Living with an ileostomy sure beats dying without one, but all in all it would be nice to have my internal plumbing work more like it does in other people.
I have a date for the big chunk of surgery to do this (the ileo-anal anastomosis with J-pouch) of October 29th. But in order to be ready for that, I have a smaller outpatient surgery to be done sooner. Tomorrow, September 2nd, to be exact.
In 1994, I got a fistula at my anus. In the years since then, the same fistula has become more active with flare-ups of the colitis I had, then closed up when the flare-ups subsided. But for the big procedure coming up, my surgeon wants to get rid of this once and for all, by fistulotomy. The lining of the fistula is flayed and healing allowed to occur from the inside out, sealing the fistula for good. The anesthesiologists called me yesterday, and indicated that I would get sedation plus a local anesthetic for the procedure.
The major concern is whether the fistula is a complication of colitis or of Crohn’s disease. Fistulas are more commonly associated with Crohn’s disease. If the surgeon determines that this is due to Crohn’s, then the big surgery would be contraindicated and I’d just have to put up with the ileostomy. If not, then I have several weeks to heal up in preparation for the surgery in October.
I’ve already picked up the medication my surgeon prescribed for post-surgery. This is, after all, sure to be a pain in the a**.