Hi Collicat (and everyone else on this thread),
I had the first of three surgeries at the end of May. I was really sick going into surgery due to an uncontrolable UC flare-up. As my surgeon put it, I "barely crossed the finish line" when I went in for surgery. I had lost over 30 lbs beforehand and even had to stop working a couple weeks before surgery because I did not have any energy and I was constantly running to the bathroom.
The surgery took about
5 hours. And I had trouble waking up from surgery because of how much anesthetics they gave me (I'm sure they weren't used to operating on someone 5'6" weighing less than 90 lbs and deathly ill). After 5 hours in the recovery room, I was finally brought to my room. The next morning, when I woke up, I felt a difference right away. Yes, I was still weak, tired, sore, etc. But I could immediately tell that the disease was gone! I had read other people's postings before surgery and they told me that would happen. But I didn't fully comprehend what they meant until that moment. It was a great feeling! 6 days later, I was home and being waited on hand and foot by my boyfriend (thank goodness he was around because I couldn't do much for myself during the first few weeks home).
Recovery has been a long process for me. I spent a lot of time on the couch watching TV. I initially had a lot of swelling (my lower trunk area, legs and feet really ballooned up!). The swelling went down over the first couple weeks. The pain wasn't too bad (I have a high pain tollerance), but I did rely on pain meds. And I still do actually. After a month or so, my back started really hurting (most likely due to not using the muscles for so long). That took a month or so to calm down, and now I'm having pain in my abdominal muscles (perhaps they are "re-activating" now that I am more active? I'm not sure). So yeah, I am still relying on pain meds. But I have been able to take Advil instead of the perscript
I also had issues with drainage. I had pockets of stuff throughout my abdomin, and my body decided to use the laproscopic incisions as exit points to drain these pockets. It got to a point where it was quite painful and a bit infected (the liquid turned greenish). So my dr put me on antibiotics for a short while. That finally cleared up maybe two months after the surgery. I still have an
open wound though. They did most of it laproscopic, but they had to do one incision in my lower abdomin, and that is still healing. Again, I had issues with infection and my body was so weak going into it that it's taking forever for my body to heal.
I was out of work for 2 months. Then I worked part time for a couple of weeks, then went to full time. I've been back to work for a month now, and I'm still exhausted by the end of the day. I typically go home, get back on the couch and nap. Like I mentioned, recovery has been a long process for me. I still need to gain about
25+ lbs before they will even discuss the next surgery. So my main goal right now is to put on weight and regain strength.
Sorry for the long posting. I wanted to share my story with you, and didn't realize how long I rambled on for, lol. I wish your son the best of luck. Despite the long road to recovery, I do not regret the surgery at all. Nothing is worse than fighting a UC flare up.
Diagnosed w/IBS: Oct. 2006 Diagnosed w/UC: Jan. 2007 (proctitis), July 2008 (pancolitis)
1st Surgery for J-Pouch: May 22, 2009 - need 2 more surgeries, dates TBD
Canasa ; Rowasa enemas; Lialda; Prednisone; Protonix; Remicade; Zyrtec-D; Toprol; various pain meds post-surgery;
Supplements: Women's One-a-day multi-vitamin; Super B-complex
Current Status: Aug, 2009 - Recovering from the 1st stage of J-Pouch surgery; temp ileostomy; 2 more surgeries to go as there was too much damage to create a J-pouch