What is it, 5, 6 weeks?
Let me fill you in.
I met my surgeon last week. Few stories end well when they begin with that sentence, but read on - you might be surprised. I had assumed that the process of refashioning a colostomy would be a simple, key-hole surgery, maybe even with local anesthetic. Apparently not. It turns out that the history of my Crohn's Disease means that I will need general anesthetic, be cut all the way up to the sternum, and it's quite likely that I will undergo a total colectomy (removal of large intestine) and formation of ileostomy. My colon is stuck to my abdomen wall and if the surgeon leaves any on the disease colon inside me, it could get stuck again (to the abdomen wall, or any internal organs in the vicinity), so after a colonoscopy to see the extent of the damage I will be placed on the (3 month) waiting list.
In the meantime I have to get on with life along with pain, bloating and vomiting (at best), and bowel obstructions (at worst). Every few day the narrowed parts of my digestive system can't cope and gets blocked, cue on-your-knees-cry-out pain, queasiness akin to being on a North Sea trawler in a storm, and when are you due? levels of distension.
You're waiting for the good bit, right? Well, I am feeling very positive about all of this! Of course, I had a bit of a cry about the whole thing initially, but in general I'm convinced that this is the right thing. Back in 2008, I went under anesthetic without a clear idea of what I'd be waking up to. I anticipated all eventualities and an ileostomy was one of them. I feel like I have already prepared myself for this. Sounds a bit weird, doesn't it?
I can see the light at the end of this particular tunnel and that's wonderfully empowering.
One of the down-sides is the need for a diet that is low in insoluble fibre (no nuts, seeds, skins, wholegrains, etc) which leads to rather texture-less dining for the foreseeable future. On the up-side, I love making soups and stews - ideal low-residue eating! I'll keep you posted with my favourite recipes.