The Vacuum Is Happening…

Time for another health / stoma / surgery / ulcerative colitis update. I’m writing this from the 8th floor of the Bristol Royal Infirmary. I came in yesterday as a day case, and ended up staying overnight as I didn’t go to theatre until 5pm, by which time my veins were tricky to find as I was a bi dehydrated and cold. I’d arrived at the  hospital about 6.45am because I had to get the bus in.

The plan was to do an examination under anaesthetic (EUA) and then the surgeon would decide what needed to happen to my troublesome former fistula tract which has continued to discharge (since th  surgery in January) and become once again very painful in the last 6 – 8 weeks, to the point where the strength of the pain killers have had me off work. He had always hoped to use a negative pressure or vacuum dressing – which sucks the discharge away to promote healing but we had been told initially this was not an option.

So I woke up in recovery about 7.45pm, definately staying in at that stage! After cutting whatever he has cut th vacuum dressing is on, but it is a new type that also irrigates the wound.

This should keep it clear of infection and promote the healing. There is a downside – I need to stay in th  hospital for a week with it to do it’s job, before we change to a dressing that can be managed more easily. It is pretty comfortable really, I feel some coldness when it irrigates every three hours but othherwise all is well so far.

The great thing is that my pain has dramatically reduced, so my head is clearing up and I can think straight and am less tired which is lovely. The timing isn’t great – it is my son’s birthday  on Friday so I shall miss his party- but that cannot be helped really. As is the case with a chronic illness, you have to remember it is short term pain for long term gain, and this week in the hospital and getting properly healed will give me a lifetime of birthday parties, jelly amd ice cream and hyper active children who just ate the jelly and ice cream and have then run around until they throw up on the carpet. What could be better?

So I shall have some time on my hands, if any friends in Bristol fancy visiting that would be lovely, or drop me an email or ask me a question you’d like me to do a blog about.

I’m off to watch Wales vs Portugal.

The time has come…

So yesterday my 2015 blogging stats arrived – You can see them here. It turns out I’ve not done a post since July. As this blog is mostly about my health, then you could say that no news is good news, and you’d be mostly right – check out that grin!

The Methotrexate worked really well on the joint pain, and all was well. I started a new job in August, but at the end of September my old friend the abscess recurred. I had a long course of antibiotics and it all went away. Around that time, I was also having lots of leaks, but with the help of the excellent BRI stoma nurses got sorted with some additional kit to keep my poo off my pants.

Sadly, at the end of October the abscess was back, and the antibiotics didn’t work. I was admitted to the BRI and the abscess was drained and my seton stitch changed to a different type – less wicking thread, more elastic band. I was discharged, but ended up back a few days later for more antibiotics. I had a really interesting encounter which was professionally inspiring whilst I was there too – but that is for another post.

So, following my second discharge and a review meeting with my consultant, it was agreed that this was not sustainable, and the sepsis needed to come out – and that means goodbye pouch, and goodbye arse hole. All to happen in the new year, and both consultant surgeons required.

A review with the rheumatoligist reduced my methotrexate doseage (it can make you more susceptable to infections) and then at the beginning of December a phone call from the BRI to arrange pre-op assessment, with a provisional date of 6th January. Cue changes to Christmas  travel arrangements to accomodate pre-op assessment and lots of running around at work to get cover sorted and . Also a conversation about possible fertility issues  – there is a small risk of damage to some pelvic nerves.

Just a few days before leaving work for Christmas, the op was pushed back to the end of January which took pressure off a bit, so we’ve been enjoying Christmas together (although it is a bit wet today). I’ve been building Jonah’s toys, and getting in the odd bit of Rainbow 6 Siege (possibly the hardest Rainbow game ever BTW).

So I shall have plenty to blog about in the coming weeks, expect hospital photos, wound shots and lots of bottom based puns!