Posted 5/13/2020 9:02 AM (GMT -6)
You are asking questions similar to what I asked about 9 years ago.
I suffered with Ulcerative Colitis (at least, that's the name medical science gave it) for almost 15 years. A few weeks prior to surgery I felt terrible, and it only got worse right up until they laid me on the table and were about to put me to sleep - i didn't really care whether I woke up again or not...i just wanted it to stop.
Anyway, 6 hours later, i woke up in a daze, with no colon, and a flat stomach (that was due to a life-long hernia they repaired - lol...I got two for one surgery!). To be honest, due to long-term prednisone use (many years), it took me almost 24 months to recover from the surgery (what happened during those two years is for another post).
Once those two years were over, I realized I hadn't felt this good since I was in my early twenties...yeah, that good! As someone posted earlier, having the ostomy can be a pain in the ass. And, contrary to what most say, it does cause you to pause and think how you will accomplish a task (e.g., prune the shrubs) or how to plan a trip...Of course, this is nothing compared to having UC where one is always looking out for the next possible bathroom on the highway. This segways into - the surgery won't make you "normal" again, but, it will make like easier....that's something I've come to expect. It's easy to catch yourself speaking about an ostomy and comparing it to when we were "normal" - e.g., no UC or Chron's or anything else. We seem to forget we were very sick, and this surgery got us out of that hole. When the day comes that people can replace a lesion filled colon with a new one, then that will be the ultimate cure for UC, Chron's, or any other cause of our intestinal issues. Actually, those drugs might be nearer release than any of us think.
W/regards to daily life now? I pretty much eat anything I want. The one food I am careful about? Baked beans...why? The output is thicker than molasses!!! And, it's not worth the time trying to empty the bag, so at a cookout, I usually just take two tablespoon servings of the baked beans, and things are OK. So, i still get to enjoy the taste. I go to work, I go shopping, etc. - and, I still giggle on the inside while looking at other people walk around who have no idea I have an ostomy. And, also because I'm amazed I'm still alive and living life after all of this crap! (had to get that word in here somehow - LOL!)
W/regards to rectal stump. Yes, I have one. My surgeon knew me better than me, and said I would not be able to withstand the pain....he also said if it ever causes any problems, they'll just remove it from the outside (that is, they don't have to cut me anywhere on my abdomen - they'll just take it out from the hole that's there and sew it up - is that cool or what?!).
One thing on exercising - it's much better now. but i did some rehab for my back within a few months of surgery and got on this vibrating machine (it's supposed to help your vertebrae). Well, after 15 minutes I had to stop, and went home and lay in bed the rest of the day - it really hurt my abs doing that. Haven't tried it since, so not sure if that affects everyone the same or not. Otherwise, i do push-ups, sit-ups, planks, etc. Is there a different feel with a hole slit in my right abs - yes. But, I keep tabs on the pain. Actually, the one time there is any pain is when I'm sleeping on the couch on my right side and am laying to sharply at an angle - then my stoma lets me know to move...other than that - it's fine.
So, best of luck on your surgery - at keep in touch!!! BTW - i'm not on any medication whatsoever. After 15 years of taking up to 20 pills a day during some times, I am trying to stay away from any medication unless it is absolutely needed.