I hope I can answer a few of your questions. Remember we are all different in so many ways. You mentioned organs shifting. I also wondered the very same thing, after all, removing five and a half feet of colon is a lot. I also had a total hysterectomy four years ago so I really felt "hollow" if you know what I mean. So in my opinion, and it's only mine, things do shift. I often wonder if this is why it took me so long to recover from all the tenderness and discomfort I had for a good 12 to 16 weeks, or could it have been how they were moving and shifting things around during the eight and a half hours during surgery. Prior to this surgery I had 13 laparoscopic surgeries and one
open for endometriosis and I always bounced right back - always sooner than any doctor expected.
As far as a "small" meal - personally after surgery I didn't have much of an appetite and I'm a big eater, and like you, I love to eat. They just want you to eat things that are easy on your system. For weeks I lived on instant mashed potatoes, soups, broth, jello, pudding, bread, crackers and avoided red meat, dairy, raw veggies - those type of things.
I also wondered about "accidents" and for me I was VERY fortunate and didn't have any, however, I knew that it wouldn't be long after eating that I would need to be near a toilet. As for being active, in the beginning you will be weak and your body will let you know if you overdo it. For me personally it just took time, a little bit every day, to regain my strength. Like I said above, we are all different and any time frame is individual, HOWEVER, the best thing to keep in mind is that ALL of this all temporary. Over time you will eat as you did prior to surgery, you will and can be fully active, and "control" time will be longer and longer over time. I hope this helps.
JANIE - You're very, very welcome and I'm happy I could help. I think that I've addressed some of your questions regarding timing and lifestyle above in my response to STORMY. Just remember we're all different and some heal and regain sooner rather than a little later, if that makes any sense. I'm so totally anal when it comes to public restrooms and pooping. I would do just about anything to avoid them. In the beginning if I went out to eat I made sure I was home within a half hour after eating - that's just me. Now I can go out to eat and do anything I want and have plenty, plenty of time and don't worry anymore. It really is all about how and when your body gets accustomed to its new way of transit (small intestine and not the colon).
I can so relate to living life around laxative use and pooping. It was awful to say the least. I could literally take 16/24 laxatives a day and it could be days or even a week, if I was lucky enough, before I had any results, but the fear of not knowing when it would kick in and my fear a public restrooms, or any restroom for that matter, had be chained to my home.
I also know your fear. You wouldn't be human if you didn't have fear. Yes, this is a huge surgery and there is nothing easy about it, however, gaining or regaining your life in a matter of months is the blessing behind it all. Hopefully you'll be one of the lucky ones and be up and back on your feel in no time, like after your double mastectomy. You're a survivor and that's awesome!!!! You've already faced the "huge" and I know you will overcome this chapter in your life. I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious dachshund by the way. Well, I hope I was able to answer your questions and hope it helps.
XTREME - Glad to hear you've had a good few days. Keep us posted on your visit with the surgeon.
MOM - I'm SO happy to hear that things are moving for you now and you're not in the pain you were in just a week ago. Things will get better as each day passes!!! There is light at the end of the tunnel. Eventually you won't have to live life around pooping!!!