I arrived home this Friday, the 26th, after a long day of travel. I intended to write and update on here throughout my hospital stay but I wasn't feeling motivated and the pain medicine made it difficult to concentrate on reading or writing.
The most important message to pass along is that my surgery was a success. I went into surgery projecting positive vibes but I also had to prepare myself, emotionally, for the disappointment of the unknown. What if they opened me up and there wasn't enough small bowel left to create my internal pouch? What if the pouch failed after a few days? What if...
I will not lie. This was the hardest and most painful surgery I have ever recovered from. The difficulty was only heightened by the fact that I was so far from home and knew I had a 21 day hospital stay in front of me. It took a few days for my pain to be managed properly after tweaking my meds. For some reason I didn't really consider how difficult my recovery would be. I just assumed whatever was ahead of me was surmountable because of all the shit I've been through in the past. There were a lot of tears for the first half of my stay.
For the most part, my recovery followed closely to the schedule I posted last time. Because I was having surgery in an unknown hospital with a surgeon I barely knew, my first impression was critical. I knew right away that once I met my medical team that my fears would have either heightened or been placated. Thankfully it was the latter. I cannot verbalize how comfortable the team at Palms of Pasadena made me feel. Because they have a whole continent ostomy center within the hospital, their nurses knew their shit. I've had experiences in the past where nurses were uncomfortable handling my ileostomy. At Palms, the professionalism and expertise were felt from the second I walked into my hospital room and began to unpack.
I don't think everything has actually sunk in yet. It's weird not to have my ostomy there. I find myself touching my stomach habitually when I stand up. The freedom I have now is incredible. Wearing clothes is better, sleep is better, food is better. There are things in my closet I haven't worn in years that I am looking forward to wearing simply because I CAN. I don't have to wear tank tops under everything and I can wear tight shirts without worrying about how much I ate that day.
I am still in the beginning phase of recovery but from the former BCIR patients I met at the hospital and the little taste of life I've had in the past several weeks, I cannot wait for what is ahead. I keep looking at my imperfect stomach and each healing incision reminds me of how lucky I am.
I hope to continue to share my journey of recovery here. Unfortunately my eloquence is lacking right now as I am still on some heavy duty pain meds. Until next time...Cheers!