I continue to struggle with mucus release from my J-Pouch. As I’ve described before, I frequently get a sensation like I need to release something from my J-Pouch (which is currently sitting dormant as all waste is diverted to my ileostomy). It is particularly frequent at night or when I lay down or when I lay down at night. It’s incredibly frustrating—not because I need to release something from my J-Pouch, but because when I try, 9 times out of 10, nothing happens. I’ll sit on the toilet—for 10, 20, 30 minutes—and nothing. So I’ll return to bed, only to immediately feel the uncomfortable sensation again. Repeat ad infinitum. Occasionally, I’ll release a little bit of mucus. And even more infrequently, this will seem to resolve the issue at least temporarily. But for the most part, it’s been a never-ending battle, with no apparent solution. And it’s messing with my sleep. And my sanity.
I spoke to my surgeon and we decided to try a warm water flush, using a rectal bulb syringe, with the idea that I may be able to flush out the mucus or at least encourage it to release on its own. I’ve tried it three times now, with no luck. It’s unsurprisingly an uncomfortable procedure—especially when air from the bulb makes its way into the J-Pouch and gurgles out my ileostomy—so if it’s not working, I’m not going to keep trying it. At this point, I guess it’s just something I’ll have to deal with. I see my surgeon next week to discuss our game plan to prepare for a second attempt at a takedown surgery, so perhaps we’ll come up with something then.
In other news, or non-news, everything else remains pretty much the same. My back pain is perhaps a little less severe and frequent. The incision pain around my stoma persists and has not really improved. I’m scheduled to change my appliance tomorrow, so I should have a better sense of the state of healing by then. One other thing I don’t believe I mentioned is that the small wound from where my JP Drain used to be stubbornly refuses to heal. After my first surgery, the JP Drain incision healed in a matter of days. Yet, here we are, nearly a month after my emergency surgery, and it remains a half-healed hole. No one seems concerned and there’s no sign of infection. I blame the prednisone, which inhibits healing, and which I have now been on at relatively high doses since April. I’m going to accelerate my taper by a day (reducing the dosage every 6 days instead of every 7). I need to get off that poison.