I haven’t posted anything, for what to me seems like an eternity, but there have been other things in life that have taken precedence. I’ve been somewhat busy on the work front, but more importantly, my wife has been preparing for and, this week, underwent a major operation to repair something done earlier in the year that was caught just in time and saved her life. More specifically, it was a Laparotomy and Reversal of Hartmann’s Procedure Cholecystectomy and +/- Loop Ileostomy, as well as Gall Bladder removal. Needless to say, all the family were on edge.
In layman’s terms, what the operation involved was rebuilding what was earlier set asunder, removal of part of bowel and installation of a colostomy bag, so that one does not need an external bag anymore. Thankfully, everything went well and an extra big thanks to the surgeon and all the staff involved; it was a complex procedure. My better half is doing well and will hopefully transfer from the ICU to a general ward fairly quickly, as the attending nurses are very confident. I think that she’ll also be happy to be rid of the myriad pipes etc attached to her at the moment, which reminded me of an engine bay gone awry (I could have taken photographs of the real deal, but for some reason, I’m not into medical photography of family members).
What is so surprising is how common this problem is and how it’s so rarely talked about, until fairly recently. However, 2014 appears to be the year for bringing this issue to the spotlight. There are so many examples out now, on a subject that was pretty much unknown to most: Colostomy.
For some reason, requiring a colostomy bag has a stigma that makes many want to hide its existence. People who are unaware of anyone having this condition, would never know unless told. Of course, my wife took it in her stride and never thought that there was any shame or embarrassment in having such a thing, not that she’s ever been embarrassed by most things in her life. Nor once the initial surgery and recovery was over, following the earlier surgery, did it limit or restrict her activities to any great degree. Having a fantastic group of family and friends helps immensely; however, I can’t but think how much it helps so many others when the issue is made public, as appears to be happening. As long as the message is clear.
While it may be a much longer recovery period than last time, with spring in the ascendance and summer not far away, hopefully it’ll be a good recovery.
Update: I thought I’d do a follow-up as it’s getting on close to two months since the operation. Things have been going well, but there was a fairly major infection that took some time to get under control. After getting back home (something that my wife was sorely looking forward to), it’s been a slow progression from almost no eating to once again enjoying food (and doing what comes naturally – though it took a while). The district nurses have been great and visiting every day to see how things are going and to dress the slowly healing wound. Every time that we thought that things were on the up, there was always something that arose to give you pause and realise that full recovery is still some time away. With these things, you can’t leave anything to chance or become complacent for a minute.