I went in today for a follow up visit with my surgeon, and as promised, she showed me a picture of my (former) colon, which she removed three weeks ago. Oh, my, it was WAY worse than I realized..... a doctor at the hospital a few months ago gave me a slide show tour of all my colonoscopies to try to help convince me that surgery was the best option, but boy did it look worse from the outside. The transverse part was so narrow, and it looked like it had been cooked on a grill; it was mosstly black (my surgeon said they call this part "burned out," an apt phrase). The rest of it didn't look quite as bad, but no part of it looked healthy, and looking at it, it was pretty much impossible to imagine that an organ this diseased could ever get better. I can't believe I lived with it so long..... and that it functioned at all.
I also just realized that I had my appendix out three weeks ago too! I didn't even know I was losing that too, but it is kind of attached..... just add that to the list, I guess. The pathology report said I had appendicitis too.... everything they took out was inflamed. The good thing was that the little bit of ileum she took out has no sign of disease at all.
Not that I was doubting having surgery, but seeing the photos just made things so clear.... my gi doctor said before that it was a problem that you can't see your colon, that if a piano fell on my leg and it was all mangled and I could see it, I wouldn't be saying that a little rest might fix it..... my colon looked more like it'd been barbecued than that a piano fell on it.....
In any case, if you're up for this sort of thing, I recommend asking your surgeon to take a photo and show you afterward (I asked mine if I could have the colon itself, no can do, but she routinely takes photos .... she couldn't slice it open for more photos because the pathologists would get angry).... she's also going to send me a copy of the photos (had to promise I wouldn't post them on the web....)