DAY 7 – STOMA REVISION

Stoma Revision: Fasting for the second operation, started at 2:00am.

I was now counting hours until the new procedure was to take place. The doctor came in to my room while Matt was getting coffee at the cafeteria. I had already hit the PCA (Dilaudid) button twice to relieve some discomfort and awoke from a deep nap, and in her frenetic pace, she began to overwhelm me with scenarios about solving the stoma problem, then laid out my risks and said she would have waivers for me to sign. I felt helpless because it seemed (in my drugged stupor) like a scattered conversation, and like a lot of information was coming at me that I couldn’t keep track of, yet still had to consent to. Then she was gone.

When Matt walked in, I broke down and told him I felt worried now. I recounted what I could remember about the hurried conversation, and questioned whether the doctor was feeling confident about operating on me. He firmly reassured me that the doctor was highly experienced with all things abdomen, and pointed out that I was not in the best condition to be receiving the information and he wished he had been there. I said I would feel better if I consulted with our family friend, a Portland surgeon, Earl.

Dr. Earl Schuman has been in on my story since diagnosis when my parents strongly recommended I consult his expertise. He was very forthcoming with advice and offered his support in any way. I was way more together when I explained the situation in detail, and ask his advice. He listened quietly, then assured me that the complication was very common, the doctor is very adept in her expertise, and everything that was happening was within good reason (he was more eloquent). Voila, 2nd opinion. That set my confidence.

Then, I was headed in…

Then I woke up…

The lights of the OR were garish and the staff flitted around the OR talking like chipmonks. I could barely make out what they were saying, trying to see straight, wanting to meet the strange creatures that swirled around the abyss behind my eyes. It was over.

It all went smoothly, of course. The operation lasted from 1:30-4:00pm. I had a new pain in my abdomen, but felt more in charge of my body than after the first surgery. The deed was done! Now it was on to waiting for the anesthesia to wear off, for the ‘plumbing’ to wake again and for sounds to come from the new stoma!

The rest of the day passed, and the next day I waited, then around dinner time, I heard a toot! I flipped up my hospital gown and looked down. Well, I’ll be.. I saw it move! My dinner was sitting there on the counter, untouched until then, so I grabbed a fork and took pecks of mashed potatoes, chicken, chowder, and chewed really well, then went back to bed to wait. An hour later, more noise, and the bag showed residue. Bingo! More dinner. I ate with glee! It had been 9 days since beginning my initial fast until I can finally EAT!

Hercules! This was recovery!

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