At age 43, I had the lower 1/3 of my colon removed due to cancer. One minute I was scheduled to have a simple 1 hour procedure, to "scoop out" a 1 inch malignant tumor (barely inside) and the next (after a revealing ultrasound), I was suddenly scheduled to have a 5 hour procedure, along with a 7 day hospital stay, given a temporary colostomy, etc.
I went from one simple procedure to a major one. And losing the bottom 1/3 of your colon is pretty devastating. You can lose 1/3 of it, higher up but the lower part is VERY important for normal bowel control.
I have not had one single normal day in 13 years after my colostomy was reversed. Initially I had 12 to 15 bm's per day, 3 during one meal, the sheer second I ate, I had to run to the bathroom. It was awful. I eventually went on a low residue diet and kept a food diary. This actually gave me formed stool but I still went multiple times. Why? My sigmoid is gone (the lowest part, where the stool collects through out your day). I now experience about
20 bm's per day. As long as I continue to eat. Not eating is the ONLY WAY I can effectively reduce the # of times I run to the bathroom.
In hindsight, I wish I had been given a permanent colostomy.
My life revolves around a bathroom. And without a bag to collect stool, it HAS to come out, I can only hold it for oh 20 - 30 minutes. Sometimes I go thru dumping episodes, repeated trips to the bathroom over an hour or two. When I am done, I am then depleted of all stool (very similar to taking a bowel prep, when in fact I hadn't taken one).
I've accepted my situation - as is - I do not want more surgery. We have inadequate insurance now (who doesn't, maybe Bill Gates and oh that fellow running for prez, the Mormon).
But I am here to say having a colostomy gives you more control. If that is hard to believe, just imagine rushing to bathrooms all day long, for the rest of your life? I know being 21 and having a colostomy is such a shock, but I am throwing this out there - an ostomy is NOT the end of the world. It's actually very freeing.
In our house, I have worn out so many toilets - all 3 have completely new working parts, about
every 6 months. This has been going on now for 13 years as I stated.
I know where every single bathroom is located, no matter where I go. I scope these
locations out before I can ever relax.
Good luck to you, no matter what you decide. If your life becomes too much - after reconnect - you can always ask for an ostomy. I wish I could. I do often joke, if our family wins the lotto, I am going to the Mayo Clinic and getting a colostomy!
Post Edited (Marsky) : 11/1/2012 6:37:23 AM (GMT-6)