As those of you who know me know, I like my dogs—Bodie and Kima—a lot. I’m somewhat obsessed with them. But they’re boxers and quite bouncy, so for safety’s sake, they’ve been staying with my parents-in-law while I recover, so I haven’t seen them for two weeks. Yesterday, we decided to make the 2.5-hour trip to see them and give me a change of scenery. The car ride was a bit uncomfortable, but not terrible (likely thanks to the Norco). By far the best part of the trip was not having to worry about where the next bathroom would be. What could be a 3- or 4-stop trip when I was sickish now a straight shot. That’s a miracle. And it was definitely great to see my pups who were very excited to see me. Unfortunately, my various surgery-related ailments have not seen fit to cooperate for the weekend.
There’s been no miracle cure for the burning pain around my stoma. Part of me wants to believe it’s slightly improved, but I really think that’s likely a psychological trick resulting from my now knowing the source of the problem and an affirmative decision to disregard the discomfort. In reality, the pain’s still there and just as intense as ever. The nurse told me she “thought” the separation would heal, but she “didn’t know when.” Apparently, it’s going to take more than two days.
Making matters worse, my J-Pouch pressure/pain returned with a vengeance, and yesterday was the worst day on that front in several days. Following its typical pattern, the pressure steadily built during the day (notwithstanding several “releases” on the toilet throughout the day), reaching its peak at night. By bedtime, the pain was stop-you-in-your-tracks-and-wait-for-it-to-pass-before-moving intense. And I again experienced several uncomfortable “releases” (including one during my sleep). The docs assure me that this is normal, that the body creates the mucous to protect the J-Pouch during healing (in which case my J-Pouch must be like Fort Knox), and that I need to pass the liquid to relieve the pressure and fully heal. I believe them, but it’s growing tiresome. I’d really like to start checking things off the list as “resolved problems.” But for now I just have to deal with it. Such is life.
Finally, I’m still waking up in the middle of the night with intense lower back pain. Having now tried two different beds (including our Tempur-Pedic) and a variety of pillow arrangements and sleeping configurations, all of which resulted in identical pain, and given that the back pain does not respond to pain meds, but gets better when I’m up and moving around, I’m now convinced that the back pain is directly related to the J-Pouch pressure. I think the pressure builds overnight and focuses on my lower back when I sleep. All the more reason I’m really looking forward to resolving the pressure issue, which my docs assure me WILL happen in time.
For the first time since surgery, I’m feeling a little frustrated in my recovery, but I’m doing my very best to maintain a positive attitude. It’s only been two weeks since a major surgery (sometimes I have to remind myself that they removed an organ, created a new one, and stitched a portion of another to the OUTSIDE of my body—all of which is fairly insane). I know it will get better, and—given the complications I know others have experienced—if this is bad as it gets, I should consider myself lucky.
Nonetheless, I’m starting to get impatient.