thru this procedure. Cecilia is right, take your pain meds to get you thru the pain part and help you to continue to move. Moving your body is very important to the healing process. Just don't over do it.

I had my colon removed Oct 07. I don't have a bag b/c my pelvic floor function is fine. By the middle of January I was back to jogging on the treadmill and doing a little strength training...even doing sit ups to strengthen back my abdominal muscles.

I did have a problem w/ my small intestines spasming after I came home. The surgeon gave me some Symax Duo to help w/ that, but he mentioned how stress effects the GI tract so I decided to take a xanax with each meal and that calmed down the spasming. I think my intestines just needed more time to heal b/c I'm fine now and have no pain when I eat.

Good luck w/ your surgery!

((HUGS))
Kim
Control is an illusion. The only control we have is our response to people and situations. - Kim Martin


Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 4/22/2008 4:21 AM (GMT -7)   

Erin-At least for me, the rectum part of the healing was the easiest.  I didn't even have to pack it, it was stitched up, but I do have fistulas that are healing the old fashioned way.  I thought that would be more painful, especially when sitting, but like Cecelia said, the incision was worse.  And remember that the bags they send you home from the hospital with are not the "coolest" ones.  They serve a purpose and as soon as you can, experiment with different ones to see which one you prefer.  All the companies will send you freebies to compare.

 

 


Busybee69
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 4/25/2008 7:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Erin,

You have a great outlook on your upcoming surgery.
I don't have a ileostomy but, I had my large colon removed about 11 weeks ago, and my life has really changed.

It is all still new to me. I would be excited about going to dinner too.
For now that is a thing of the past.
I have tried a couple times and I am not able to hold the food long (I usually have 10min. to 2hours depending on what I eat) the few times that I tried we ended up getting our meal to go after we had cocktails. The social part is good even if you don't eat.

I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Good luck to you!!

I look forward to hearing how good you feel!!

Busybee69

LittleE
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 4/25/2008 5:23 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks all for your insights and encouragement!

OHIO and Cecilia, I am so glad to hear that the wound on the bottom is not so bad for every case!  I feel much better after hearing your accounts.  :-)    It made me think though--Cecilia, you said you had to pack yours, but Ohio, you had stitches--made me wonder what they are going to do to me..!  I will have to ask.

I also just found out that I will have to work up until the day before the surgery (the substitute teacher they found for me can only come in and spend 2 days with me to meet my students, etc., and he can't come in until the two days before I go in for my ileostomy..!)...I guess that is good that I will be busy as it will keep me from over-thinking about anything..!  However, my surgeon wants me to fast for 2 days (clear liquids only), so I am going to be TIRED on that last day of teaching!

I know that I will be back on this site much more after surgery, asking for info about products and other issues, and I am so glad that the internet exists or I could never get such good advice from so many nice people!!!  I really am so thankful for this site, I feel so much less isolated by my condition. :-) :-) :-)

I hope my good attitude lasts, because my surgeon (who is totally up front and blunt, which I like about him) said that after surgery I may have feelings like "why did I do this?  I wish I never had this surgery" etc. and that that was normal (many of you have said this as well).  I pray that I will adjust quickly--I really think that I can and will--like so many of you have!

Have a great weekend everyone. :)

Erin


LittleE
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 4/25/2008 5:24 PM (GMT -7)   

and BusyBee,

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!!  They are much appreciated!  :-) :-)

I look forward to feeling good, too!


flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 4/26/2008 4:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Erin,
You have such a positive attitude, and that's something that will continue after surgery. Remember to keep in mind that you're having this done to get rid of a disease that has not done you any favors. Sure, you'll have some pain after surgery, but once you're all healed up, you will not be sick anymore. :-) It's truly a gift of good health that you're giving yourself and your loved ones.

Regarding the clear liquid diet, here are the things that you can eat as often as you like, so you won't feel so hungry: chicken, beef, and vegetable broths, apple and cranberry juices, hot or iced tea, jello, popsicles, and hard candies. If you keep these foods on hand and eat and drink every couple of hours, you will feel satisfied.

Take care,
Cecilia
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