Hi again so here is part deux of my first post but all about present day feelings and whatnot. But mainly the things I have looked into for preparation before my surgery. You can read part one here.
Whilst being admitted I met an amazing young woman suffering with Crohns and a few other bits. She had a loop ileostomy and has been incredibly helpful to me. She is my partner in crime and we have made so many plans for the future (well unless I scare the poor thing off! I can be pretty full on then get paranoid about being full on! Vicious damn cycle that) going to pilates once fully healed and healthy having nights out/travelling to Italy. So until I’ve spoken to her she will remain named only as my partner in crime. I utterly adore her.
I had my last appointment with the Stoma nurse last week so the counselling preparation is over. My usually lovely surgeon upset me immensely by saying something I don’t think he thought through. He said that he remembers how against having an ileostomy I was last time and that in 10 years time he doesn’t want me coming back saying I made a mistake and that did I know it wasn’t reversible. I was gobsmacked, only the month before he was saying how different a person I was and how I’ve matured etc. I was really damn hurt. It threw me for the rest of my appointment, all the questions I had literally ran out of my mind. So now I feel pretty helpless and my faith in him has wavered.
I was told my operation date was the 28th of April but his secretary rang me whilst I was on my way to visit my partner in crime and it’s now been brought forward to the 21st. So in 5 days time I will be waking up with a real ileostomy rather than the “training” stoma and bag I’ve been wearing to get used to it (oh and trying on ALL my clothes) If I’m completely honest I’m FREAKING out. Part of me feels that I shouldn’t be as I don’t have the right to be this is MY choice after all to get MY life back. It’s not like I’m going to die if I don’t and I just suddenly wake up with one; hell I can’t imagine how that must feel.
Not the best picture it’s also from February (check out the lovely bruise from the blood thinning injection) but it was another box in my preparation for my stoma. I should have taken a recent one mainly because I have a lovely new tattoo on my other thigh courtesy of one of my best friends who is an apprentice tattooist. I am incredibly vain I know but I’m not going to apologise for it.
I have a lot of mental preparation that isn’t about surgery but events after surgery for instance I have my brother in laws wedding in July and my sister in law to be’s hen do in June. If I’m honest I’m so not looking forward to it. Mainly the hen do, am I going to look nice in my dress? Am I going to be able to resist alcohol? (I do very much like a drink) Am I going to have mastered emptying my bag? Am I going to have everything I need? What if I leak? By the time of the wedding it will have been nearly 12 weeks after the surgery so I hope I will knock off some of those worries.
I am also going to Manchester at the end of May to meet someone I’ve grown very close to on Instagram from San Diego Stacy. I don’t have as many worries as above because I know I won’t feel uncomfortable around her. She has been a great emotional support so far. Then the week after I’m going to stay with another instagram friend Mrs Puddleduck and her husband. But that time I will have 00Steve and Ra-Ra. Mrs Puddleduck also has been a huge help and I know she won’t give a damn if I have issues she will just help me through it.
I want to be able to write out all my insecurities and fears but I just don’t know where to start. I’m using this blog to be cathartic and hopefully help someone going through something similar but it’s quite hard. I was alone last time before surgery and it was so hard. I have since developed anxiety attacks and my low mood has returned. Thankfully my other sister in law (technically I have 3!) is off on Thursday and has said she will watch Ra-Ra so 00Steve can sit with me until I go down, I need to be there for 7:30 am so I can see it being a long morning.
I also have to think about how I include Ra-Ra in the preparation for my surgery. I did notice Ra-Ra freaked out a bit once I started trying on the bags. Even though she demanded I place one against her. So I bought her an ostomy bear. Basically it’s a bear with a stoma and a bag. It’s usually used for children going through the surgery but a lot of parents had my idea of giving it to their child as a learning tool to ease their child into seeing their stoma/ileostomy bag. They are found here at stomawise. You can donate a bear to a child through that site too which is a fantastic idea. I have to remind 00Steve to bring it with him and Ra-Ra when I feel a bit stronger and don’t have so many tubes in. Ra-Ra doesn’t like seeing the cannula let alone anything else.
I also got a bunch of free samples of ostomy supplies and bits and bobs from the lovely people at Opus Healthcare I got all sorts in the pack and a lot were handbag sized perfect for the little bag I’m making up for the car and my handbag.
I also saw a review by Sam Cleasby over at so bad ass (although I think I found it via her Facebook page and it’s on YouTube) about a product called a Riksack designed to make changing/emptying your bag on the go easier. Now I think I will buy one to use to help with my confidence regarding changing my bag and not making a mess. I’m quite worried about forgetting to have something to hand. This can be found over at stomaworks
Also on my looking at many blogs and reviews of things stoma related I found a support wear brand called comfizz they provide a range of under garments to help provide support and smooth out the lines the bag causes under clothes. What’s even better is that your GP can authorise up to 6 of these garments on prescription per year which is fantastic. I’m definitely going to look into getting some to help with my outfit worries.
*I am posting about these items because I find them useful/interesting and hope they maybe to someone else with their own post op preparation*
Well I think that’s all for tonight and I will hopefully do an update after my pre-assesment on Tuesday. Did you make preparation lists before surgery?