I returned! And even though I feel like I’ve been gone for ages, but it’s been about two months since I told you that I was go back under the knife in my second battle with Crohn’s disease – almost a year to the day since my initial operation success, and about two years in total since my health first declined triggering a long process of treatment and then recovery – which for now at least seems to be complete. Phew.
Every day throughout this time my health was on my mind. It never controlled my life, but it was this insignificant little feeling that just couldn’t be moved, because I knew and my body knew something was wrong.
Well now it should all be behind me. My last surgery to get my small and large intestine back in was successful, and I’m now back to “normal” (whatever that means) and the way things were before.
If you haven’t read my previous blogs about it, I fight Crohn’s disease for five years now and had a very unpleasant flare in 2017. I was fitted with an ileostomy bag in July 2018 to remove the disease and give my bowels rest. The last surgery I had was to reattach my intestines and remove the ileostomy bag.
How did the operation go?
That same day, I was supposed to be in the hospital at 7:00 am ready to be admitted. I had to stop eating from midnight and drinking from 5am so the car ride left my mouth very dry. I was half-tempted to stick my head out the window like a dog and catch some rain on my tongue (I didn’t).
In fact, the operation wouldn’t have happened until 2 p.m., so there was a lot of waiting and sleeping after getting little sleep the night before. When the time came, I was awakened from my sleep by an elbow and prepared for surgery.
True story: a wheelchair picked me up to take me to the theater, and wondering why I couldn’t walk, the nurse replied, “It’s to prevent people from escaping and run before the operation ”. I don’t know how true that is, but it certainly lightened the mood.
After giving up my life (literally… there was an accidental death line on the consent form), I went to the theater. During my first operation, I distinctly remembered the words “See you later” as they submitted to me… but this time all I remember was feeling a cold sensation in my heart. main… and then nothing. I left. Probably still slightly broken from the start to be honest – I’m not a morning person at best.
The operation lasted a little over an hour, which for this procedure was quite quick. They made a hole around my stoma and pulled both ends of that hole in my stomach, stitched everything up and put me back together, luckily without complications. Of course, I didn’t know any of this until I was fully awake, but it’s pretty amazing that they did it all so quickly.
When I returned, I was able to recite my mother’s phone number for the nurse to call. I was quite impressed! The first night after the operation, I didn’t feel much pain. I knew it wasn’t as bad as the previous one, but I was surprised how good I felt. The next day, I realized that it was because of the abundant amounts of pain relievers I had taken after the operation, because the next morning… I felt it!
Despite my pain (to say the least), I got away with only paracetamol. I was offered morphine and other pain relievers for pain relief, but I didn’t find it bad enough to justify the strength of these drugs and their side effects (am I a brave boy or what?)
Barely 48 hours after the operation, I was released from the hospital. I thought it was ridiculously quick, and I didn’t feel like I had to leave so early, but I met all the criteria to leave, so I spent the rest of the time recovering on the couch in front of my TV and my Xbox.
This surgery was very different from before. During the first operation, I was on my own for the days leading up to and the day of the operation, as the hospital was too far away for my mother to get there in time. This time, however, my mother and nine-month-old partner were there to support me. They were there all day, and it certainly made the experience less scary to have them by my side.
How do you feel now?
I feel pretty close to being back to normal. I’m eating again without a problem and dare I say it, eating a lot healthier now than before. I started to eat vegetables and foods that are better for me… and take advantage them. I don’t know what they did to me on this operating table! Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to enjoy my usual McDonald’s and Subway breakfasts, but they just might contain a touch of green from here on out.
The last thing I have left to get back to full health is for my injury to heal. It takes longer than expected for the skin to heal from the hole they cut in my tummy, so I need to change a bandage every few days to keep it clean and help with healing. I can’t take a bath or get it wet in the meantime, so hopefully it won’t be too long. Don’t worry though, I’m still washing. No need for stakes if you are near me.
For the first time in several years, I am now able to lead a normal life without worrying too much about my health, which is honestly a huge burden on my shoulders. It feels good and that it continues for a long time.
What’s the next step for you?
On the health side, hopefully I should stay stable for a while (or indefinitely). There is always a risk that the disease will reappear, but hopefully never with the same severity as before. I will be watched closely for a while to make sure no illnesses return.
As for work, it’s back to normal. Over the past few months I have usually watched The hunt about now… but I’m happy to be back at MSE Towers and have some new blogs to work on for the rest of the year. It won’t be long before Black Friday and then the Christmas sales… so I’m sure I’ll take care of it! I’m also excited to be hosting an event soon, at a Silver Blogger Awards in Washington DC and then London the following week. MoneySaving never stops!
So from now on you can expect normal service to resume. I made sure to use my free time to detach myself from social media and blogging to focus on rest, and it really helped. But now it’s time to get back to work and save as much money as you can.
Hope you got something out of this series, and I personally hope this is the last one I have to write! If you would like to learn more about Crohn’s disease, please visit the Crohn’s and colitis United Kingdom website.