Squishy turned 2!
The past two years have flown by. Here’s what happened the week of my surgery.
On Monday 4th January 2016 I received the worst news I could ever have imagine receiving. After being in hospital for the best part of two months (including Christmas and New Year) I was told I have no choice except surgery. This wasn’t just any surgery such as a resection, this was major. My large bowel was on the brink of perforating and on top of a severe flare, I also had C Diff (also known as clostridium difficile an infection in the colon) which made everything unbearable. There was no other option other than to have the whole of my colon, a small part of my small bowel and rectum removed, resulting in the creation of an ileostomy, more commonly known as a stoma. Being 19 years old I reluctantly agreed to the surgery, I had been putting it off for years. I physically, mentally and emotionally had no fight left in me. I wasn’t even 20! After receiving my consent I was then told the procedure would take place on Thursday. Yes, that’s Thursday 7th January. I had 3 days to get my hear around the whole thing! I had a lovely surgeon and his assistant surgeon explaining all this to me and they made me understand that they didn’t want to wait any longer in case my bowel did perforate which would result in an unplanned, emergency surgery which would be performed by anyone, most likely someone who’s unaware of my situation.
Thursday came and I went down to theatre in the morning. My mother, uncle and cousin came down with me and the anaesthetists kindly let my mum stay with me until I fell asleep under general anaesthetic. The operation was open surgery (I had to be cut open as opposed to keyhole surgery. It took around six hours and after two weeks I was discharged. Unfortunately, a week after being at home I discovered that my rectum surgery site, now my barbie butt, was an open wound which took the around 7 months to heal.
I’ll be honest it took me some time to come to terms with Squishy and accepting the permanent, “new” me. It’s a huge change. For the first week I would cry whenever the nurse came to change it and whenever I saw it!
The first year with Squishy was great aside from the grief from my open wound. After accepting that I’ve had major surgery (for the better), I started to cope really well if I do say so myself. I’ve been lucky as there is a lot to be careful of in terms of what food choice are deemed “safe” and “unsafe” to eat with a stoma. I’ve been able to eat pretty much everything with little to no issues. Though, there is one thing I have seem to have grown an intolerance to… chocolate! Yes, sadly, I am unable to eat chocolate anymore as lovely as it is. I’m not really sure why as I’m not lactose intolerant and I have been fine with the couple of times I have had red velvet cake which appears to have cocoa powder in it.
It’s true when they say a stoma gives you your life back. It feels so great to feel “healthy”. I can honestly say I don’t remember that last time I felt like this. I feel like I am doing really well. Squishy really did save my life. So happy birthday, Squishy!