First of all let me tell you from someone who has never been in a hospital over night, hates hospitals and being your age surgery is definitely doable. Everything my mom said is true.
I went into the hospital the morning of my surgery. I was absolutely petrified but luckily one of the nurses that was their during the surgery was really great. I had an epidural and remember them putting it in my back and I remember it hurt but personally now can't even remember how painful it might have been. I also remember my surgeon placing a mark where my stoma would be. Next thing I remember is really fuzzy memories of I guess being in the recovery room. I must have been really drugged up since I don't remember much other than having problems
opening my eye which they said was because it got so dry during the surgery. I had a bit of pain in my shoulder which was most likely gas but thanks to drugs I wasn't in super pain with my body. My muscles were definitely sore because the cut through them. I didn't look at the stoma itself until they changed the appliance before I got discharged and only looked a little at the bag itself until that day. I had a full incision which went just above my belly button down about
10 inches. I had wicks in between some of the staples which were there to keep out infections and those were very painful/uncomfortable to take out. Like my mom said the heperin shots were the worst and I still have the bruises (which don't hurt anymore) on my arms and thighs.
Don't worry about
the catheter or the drain. They are both but in when you are asleep. I was nervous when the went to take both out but the drain just felt like a quick pull of my skin and the catheter was a bit uncomfortable when they were taking it out but it went away fast.
I couldn't wait to go back a few days later to get the staples removed since those were the most annoying things in the world (besides UC). As soon as those were removed (which was no walk in the park since I had 20-22 of them) I felt so much better.
I did not have much energy in the beginning and because it was summer (surgery was July 3) I did not push to get back to much right away. I did go to my friend's party at the end of July and although I sat almost the entire time I had a great time. My friend's are very supportive and all wanted to visit me when I was in the hospital and first came home. By Mid-August (about
7 weeks) I went back to work at the library. Since it is major surgery you are not suppose to do heavy lifting for 6 weeks and I work in a library as a page shelving books so I have to be able to lift. My job was very supportive and told me to take it slow and take breaks often. By the way I work 10 hours a week but I think I started with 5-7 hours and slowly upped it.
To answer your question about
food. I was on a liquid diet for a day or two and then put on "restricted diet" basically easily digestible foods (no salad, nuts). I think I ate salad about
4 weeks after even though I think I was suppose to be on the "restricted diet" for 6 weeks. I really was not in the mood much for anything for quite a few days after my surgery and also every time I ate when my stoma output it had this burning pain feeling which after a few weeks went away. I am pretty sure that the pain was from muscles trying to repair themselves. By the way I had Honey BBQ Frito twists today and those are amazing so when you feel better enough you have to try them
Changing my appliance in the beginning was such an experience. We read that eating marshmallows helps slow down output so up until about
a month ago I ate 4-5 big marshmallows. I try to do a change in the morning when everything is less active. I stopped eating marshmallows because I really dislike them and after a while the thought of them made me nauseous to the point that now I can't look at marshmallows (weird huh?). My mom helps we do a change and we really got it down to a science now. It used to take us an hour or so and now it takes about
15-30 minutes, since I shower now when I do a change. I lay down on my bed and take off my wafer and then run into a shower which is usually quick. I wash the area around my stoma and usually scratch all the places around it that always seem to itch when I know it needs a change. Then while I lay on my bed drying the area around my stoma my mom cuts and puts paste on the wafer. I use a little stoma powder and then I stretch my skin and my mom lays the wafer on and I push it down and put on the bag. I don't know what I would do if I had to do it myself.
I use the Hollister 2 piece opaque appliance. They have the bags that a the Lock and Roll close and the ones with clips. I have tried both but with the Lock and Roll I worried that I would turn the wrong way or get the bottom caught on something like my pants and would
open so I use the clips. Hollister is the only ones I've tried other than the nasty one I had right after surgery. I hate having anything against my skin (like bandaids) so the hospital one was horrible and the Hollister was a bit better though I hated it in the beginning. I also where an ostomy belt all the time with my bag because my stoma almost sits under my skin so the belt helps push it up. The only time I take the belt off is when I shower and I think I have like 5 or 6 of them so I go back and forth between them. I didn't have a problem having my bag hang out over the summer because I figured who do I really see when I'm at the supermarket and such. Now that I'm in school I try to keep it hidden for the most part. Some people on the forum say they stick it into their underwear but I don't under stand that. I leave my bag out under a long babydoll shirt or tuck the tail into my pants and fold it over beneath my shirt.
I have had several leaks but luckily none in school. Most happened right after I did a change and I must have not have warmed the wafer enough. I did have one leak that started at work (I had done a change that morning) and I left to change it and my job was very understanding.
I'm excited that you are having surgery to rid yourself of UC plus it is very close it is 3 weeks today that I will be having my reversal and I am absolutely excited. I actually have a pouch test today so I really have to get to sleep since it's after midnight and I have to get up in few hours.
If you have anymore questions feel free to ask.
Diagnosed with UC 10/12/06
Daughter of Bennie
17 years old
Flared 3 times in a year and a half tried almost all medicines
JPouch Step 1 of 2 on July 3