Hey, everyone! I just made it home from my second surgery last night (out of the hospital on Saturday), and I’m feeling pretty good!
Surgery was last Wednesday at the Mayo Clinic. As much as I want to be done with surgeries, I was pretty anxious about
this one. I know a lot of people say it can be harder than the first. Lucky for me, everything went great. I don’t think my pain ever was above a 3 after this surgery, which is significantly less than after first surgery.
I will say, though, that I was amazed at how differently my body reacted to anesthesia this time around. I had quite a bit of nausea, which was not fun. Then they think I had a reaction to the first anti-nausea med they gave me, and I starting shaking/shivering uncontrollably. It took almost an hour to get a Benadryl, which helped right away. I think the delay was because I started having issues right around shift-change, doctor rounds, and the time people started to come back from surgery. At one point, a very nice nurse in training asked me if I wanted a warm blanket, which pushed me over the edge into tears and shouting “No, I just want meds to make this stop!” Kind of embarrasing to lose control, but I don’t think I handle discomfort well. Pain, yes, discomfort, no.
After that, I was reluctant to take another anti-nausea med for fear I would have another reaction, even thought it was zofran, which I have tolerated fine before. So I tried to go the night without any anti-nausea stuff, and I felt uncomfortable and could feel my intestines kind of twitching. I kept getting up to walk around, thinking that would help. Turns out I was really nauseated, and by the time I realized it, I was exhausted, vomiting, and frustrated. Luckily, the nurse that night was fantastic and calmed me down and got me to take zofran, which took care of it right away.
I had basically no appetite the next day, but I stayed on zofran for about
24 hours straight and started to feel more normal.
They discharged me Saturday morning. I haven’t even needed any pain meds other than Tylenol and ibuprofen, so I feel really fortunate. I’m not wild about
the loop ileo, but it’s also hard to make a judgment until a little farther along in the healing process.
I don’t feel nearly as tired and sore as I did after the first surgery, and I definitely think I will be back to “normal” way before the 6-week mark. I guess the variable may be how the loop ileo treats me ... I definitely can tell that things are going through me more quickly, so I hope my body can adjust and absorb the nutrients it needs.
Once again, I was amazed at the Mayo Clinic. It’s how health care should work: everyone is compassionate, competent, and cooperative. They don’t talk down to you, they explain everything clearly, and they always give you options, not orders. Usually in a hospital, I run into a range of staff competency and kindness, but at the Mayo I have yet to meet anyone who has been less than stellar (OK, except for one slightly brusque secretary). The nurses were the best ever.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2011. In remission until 2015 with Lialda and prednisone.
No response with Entyvio or Remicade, azathioprine.
Opted for three-step j pouch surgery. Completed step one, subtotal colectomy with ileostomy, May 2017.