Posted 10/1/2012 11:53 AM (GMT -7)
Hi, everyone. This is my first post, but I've been reading this board frequently since my emergency colostomy last November.
Thank you all so much for being so candid about your experiences, as I feel that I know what I know about what I've been through because of you and your experiences and expertise, since my doctors have given me only one-tenth of the information I've gotten on this board!
After an emergency colostomy last November due to a strep infection in my colon that was going toxic, I returned to a hospital (different one, this time with a hand-picked surgeon!) for my reversal.
I'd expected it to be an open surgery due to the amount of scar tissue from the colostomy, and knew there was the possibility of having a temporary ileostomy so I was prepared for that.
I couldn't believe my ears when the nurse in recovery told me it was laproscopy AND no ileo!
My saga follows, but I did first want to share some items that I brought to the hospital for my reversal on Sept. 24, which I found useful:
- Biotene mouthwash
(for when you're NPO, esp. since having the breathing tube during surgery made me hoarse and left me with an incredibly dry mouth!)
- Paper clips
- Sticky notes (in addition to pens and a small notebook)
- Eye shade
- Ear plugs and Q-tips
- Zipper plastic bags, preferably gallon-size
- Gatorade (green, orange, or yellow since medical folks don't like us drinking or eating anything red lest our output have a red tinge)
- Small basket for personal items, so the (heavy!) tray table can be cleared off easily when someone arrives with a tray
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfecting wipes
- Slippers (and flip-flops for the shower)
- Stand-alone toothbrush holder (since my toothbrush always caused the insubstantial Styrofoam cup to tip over)
Now, for the drama that led up to last week's reversal:
Strep (Group A) in my colon, no one could figure out how it got there. Fever, vomiting, nausea, went to primary care physician who thought I was dehydrated with a stomach flu, next day woke up with most intense pain imaginable in my abdomen, went to ER, thought it was ruptured ovarian cyst or burst appendix.
Blood pressure was in the toilet, not responding to medication. After being in ICU for about five hours, surgeon came in and said the infection was going toxic, heart rate was in tachycardia, respiratory system shutting down, kidneys failing and blood pressure dropping precipitiously.
Thought to myself, my aunt died of sepsis, so what other options do ya got?
Surgery was a possibility, but I might die during or after procedure, and I'd end up with a colostomy. At that point, I thought who the hell would want a poop bag but hey, it'd be better than dead.
If no surgery, then bowel might perforate. That didn't sound good to me. Wouldn't want all that smelly crap floating around my bloodstream.
So I opted for the surgery, thinking it was my best shot at seeing my 6-year-old son again.
Almost didn't make it during the 2-3 days afterward but pulled out.
Toxic shock did a number of my digestive system. Couldn't eat much of anything with any nutritive value -- fruit, vegetables, whole wheat, fiber -- so gained 9 pounds.
BUT happy to be alive!
So cheers to everyone, past and present, who has lived and is living in this osto-world!!!