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Counting My Blessings: A 5 Month Update

On the 15th, it will be five months since my takedown surgery. I cannot believe how far I have come. It is very humbling. Last time I wrote a post on my progress, it was at the 12 week mark. This has been my experience since then... BY THE WAY, THIS POST CONTAINS DETAILS OF A GRAPHIC NATURE!!! Those of you who do not suffer from bowel diseases should stop reading here.

My belly before all surgeries. In the midst of a vicious flare and on Prednisone.

The intestinal gurgling has subsided even further. Most of the time, when it does happen, I barely even notice it anymore unless the gas pressure builds up in a painful way. My friends, on the other hand, HAVE noticed the gurgling and behind my back they've mentioned it to my husband... perhaps out of concern. Ah well! The life of a j-poucher.

I will never have what most would consider a "normal" BM again, but I will say that if I stay on top of my Imodium like I'm supposed to, things go well and I only have 1-3 BMs a day. The consistency is like toothpaste. But there are no distinct pieces. If I forget a dose of Imodium, I definitely notice and things are much more watery. Overall, I'm happy. Because there's no urgency, no bleeding and I haven't had a nighttime accident in MONTHS.

Night before surgery number one; all marked up!

As far as my scars go, they seem to be healing up relatively nicely, too! There's still some abdominal swelling (according to all doctors I've talked with, this will last a while). I'm also told repeatedly that scars can change for a LONG time after surgery. I know I was upset with my marred belly after surgery... my surgeon even said that if I wasn't happy he'd send me to the plastic surgeon. But you know, if I really think about it, I'm happy with my scars. It's what's left of a fierce battle with my colon and I won!!! Take that UC!

Many of you know that I moved recently as well. It was difficult because I used muscles that I hadn't used since before my first surgery, but after the move was over I realized it helped me to regain some of my flexibility! Win!!! Still not where I want to be, but hey! There's improvement so I'm not complaining.

Abscesses that developed after my first surgery. This was all because of Prednisone. Yay me!
P.S. If you think THIS looks bad, you should have seen it before they all closed up.

I ran into my surgeon last week. I know that he probably didn't recognize me--I mean, c'mon! He probably sees HUNDREDS of patients each week. Anyway, I said hello and he looked down at my belly and inquired about my bowels. I told him I was happy and feeling better. There's something to be said about a good doctor and his ability to improve the quality of one's life.

Overall, yes. I am happy and I do feel like the quality of my life has improved. I feel very fortunate and blessed. While I know that a true cure (IMHO) would be a happy, healthy colon, I'm so glad to be free of the organ that tortured me for so long.

4 1/2 weeks after takedown.

Approximately 5 months after takedown.

Well, there's my update! If you have any questions, please never hesitate to ask. The next surgery update I have will probably be at the year mark of my colon removal (in April). Until next time, KEEP FIGHTING!

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