Better a bag than a box

So I’ve just been to St Bart’s Hospital to see the surgical team for what should be the last time before I actually go in for surgery. To be honest it actually went a lot better than expected other than the fact I was categorically told I am having a catheter whether I like it or not. So much for not adamantly demanding not having one. However, other than the fact they’re going to ram a tube up my cock the prognosis isn’t actually as bad as I thought it was going to be. Looking at the last full colonoscopy, active disease is limited only to the last part of my descending colon near my ever temperamental arsehole. So initially they are going to remove the affected section of colon and leave me with a colostomy preserving as much health large intestine as possible. However this may change should they open me up and find that more of my intestines were affected than first thought. So I have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Generally though the outlook is much better than I first thought, they didn’t want to get my hopes up, but depending on if there is healthy tissue near the rectum they may be able to construct and internal pouch later on, however that’s a big “if” and I am to work on the assumption that that isn’t happening and I am going to end up with a permanent colostomy.

So hopefully I won’t be losing all of my large intestine which would be a right result. But I’m not going to know what has happened till I come round for the surgery. The surgery itself should only take 3 or so hours and they are going to attempt to do it laparoscopically which should be fine as I am relatively young and fit so I’m told. This also means the recovery process should be quicker than if they have to cut me open properly. Basically, there are a lot of ifs and buts and I am just going to have to wait and see what happens.

I’m still metaphorically shitting myself at the whole prospect of this and I had to stifle a giggle when the registrar today remarked on how calm, and accepting I seemed of everything. Well, I don’t really have a choice but to be calm and accepting. “It is foolish to fear what you cannot avoid.” (Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes) Publius Syrus. I’ve done the whole getting angry and then getting upset and no good comes of it, although I believe it is a process I had to go through to get to where I am now. I know that pending I don’t die on the table, I should come out the other side of this just fine and my whole quality of life should sky rocket. So now I have to wait 6-8 weeks before I even get called in for my pre-op assessment so more time to ponder exactly how much I don’t want and angry nurse ramming a plastic tube up my cock hole. I mean I’m quite happy for them to slice me open from sternum to groin but come near my bell end with a pointy bit of plastic while I’m awake and I won’t be the only one who will be needing surgery that day! Fucks sake. It’s got to be done though. At least I’m not on the Jeremy Kyle show.

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Step One: Begin vomiting words onto laptop

Where on earth do I even begin. The begging I suppose.

Right, well about 2 months ago I walked into St. Barts hospital, up to the first floor and instead of turning right as I normally do into the medical outpatients wing I turned left into surgical outpatients. I was due to see a surgeon for the first time to discuss ” the possibility of surgical options” which is a nice way of saying we definitely need to chop you  up a little bit but don’t want to scare seven shades of shit out of you.  I checked myself in and took a seat. To be honest, I can’t even remember what was going through my head, I think on a subconscious level my brain was stopping me from thinking about it. I don’t remember walking into the consulting room just vaguely bits of the conversation, I don’t know if that just because of my abysmal memory or because I had so much going through my head at the time.

To cut to the chase, and my god are these people blunt about what has to be done, they want to take all of my large intestine out, leaving me with a bag for life, and I’m not referring to those big orange fuckers from Sainsburys.

Yes sports fans, I am due to have an epic bit of shit surgery, but on the bright side it will be keeping me alive for the forseeable future and if I can get my head round it, it will only improve my day-to-day quality of life. They want to do it as I have a 20cm stricture in my large intestine and a shed load of active disease aswell. So they figure fuck it, lets get rid of it all and be done with it.

I’ll sum up the last few years with the main points of the story. Now I have been in a pretty sad state of affairs for the last 4 or so years. I was first properly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in my second year of University and eventually in my 3rd year it had become so bad that I was hospitalised for a short stint, although it seemed like years. see below.

This is what happens when you don’t eat all your vegetables

So during my stay I was fitted with one of the above bad boys, a naso-gastric feeding tube, aka a long yellow straw that goes up your nose, down your throat into your stomach and feeds you with this ideal diet which helped to pack weight on me. This was because at 6′ 2″ and weighing under 8 and a half stone I was massively underweight.

Since then I have been on various drugs, some which work, some which don’t. Currently I inject myself once a week with Humira, a drug, which to be fair, has worked wonders for me although it does have some pretty shitty side effects that I have somehow, so far, managed to avoid. Also I’m on Azathioprene, another immunosuppressant, and clomipramine, which is for my fantastic anxiety attacks I get due to constantly having to worry where the nearest fucking toilet is every second of every day.

Now since being diagnosed, I just about managed to graduate university in Industrial Design with a 2:2. I’ve only managed to do one full-time job, and even then I struggled. I cannot tell you how much I hate not being able to go out and work a full-time job and earn a half decent wage. At the moment, I have been properly signed off work until after this operation.

I go and see my surgeon in just under 2 weeks, where they will discuss the procedure with me in-depth and put me on the list for surgery which unfortunately does mean another 3 to 4 week wait till it actually gets done.

I’m now at the point in my head where I just want it over and done with. Its going to be a shit procedure with bullshit things like having to have catheters and drains hanging out of me when I wake up and then 2 months of recovery at home, but if and when I come out the other side of it my life should change dramatically for the better. I’m so fed up of spending what feels like half my life in various toilets and having my life dictated to me by some shit fucking disease whereby I can’t go out and work, I worry anytime I leave my house and only feel comfortable enough to venture to a handful of places.

However, hopefully soon all of that should change =D

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