Saturday, March 27, 2010

One Year Anniversary and Progress

My, how time has gone by:  One year ago, I was waking up with an NG tube stuffed down my nose, a brand new temporary ileostomy, a belly full of lapo sites, and terrible pain in the abdomen and the rectum.  I didn't expect the recovery from the first surgery to be as rough as it was - This would be true for the second as well.  Those first days were critical in a mindset change that this journey is not going to be easy and positive thinking will be my greatest asset.

I'm not going to try to list highlights of the last year: Every day had something new to offer, some good and some bad.  At the end of it all, pocket fulls of lessons and learning.  Other than acknowledging the time past, dwelling on a single day (much like a birthday) seems to steal the importance of the other 364.

I had a followup appointment last week to see the progress since the last procedure of cleaning the abscess.  The pain has subsided greatly and tailbone pain is non-existent.  There is still pain from time to time in the rectum (possibly the sinus?) but only a little and not often.  The steroids are down to every other day and likely to be off with 7 days.  Doctors noted the inflammation has also subsided and things look to be progressing as expected.

I have another (and hopefully one of the last) followups on the 9th of April:  Should everything be healing as we expected, at that time we determine a back to work (and a back to golf) date.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Moving Right Along

It's been over a week since the procedure to address the abscess and there has been a slight improvement.  We cut the steroids in half, which has lead to daily pain in the tailbone and rectum.  This usually starts in the late morning or afternoon and continues until I crumble and take a percocet.  Thankfully, it hasn't been as bad as it was the previous two times that we cut the steroids.  The hope is that this means the abscess is healing, albeit slowly.  I'll be thankful to be off those god-foresaken drugs, even if they have helped me.

My appetite hasn't diminished (still eat like a linebacker.)  I'm sleeping a little better, but that fluctuates on a daily basis and usually results in morning or afternoon naps to catchup on lost sleep.  I've started walking again, now that there isn't 30 inches of snow on the ground and 30 degree weather.  Exercise does increase the movements of the pouch, which is true for all persons, just that it's a little more drastic with me.

I have a followup on the 19th to check the progress:  At this rate, I don't see the abscess or the sinus healing by then.  My assumption is we'll do another gastrogafin (yeah) to verify the progress.  As long as we are headed in the right direction, I'll take it!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I had my procedure yesterday to clean out the abscess.  The doctor noted the presacral abscess was smaller than we originally saw last week, which means it looks to be on the mend.  The sinus into the actual abscess was smaller than a straw and actually too small for him to put a drain:  That's even better news, as I don't have to deal with rectal tubes!  The inflammation in the pouch has also receded, so it seems the pouchitis (or what we thought was pouchitis) is getting under control.  As a result, we are also tapering the steroids.  Good news all around!

Since the gastrogafin last week, the pouch and the abscess have felt much better.  Other than taking narcotics yesterday after the scope, I've been able to go through most days without pain.  Maybe the barium pressure washer actually blew out the abscess and lord knows what mess had been hiding in there.  (Sorry, no pictures.  I'm disappointed, you can count on that.)  It's obviously clean now!

We will be monitoring the abscess over the next few weeks to see if it continues to heal and close on its own.  If that does not happen, we'll have to deal with surgery and restitching, but those are bridges we'll cross if/when we get to them.