I just heard that a woman who attends my church just had surgery for Crohn's Disease.
It made me reminisce when I had my surgery in 2005. I had been severely sick for four years prior with no relief. In 2005 an abscess formed on the outside of my abdominal wall. I couldn't keep anything down, not even water. I was vomiting constantly. After seeing my PCP he referred me to a surgeon because he felt a hard lump on my lower abdomen. The surgeon immediately admitted me to the hospital and the testing began. The resolution was to drain the abscess. I was wheeled to Radiology where the radiologist would insert the drainage tube.
That wasn't fun.
He injected me with ink or whatever to make my insides glow or something then he injected me with a numbing solution so I wouldn't feel him jab that tube inside my gut.
Yeah that numbing stuff didn't work.
It hurt like hell.
When he was finished the nurse wheeled me into the hallway and I started crying. She asked if I was ok and I responded ever so lightly "that hurt". She apologized but I knew it wasn't her fault. Before the numbing solution even had a chance to take effect the radiologist jabbed the tube in. I was so friggin upset.
I was taken to my room and waited. The stuff was draining. I was in pain still. After one night I was sent home hoping this would solve the problem.
At home there was no comfort- I couldn't lay down flat, I was stuck in the living room recliner. I was so uncomfortable. At night my cat (whom I love dearly) that always sleeps with me decided to jump on my lap. Boy was that a mistake.
I screamed aloud "SONOFABITCH!" and sent him flying across the room. I felt bad. But my abs felt worse.
That morning I was still sick, not getting better. I think I was due for a check up the next day at the surgeon's and he saw I wasn't getting better so back to the hospital I went. More testing. Another abscess found. But this time it was further down in my pelvis. Surgery was the only option.
I remember the nurse prepping me and giving me whatever medicine to make me sleep.... "Start counting backwards from 100..." I obliged. I think I got to 97 and was out. I wonder why they want you to count backwards from 100? Hmm.
I vaguely remember awakening for a moment when they were moving me from my gurney to the operating table. Yes I seen the bright light. I wasn't dead. It was the stinking operating room lights for petes sake. No out of body experience here. I quickly fell back asleep and I'm pretty sure I had a dream. Couldn't remember what it was about though.
Afterwards while I was being awakened I remember mumbling something or the other while the nurse was moistening my eyes and lips. I felt quite drunk. After coming-to it felt like I was hit by a truck. I was a total mess and my whole body ached and was in pain. My lower back was killing me and I had no idea why. I told the nurse about my lower back and she was sure why I was in pain in that area. The only reasons she gave was either a) I was laying funny on the operating table or b) gas was moving through where the surgeon had to use a balloon to see what he was doing.
All I know is that I was in pain.
I was in the hospital for two weeks because I kept running a fever.
The doctor wanted me up and walking every two hours. That was no fun. But I was grateful because I did recover quickly. I remember one of the nurses I had- she was Ukrainian. There is just something about a person with an Eastern European accent that you just *do* what they tell you. At first she always barked at me, "get up! it is time to walk! lets go!" I was reluctant but obeyed. At the end of my stay she told me how proud she was and how well I was doing. That made me happy.
When I finally stopped running a fever and everything had drained properly, it was time to remove the drainage tube. The nurse came in, told me what we were going to do, prepared the bandages, and told me to take a deep breath and brace myself.
That didn't sound good.
I took a deep breath, but "bracing myself" did not prepare me one iota for what was going to happen. She yanked that tube out and before I even knew what was happening I screamed aloud. I surprised even myself and looked at the nurse in shock. She asked me if I was alright, and I managed to muster out "yeah". That whole mess was over before it even started which I was grateful for.
After getting home and working through the last bit of pain I felt like a new person. Sure I was missing two feet of intestines (the surgeon found that the original plan of just sticking a drain tube like before would have killed me since it wasn't another abscess- just my intestines swelling into a ball) removing the "diseased" portions and reconnecting me, I was in no more pain from the Crohn's. I gained weight. I felt renewed.
The next few years were good. Every now and then I go through some "issues" but other than menstrual cramps I have no more pain. I attest that to God and changing my eating habits.
More on that later....