It’s the 12th of May and I am sat on my bed looking around and thinking that the ward has seen better days. It was dusty, dingy and felt like it was where soliders from World War II came to. I spent the night praying that they reverse the ileostomy and put me back together. The next day, the surgeon and his team came to see me and was like “right, what shall we do with you?”, in which I responded, “well, my proximal end is already hanging with the distal end, it makes sense to put me back together”. His reply: “Yes, I can’t see why that can’t be a problem, let’s do that because it doesn’t make sense to have surgery to refashion the bowel then come back in a couple months to have the reversal”. I was so excited! Yes! They are going to put me back together. The first and last time I will be so happy to go under the knife. However, as I started the Adalimubab injections one month earlier, it wasn’t safe to do surgery as the injections were suppressing my immune system so it would be very difficult to heal from surgery. Since I only just started the injections, there was still a chance they would go ahead with the surgery. Plus my weight has dropped down from 47kg (7 stone 4) to 44.8kg (7 stone) so I haven’t reached that magical number of 50kg.
It was a waiting game but I was feeling positive and confident that they will confirm that everything will be fine and they will staple me back up. Two days went by without a confirmation and I am became agitated as I am fit and able bodied yet I am confined to a hospital bed twiddling my f*cking thumbs. The surgeon came late in the day and told me that we are going ahead with the reversal surgery. I was unbeliveably happy, I just started thinking of all things I can do again and that I can begin a super clean diet, go back to work, start weightlifting and no longer see my family and friends worry or be sad.
I spent five nights in the hospital only to be told that I am not high priority so we will give you an “elected spot” and call you back into hospital, so go home. Without saying “are you f*cking stupid, I am not going anywhere you useless pricks”, I was a bit more reserved with my reply. They agreed with me that it’s not fair to send me home, Fortunately 15 minutes later they returned and told me that we are going to perform surgery tomorrow. It was about f*cking time. I was basically begging for them to operate, just f*cking get on with it.
The next day, the surgeon that orginally came to see me when my bowel performated in December, came to see again. He sat down and goes “you look familar”. Then he remembered me as said “you were muscular, what’s the word I am looking for? Buff”. I smiled and said “that is a faded a memory now”. I used to admire bodybuilders and say I want a physique like that, but I never thought that I would be reduced to looking at old pictures of myself and say I want to look that. Another obstacle was thrown my way when the surgeon said we only operate when your protein levels are 30 and above and you have only just hit the 30 mark so it is risky. He explained the dangers and risks but ultimately said it is upto you if you want to go ahead. I happily said yes, let’s take the risk and operate. I fasted all day for the surgery for the second day now and couldn’t wait for the porter to come in with the wheelchair to take me to theatre. I was getting butterflies. That was until 10pm when they came to see me and apologised as they couldn’t operate. For f*cks sake, I am starving aswell so I texted my mum, and her and my sister came within 12 minutes. I was so hungry I just walked out and they took me to Nandos then dropped me back to the hospital after and I casually walked back in around 11.30pm.
It’s the 19th of May and I have spent a week doing f*ck all but being a patient patient. The hospital were giving a whole new meaning to the word ‘patient’. I made friends with my dietician from when I was in hospital prior for my TPN and she came to visit me to see how I was getting on and I just aired all my frustrations out on her. Within 30 seconds of her leaving, the porter came. Yes! final f*cking ly. I get taken down to theatre around 4pm and I woke up in the recovery room around 6pm to discover that my bowels were back on the inside, where they belong.
I remained in hospital for a further 6 days to recover and the pain was excruiating. Each day was getting worse and I was scared to eat. I had to sleep upright as it hurt to lay down. The surgeons always did the ward rounds each morning and he told me, you will know that your bowels are working when you have the “fart of truth”. This amused me and is still stuck in my head to this day. I have prayed for a lot of things in my time but I got to say this is the first time I prayed for a fart. The only advice I got told to help me let one rip, was to walk. This was easier said than done because it was painful to get off the bed, but each day I tried to walk outside. Walking didn’t help in the slightest and was left with a bloated stomach, looking like a pregnant woman and being in tremendous pain. The food I was eating felt like it was reaching the part where it used to go into a bag but getting confused and wouldn’t go any further. Needless to say, this led to me being sick on a few occasions and I was scared because I was tensing my stomach when I was sick and I was frightened that my bowels may detach. Despite all of this, my weight came back up to 47.6kg as I was still being fed by TPN everyday. I have been on TPN for 4 months by this point.
Wednesday the 24th of May and I could not sleep at all as the pain was unbearable then I was like wait I can feel air reaching the bottom half of my bowels so I gingerly went to the toilet. My prayers came through again and my bowels were working again. It was weird as I have sat on a toilet and used my a** in 6 months. The next morning I told the surgeon and he was like you skipped the “fart of truth” but you had the “poo of truth”. He said all being well, you can go home on Friday and stop the TPN plus two of my friends weddings were that weekend and I wanted to attend but I was like I am in no fit state to leave the house. Luckily, that night I had such a good sleep and a lot of the pain subsided.
Next day came and I am like I get to come off TPN and go home tomorrow! The surgeon goes you don’t need to stay, you can go home. I was like what?? Yes, see you later suckers, I am off. 4 months of TPN is over but the PICC line had to stay in my arm, just incase something happened post surgery. A friend picked me up and when I got home I had huge sense of relief and was so happy that I have my life back. I sat on the sofa no longer than half hour thinking I am so bored and I have alot of lost time to make up for so I jumped into my car went to meet my friends and acted like nothing ever happened and didn’t think about all the dehabilitating pain I was in all week.
It’s the weekend and I have the two weddings which I did not miss. No one really knew I was in hospital and they would have never known that I just left two days ago following my second major surgery.
The past 6 months was torture and it was finally over, or so I thought. Please read the final part.