Post Op Post Mortem…

The toilet paper consumption in our house has doubled in the past 5 weeks! This is a great sign… it means my dreamt-of-functional-bum has become a reality!

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Yes, I am a pooping machine….my bowels are working and have “opened up” from day 11 after the stoma reversal surgery that I underwent on 16th June, 2014.

While I am doing imaginary air-kicks inside, I’m not yet able to physically do them. This healing from surgery caper takes quite a while. My body is in a transition. After not using my nether regions, my pelvic floor muscles and anal area to “poo” for 14 months, it lay atrophying and had to kick into action, pronto, in a moment. So I hurt like I’ve pushed out a baby or done 1000 sit-ups per day…I ache inside and outside. But, at least my miraculous body works. Who ever said “if you don’t shit you die” was a wise soul.

The full recovery will take about 10-12 months, but I should be up to driving, doing simple chores and more agile movement at the 3 month mark. So far, at 5-6 weeks, I’m still Nanna shuffling around the house, living in my night dresses because I can’t bear any pressure around my waist area or on the scars/incisions from surgery, and it hurts to sit longer than 30 mins or stand for long periods. But, weekly that changes. I absolutely marvel at the genius, the intelligence of the human body, and how when we give it the right conditions, it heals magnificently. And even when we don’t, its tendency toward healing has me in awe. I feel my body, our bodies are a representation of God, of Life, that tendency towards healing, an innate capacity toward goodness, growth and all that’s possible when we allow it.

The Operation was not all plain sailing. The abridged version is that, while the colon rejoin went very well and my surgeon said that the amount of scar tissue from last surgery was “not too bad” (high praise from him), the “slipped” during surgery and cut open my posterior vaginal wall and had to repair that. Then I had a reaction to the anaesthetic and morphine pain relief drugs (one year of the cleanest eating, living and active detox will do that) and vomited, felt sick and disoriented for 3 days. I had a tube coming out of my bottom to drain fluids, one coming out my urethra for urine (so as I didn’t have to get up for days) and black blood flowing out of my vagina from the “slip”, which necessitated my wearing an adult sized “nappy” for days. A UTI (urinary tract infection) set in, requiring antibiotics to clear it up too.

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Whilst in hospital some nurses read my case notes that I was undergoing a natural therapy and had been to Mexico to do it. Many came and asked about juicing and health and many more commented on how healthy I looked, the clear and healthy state of my skin and were curious as to what I had been doing. One of my surgeons commented on how amazingly healthy I looked for a person who just had major surgery (5 hours of it) and they don’t see that too often. My bodily healing has been excellent.

Me and my “dilly bag” of bodily fluid in slow motion running!

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But once home, over 2 weeks, I contracted a horrible flu, chest infection, then vomiting and diarrhoea, then an unbearable earache, then a perforated eardrum. After a few visits to the doctors, more antibiotics resulted in more diarrhoea and I lost more weight (down to 58kg again) and now…2 more weeks on, am feeling much better and my digestion is improving as is my general wellbeing.

I can expect to always poop differently. A foot of large bowel that would usually absorb water has been permanently removed and I will always need to watch my hydration levels, keep my bowel consistency a more firmer than wetter, and the need to “go” is pretty urgent right now, but over 10 months that is supposed to ease.

My closed over stoma site and surgical incision site: (as they wheeled me into theatre I said to my surgeon, Dr Donovan, “Doc, when you’re stitching me up again, can you “think bikini”, I want a neat fine scar!” and he said “nah, I was thinking “train tracks”! – he did a pretty good job on the neat, fine line methinks). 

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After going through the surgery, I feel a great sense of relief. That is done. My body is normal again. The stoma is gone and only a neat little scar is in its place. I can do all the things a body can do again with ease (soon enough) ; sex, swimming, running, hiking, playing, bending over, wearing clothes on my waist line and a heap more.

I didn’t want to go through the trauma of the surgery, but then I thought of what it would mean to Russell and me as couple, to the way I want to live my life, to playing with our son in the ways I love to, to how I felt about me, and I realised that it would be worth it, once I was out the other side. And it is.

My year with a stoma was a good experience in the end and I don’t begrudge it one bit now. It taught me so much about myself, my body functions, made me love poo(!) and respect medical practitioners. It taught me to value my life and to have compassion for people in way I didn’t have before.

For anyone who has undergone stoma reversal, who like me had rectal bowel remaining (I had 14-16cm) and a functional sphincter, during the year i did many pelvic floor exercises to keep that area strengthened and my husband assisted me to do weekly enemas in the rectum to keep it toned and as part of my Gerson Therapy protocol. All this assisted my recovery and ensured my “bum” would work without too much fuss!

The Gerson Therapy has been on hold all this time, to resume when I can enema again with my new bum set-up…once I can lie on my side and get up off the floor!

Remember to check out http://www.ecotoys4kids.com… if you need any great eco toys, games or books for gifts and for any amazon.com shopping. Helps me juice my way to wellness!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Josephine
    Jul 31, 2014 @ 01:17:29

    Many blessing to you Katrina. Beautiful writing and thank you for sharing.
    Josephine

    Reply

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