Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Surgery (Aug 9, 2013) and post op

Well, now that I had my first post op appt, I figured its time for the full update on surgery and post op.
This may be a long post and graphic, but I want it documented for my own reasons.

My surgery was scheduled for August 9, 2013 at 2:30pm. I had to be there at 10:30am that morning for blood tests and IV hydration. I arrived at 10:30am and was checked in and in the pre op room pretty quickly. I was given an IV and blood draws. And we waited. Me, Ben Schlaht, Mom, Dad, David, and Ben Simmons. I was taken back for surgery around 3:30pm.

so now is where it gets graphic.

I knew that I had scar tissue built up (as it was causing obstructions/blockages) in the small intestine at the terminal ileum. We knew it was bad as a scope wasn't able to go through, what we didn't know is exactly how bad it was. My surgeon pulled all of my intestines and colon out to do a run through to find all the damaged areas. The area that was diseased was described by my surgeon as being "sausage feeling" meaning hard. When he started examining it further, it literally started crumbling in his hands. This is NOT good. Had I put off the surgery any longer, they believe that I would have had a rupture and gone septic, which can ultimately kill you.

Once he started removing portions, the diseased tissue just kept getting longer and longer. I also ended up having a ton of blood loss as the mesentery artery started crumbling as well. I lost a lot of blood. All in all, I lost around 18 inches of small intestine, several centimeters of large intestine, my appendix, and my ileocecal valve. And again, a lot of blood.

My surgery was supposed to last about 2 hours and that time was doubled once they were in there.

Waking up in recovery did not come easy for me. They had a hard time pulling me out. When I finally came to, what my family describes to me makes me cry, but oh so thankful that I made it. I was gray from lack of blood and looked dead. This scared my family a lot.

I ended up staying in the hospital for a full week. I went in on a Friday morning and was discharged the following Thursday evening at 9:20pm.

Recovery has been trying. I had around 20 external staples in the abdomin. I have to sleep in a recliner as I can not lay flat. I still have a lot of surgical pain. I can't lift anything over 5 pounds (even a gallon of milk weighs more than that!!!). I shouldn't be bending over too much. I am only able to drive when I am not taking pain medication. And I sleep. lots. I am currently down 16 pounds since surgery. I have no appetite and have to force myself to eat. I have no energy.

I am almost 3 weeks post op. Most days I feel like I have been hit by a truck. Mornings are VERY hard.

I still have a long way to go. I still have at least 4 weeks of being off work.

My external staples were removed today. I have some non metal type staples that are internal that will stay forever. I am making an appointment with my GI for next week, as I will have to go back on all of my immuno-suppressant meds (HUMIRA, 6mp, etc). It is believed that my Crohn's Disease is VERY aggressive. I will more than likely need to remain on the meds for the remainder of my life.

That is what I have for now. Please please please continue to keep me in your prayers.

Thank you to everyone that has been there for us and reached out to me. I miss people, I miss my friends.

and most importantly, I want to thank my wonderful husband, Ben. He has been amazing. Some of the stuff that he has had to see and do during this, most people couldn't handle. He is my rock.

Also, my mom! She is a God send! I scared the shit out of her more than once. She has been there to dry my tears, talk me off the ledge, drive me to Dr appts, and listen to me when I think I can't do this anymore.

My dad! He drove 13 hours each way to be there for my surgery. He ended up staying about 6 days. He sat at the hospital and helped/talked to me while others had to work. I love him so much and it meant so much that he was able to be here for me.

I would be lost without Ben, my mom, my dad, and David. Thank you all so much!