I had the traditional surgical incision and was in the hospital for four days. Right before the surgery, I had a cosultation with the anesthesiologist and he asked me what I feared most about the surgery - I told him my biggest fear was pain. He reassured me that it was his job to make sure that I felt the least amount of pain and told me that when I wake up, I should feel no pain at all. So that was comforting; however, I can tell you that the only thing I remember about waking up when it was over was saying "The pain's a 7!!!" I knew beforehand that they'd ask me to rate the pain I felt on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the least amount of pain). But as soon as they increase the pain medication (given intravenously) the pain subsides. So it wasn't as bad as I anticipated. Today is my two week anniversary and I'm off the pain medication.
Right now, I am very low on energy. I can totally relate to Paul L; I had a follow-up appointment today with my surgeon and had to take two trains to get to the hospital. On top of that, I left during rush hour and had to stand for 45 minutes on the train. That was quite exhausting for me. I took a nap as soon as I got home and feel I could use another. I have another appointment in about three weeks and then I'll set a specific date for the reversal.
To those of you considering surgery, get in touch with at least two people who had the surgery done by the same surgeon you would use. That's what I did, and it was comforting. I would think that most people who have had the surgery wouldn't mind talking to someone else about it. Ask the surgeon's secretary if you can contact some people who had the surgery. The two people I spoke to were doing very well now, so it made me more comfortable that I chose the right surgeon. I also asked both of them plenty of questions so it was helpful.
As far as going back to work is concerned, I am definitely not ready right now. I get exhausted too quickly; maybe in a few more weeks. Everybody's body is different though - I heard some people go back to work after three weeks.
The ostomy bag isn't so bad. It definitely takes getting used to and it can be nuissance. One of the worst parts about it is the smell when you empty the bag; I choose not to use a deodorant, since it seems a waste of my time to have to use it after every time I empty the bag. I have visiting nurses to help me twice a week (for when I need to change the bag). I almost have the hang of it!
I've read that the second surgery is most stressful for people since you're reconnected and your body has to adjust a second time. Only this time you're wiping your butt about 10 times a day rather than emptying a bag.
Again, I appreciate everybody's support!