Hello to all - I posted here months ago - prior to my total colectomy and found so many helpful, caring, and concerned people - so I thought I would tell my story and hopefully answer some of the most recent questions on Part 13 of TOTAL COLECTOMY and help someone else!
Long story short - I suffered with constipation my entire life - from the time I was 15 months old - I'm now 44. After years of suffering with what felt like no hope in sight - My new life began on Novermber 9, 2006 - the day of my long needed total colectomy.
Here's my story and I'm stickin' to it !! I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!!
My surgery was done laporscopic and took longer than anticipated due to a "loopy" colon. Surgery was 7 1/2 hours long and they removed 5 1/2 feet of colon. I had five incisions, one in the navel for the scope and four "port" incisions for the instruments - the longest only being about two inches (what a blessing), and my hospital stay was only four days long (another blessing). However, I was readmitted for two more days due to pain ten days later (meds weren't strong enough).
I've had a long history of surgeries (12) for female problems (endometriosis and eventually a total hysterectomy) and the total colectomy being the longest recovery by far. I lost 20 pounds within the first three weeks and an additional seven the fourth week due to the flu. My appetite is getting back to normal - I can now tolerate most of the foods pre-op. In fact, I've regained about seven of those pounds within the last three weeks.
I'm one of those people who can tolerate a lot of pain and have always recovered quickly from all the other surgeries I've had, so this lengthly recovery was more than I expected, however, worth every day of the recovery process!! I can honestly say that it took me from November 9th, up to January 20th, to feel 100% and regain my strength. Oh, I still deal with tenderness in the lower abdomen region, but I contribute that to having an "empty" space, having no female organs or colon - I think things are trying to find a "new" home !!
I never knew what "normal" was and I'm so thankful that for the first time in my live, I live a "normal" life. I'm finally learning how and when my body works, so I'm not as affraid to venture out like I did the first six weeks post-op. I basically go anywhere from 3/4 times a day or up to 5/6. I've also had days where I've been slower, however, I can drink some apple juice or take a few stool softeners and that moves things right along. I think what we consume plays a big role in how are bodies will move, so I take note of what I've eaten when I'm having those slow days.
I've come to the realization that this surgery may not be for everyone - it's a life change to say the least, but I would do it ALL OVER AGAIN. I've also noted by talking with people and reading many posts on other boards that everyone is different and everyone's outcome is different, however, the majority are like me and would do it again - it's worth everything I've been thru to be where I am today!!
One last note, some mentioned their back hurting or their body aching - I found that my butt got sore (tired) from sitting and my hips from laying so much at first. I would have to get up and stand for awhile just to give my butt some blood supply LOL!! Oh, I'm also just now to the point where I'm sleeping about five or six hours a night) if I'm lucky, which is up from two or three hours a night.
GOD BLESS!! ROBIN
Post Edited (STUCK42LONG) : 2/21/2007 8:14:52 AM (GMT-7)