Rest and Recuperation, #8

Wednesday, May 5th, and Thursday, May 6th:

Wednesday went well. I was able to spend some time catching up with some minor issues of configuration at work via the Internet connection. I do continue to have some pain in the abdomen which gets better with rest. Went for a walk with Diane to the end of our little street and a small bit further.

Thursday was a medical day. I had appointments with the ostomy nurse in charge of ordering supplies and my surgeon. We got to the hospital a bit late (a small accident involving a milk shake that tipped over in the car), but were able to see both anyway.

My surgeon removed the staples from my incision, which hurt a bit at the time and left that area irritated. He answered many of our questions, and gave us a copy of the pathology report on my removed colon. It seems that I’m a candidate for a “J” pouch procedure, which takes part of the small intestine and creates a reservoir for stool out of it. This will be a two-stage procedure, with the first part removing what’s left of the rectum, forming the “J” pouch, and putting it in place. After that has had time to heal, the rest of the small intestine will be hooked up to it. It’s expected that this should give me a more normal bowel habit. The first part of this would not happen until at least August. There will probably be another three months after that before the final surgery would take place. Diet will be more restricted directly after each surgery.

The ostomy nurse changed out my pouch and examined the ostomy, declaring it “perfect”. She is setting us up with a “variety pack” order, so that I can try out the two piece pouch system. This has a patch that goes over the ostomy, and then pouches with a complementary flange can be sealed to this. I’m not sure whether this is much of an improvement, as the frequency of changing the ostomy patch is about the same as for the regular one-piece pouch system.

After the appointments, there was the usual additional stuff to take care of: prescriptions to be filled, paperwork to be filled out. Having arrived around 11:15 AM, we left the hospital around 3:00 PM. We hadn’t really had a chance for breakfast or lunch, so we went by IHOP to catch up on breakfast, at least. We split a swiss cheese, bacon, and mushroom omelette, and Diane had crepe pancakes with lingonberries. It’s amazing how food can improve one’s mood. Then we went back home, where Diane hurriedly made some housekeeping preparations for the arrival of my parents, Willard and Margaret. Then she went off to the Oakland airport to pick them up. They did some grocery shopping on the way back, so it was pretty late when they arrived back here.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Data scientist in real estate and econometrics. Blogger. Speaker. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.