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Greetings DD Community:)
Some of you may have read my previous posts concerning my debate whether to do surgery or not.
This post is my report, post-op D-Day + 4.
Following my 6th round of antibiotics since the beginning of my DD troubles in Oct 2018, I elected to have the laparoscopic sigmoid resection. My surgeon came highly recommended and he delivered like a dream. He was able to remove all of my infected area (12 inches). My sigmoid colon was fused to my belly wall in addition to being riddled with diverticuli and scar tissue. I feel beyond a reasonable doubt that I made the right decision to get the sigmoidectomy done.
For those of you who are debating whether to have this surgery or not is why I am sharing my testimony to further help you elect yes or no. There are many factors to consider naturally: logistical, emotional & physical. Some of you may live in a country such as England where a resection will only be provided if there is a life threatening complication vs another system such as the one I worked with here in USA under Medicaid. I did not have to pay one cent for my surgery, medicine or hospital stay bc of my program.
Emotionally, this decision was not hard to make for me after I adjusted my lifestyle in every factor that was available. I quit smoking, drinking, changed my diet as directed, a consistent exercise regiment and the problems still persisted. DD runs in my family and I have watched many of my kin suffer for decades-- living a life with a ball and chain where the disease plays boss whilst its b***h is ruled by this cruel and relentless condition. I tried everything under the sun, spent thousands in homeopathic remedies/treatments and it was like trying to get an old air-cooled engine to run with outdated broken parts, expensive labor from unlicensed mechanics who want to make a buck off of you to "save you" from a money-hungry system of doctors who are looking to "chop you up" and make a buck.
I was most certainly afraid to get this surgery done but because of the fear of failure, the hospital stay, the pain of recovery, the thought of losing a foot of my body, etc; however, the mere thought of being free of DD and all that came with it was enough to convince me to stop walking this tightrope walk after a year of total hell. My point is that this is about YOU! Not the doctors, the system or the money. By removing the infected area I am now disease free and my chances of reoccuring DD are is a mere 12/100. I am willing to take those chances over living my life in the dark, on a razor thin line, afraid to eat anything that may flare me up and lead to a life threatening complication. Once you have so many attacks the risks of surgery then become less than your risks you run trying to maintain a wild beast that can explode at any moment or develop over time into a septic nightmare that will give you no choice but an open surgery plus stoma port, additional reversal surgeries etc. Please forgive my passionate discourse on this matter but I have a highly opinionated take on this decision tree after my experiences.
My recovery is not nearly as bad as I imagined and there is much less to be afraid of given you follow the wisdom and technique prescribed by the team you chose to work with. I researched my surgeon long before I committed to him and the procedure. There is most certainly a learning curve and you must be one with the process of healing if you want success given the operation was executed correctly. The rest is in the patient's hands. There are trying moments behind any surgery and the recovery but these sorts of challenges make a person stronger and give them the courage needed. If you love life and want to live it to the fullest, one must also face the hard moments. Thank goodness we have sources of strength whether they be family/friends, faith, humor and or all of the above. All of these I have received assistance from and I am so grateful that I have made these choices.
I am willing to answer any questions anyone has regarding this surgery. I am strongly in favor of nipping this disease while it is young and hasn't eroded your entire intestinal tract. Those who wait too long stand the chance of being married to a colostomy bag for eternity. I do believe that there is no one fixes all remedy for DD but a healthy lifestyle in combination with the sigmoidectomy leaves better chances of living a pain-free, disease free life vs the other options.
I am just going to say now that the worst parts of the recovery are these: The Co2 buildup in your body cavity can be most painful if you do not keep on top of the gas pain. Walk walk walk walk and keep your body moving. Get out of bed on a regular basis and walk your laps in the hospital. Movement is the key.
Secondly, you have to learn how to use your arms and legs to erect your body when getting out of bed to use the bathroom. Your abdominal strength is going to be compromised by the incisions whether done open or laparoscopic. Once you figure these two factors out, recovery is quite simple. This is not a cake walk but considering the alternatives I am SO happy i made this choice. I am already eating foods i have been denied for seemingly eons. My body is starting to return to a healthy state and I cannot express how elated I am to have a second chance at life again without that monkey on my back!
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