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The Great Takedown

NOTE: This post contains details of a graphic nature. If you can not handle the details/symptoms of surgeries/chronic diseases, turn back now. I have warned you.

On Wednesday, just after the 12 week mark of my first surgery, I had a followup appointment with my surgeon. He was extremely pleased with my progress. He also informed me that my B12 levels were low (Not surprised as I had a lot of the symptoms!). I had one real concern that day. 

The x-ray of my j-pouch. No leaks. If you look closely
near the top left corner you can see my ostomy wafer!

Ever since about 3 or 4 weeks after my surgery, I had been "pooping" mucus out of my bottom. I was told by my doctor that this was normal, so that wasn't troubling me. What started bothering me was about two weeks ago when blood started appearing with the mucus. Oh no! I've got Crohn's or pouchitis! I thought. So, I asked my doctor about it. 

"That's normal." He said. "It has been a very long time since that part of your bowel has been used. It's still alive, so since it isn't being used it 'festers.' Your bowels derive nutrients from your waste or poop. It isn't getting the nutrients it needs."

I was able to breathe a sigh of relief.

Then he told me that he was ready to set up some tests to check the condition of my j-pouch to determine if I was ready for my takedown.

Before I left the office, my husband and I set up the tests for the next day. While we were at it, we were also able to set up the date of my surgery: July 15th. Exactly 3 months after my first surgery.

I was up at 5am on Thursday morning. There wasn't much prep needed (nothing to eat/drink after midnight and a tap water enema). Definitely much more pleasant than that garbage they give you the night before a colonoscopy. I got to the hospital, completely frightened out of my mind!

I was about to do a flex sig--WITHOUT SEDATION. It really wasn't as bad as I thought... but it was very unpleasant and uncomfortable. At one point I did feel a bit of pain, but it was actually kind of neat to see the inside of my new j-pouch. It was all pink and healthy-looking. Just the way intestines are supposed to look!

After that, I went to the recovery area where I was given a B12 shot to help boost my vitamin levels. Then they wheeled me off to radiology for x-rays.

They took a few pictures, gave me yet ANOTHER enema (oh joy!), took a few more pictures and then emptied me out. After that, they took a few more pictures. This was a very cool thing to see. At one point, I laughed with the technicians and actually saw my bowels jiggle on the screen.

So, now, I'm good to go. My plan is to be on a clear liquid diet on Monday, wash with the Hibeclens then next morning and head off to the hospital. This may be my last blog post for a while. It really depends on how things are healing. Anyway, I will try to update everyone as soon as I can. Keep fighting and God bless!

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