I have to admit, I’m a little nervous writing out this blog post. The reason? Because I’m discouraged, and I’m not sure if that’s a good frame of mind to be in when writing an update. But I’ve committed to being transparent and real, so here we go!
I’ll start with the short version for those who want Cliff notes and then I will give more details below for those who want it. To make it easier (and shorter), I’ll do bullet points.
- The recovery with this second surgery has been way more challenging than the first. The learning curve of the ileostomy (vs. the ostomy) has been much greater¹. Among other things, I’ve lost 18 pounds, and am not sleeping well at night².
- I went to the doctor yesterday and had a contrast X-ray to check that my colon has healed and has no leaks as well as to make sure there is no blockage. The contrast was able to travel all the way to the “end” (where my ileostomy is).
- The doctor called to follow up today. There was a bit of concern on the X-ray that there seemed to be a significant narrowing at the reattachment site. Since he only had access to still pictures, he thought at first it might be a spasm. After talking to the radiologist today (who watched the “video” of the progress of the contrast), it was determined that it was not a spasm but a narrowing of the colon. The doctor wants me to come in next week to have a scope done to assess how narrow it is, to make sure that something other than liquid can get passed, and to check if it could possibly be some remaining endometriosis that is lining that narrowing. Depending on what they find, they may also try to “distend” the area bit to stretch it out.³
- Right now, the surgery – ileostomy takedown – is still set for February 20th, but will also depend on what they find when they do the scope. I’m thankful the doctor is choosing to do this before the day of the surgery rather than the morning of 4.
So my bedtime prayer with the kids tonight was a little more raw and “crying out” than they are used to . . . I made my request known to God, but also sighed/cried out “not my will but Yours be done.” Buddy Boy is especially sweet and compassionate when I cry, so it was cute to see his concerned and loving look. My Sweet Pea tends to want to do things on her own and not ask for help, whether from us or from Jesus, so I’m praying I can model to her how I know can’t do anything without Christ. I pray that even in the midst of my discouragement (and impatience that I had to ask their forgiveness for), they would see me clinging to Christ, or as my friend Rebekah said in last week’s blog post, sitting “at the feet of Jesus”.
Would you pray with me that I would not grow weary in trusting God’s plan for my life, and in believing the promises of His Word? He has not failed me yet, nor will He ever, even when I don’t understand. Would you please pray that God would use this to draw my dear children to Himself?
Thank you dear friends. Your prayers and words of encouragement mean so much to me.
Here is the TMI for those of you that like more info.
¹ This ileostomy has been tricky especially in the area of eating. Food only stays in my body for 3-6 hours (as opposed to the average 24 hours of the regular digestive system) depending on the order and amount I eat and drink. It has been a game to discover what/how to eat and when/how to drink. For example, eating apple sauce before a meal helps slow the food down so my body has more time to absorb nutrients. On the flip side, if I drink as much water as I should for my kidneys, it flushes my small intestines out quickly, making the output much more liquid. This in turn increases the chances of leaking around the stoma therefore causing skin damage. Also, since the stoma is an odd shape (almost like a figure 8 rather than a circle like the last time) it’s hard to get a good seal around it to prevent it from leaking – thankfully about 10 days ago I discovered a product that has helped reduce that problem.
² I’ve tried sleeping aids with a little bit of success, but honestly I think I wake up and have a hard time falling back asleep because I just get uncomfortable. My hips have less padding (with the weight loss) and I have to sleep on my side all the time, so they feel bruised.
³ Not gonna lie – not looking forward to this and a little nervous! I’ve had colonoscopies before, but at least I’ve been under for those. And how does one choose to be a proctologist/colorectal doctor??? I don’t know, but I am thankful that some do, and I’m thankful for mine.
4 Worst case scenario, I keep the ileostomy longer. I’ve been counting down the days to this “takedown” so this is definitely not what I want (hey, I’d even take back the ostomy bag over the ileostomy) . . . nevertheless, not my will by His be done!