I received my letter to attend a pre-op assessment for the second phase of my surgery. Little bit excited, but at the same time I'm a little bit scared. You're probably wondering why, after I just went through the first stage. It's still the unknown; completely different from the first and I really don't know what to expect after.
I guess the first thing I should do is fill you in on what has happened since my last health-related post.
The first few weeks were spent recovering from what had initially happened. Every day, taking it as it comes. Overcoming obstacles that are now trivial.
The hardest thing to begin with, was the fact that I had lost all of my strength, so even the easiest tasks for someone normal were extremely testing to me. Everything I was doing was rebuilding that strength and although I'm still not as strong as I once was, I am at a level where I'm capable of doing most tasks with no assistance.
As time went on, I began to feel unhappy and couldn't control my emotional state; to the point where I was beginning to feel depressed. After a quick Google, it turns out this is normal post-op and that the feelings should eventually go. This is true, although only partially for me. I'm still experiencing this now - not as much, but it is still present.
I'm also going to be talking about the obstacles I've overcome, how I have been with going outside the house, bag hacks, food, drink and general stuff, so let's begin.
The initial worry when I came out of hospital was the changing of my bag. Although I had come to terms with the emptying of it, I really didn't understand the changing process - "what if I'm doing it wrong" was all I could think about every time I had to do it. It does get better. That's one of my main tips that I think about every time I get worried about something new. With time, I'm now able to change my bag with no worries at all, I even sometimes make a little game of it. A game? I hear you say... It's more for my amusement, but I try to get the old back off, cleaned up, and new bag on, all before any output from the stoma. I've lost a couple of times, but it's still quite fun to do.
Moving on from this, I've been asked a couple of times what my top tips would be. I live by one, and that is "It does get better". If you're about to go through this or recently had the first operation done, I can tell you - it does indeed get better. You may not feel like it right now, but it does, so hang in there.
There are things that I've done differently with regards to what I was taught in hospital. One of which is the emptying process. I use a jug to empty my bag thoroughly to ensure that anything that could be in there, falls out in the process. This also makes the emptying process so much quicker. Literally, just fill the jug, pour into the bag opening (obviously not all the way) and then simply let it drain out into the toilet. Another thing is that I don't stand over the toilet; mainly because I don't want a mess or any splash-back from the toilet. So, I've taken to kneeling over the basin of the toilet. This was great to begin with, however as time went on my knees took a beating and started to become very sore. Walking was also taking it's toll due to this. So I purchased this pad to kneel on. Since then it's been incredible and the process hasn't changed, albeit a little bit tedious when you need to do it multiple times a day.
So, back on subject, I'm attending my next pre-op assessment on the 20th of September, which I can only assume is going to be similar to the previous. As I haven't yet attended it, I don't have much input to give on it. I'll leave the post there and return to it when I receive my letter for the actual operation.
In the meantime, I'll be posting some tips and tricks in a new post, which will hopefully also include the outcome of the appointment.
As always, if you have any questions or just want to talk. Drop me a Tweet!