Crohn’s Chronicles – Part 4

hospital room viewWell, this post is long overdue since I had my bowel resection surgery way back on November 29th. Between recovery, the holidays, caring for and saying goodbye to Molly, life has just gotten in the way of my writing schedule.

I was pretty nervous going into surgery, largely because my first resection was so painful. But, I got lucky this time. Not only did my epidural work (wonderfully), I got a huge surprise upon waking up to find out that my surgeon was able to complete my surgery laparoscopically! I definitely didn’t have my hopes up for that, and frankly neither did my doctor, due to how many abdominal surgeries I’d already had.

post-op selfie
Feeling comfy with my epidural pumping.

The downside of the wonderfully effective epidural was that I was totally overconfident in how well I felt. Because when that thing came out I got a rude awakening! It may have been laparoscopic but it was still a major surgery. But, the pain medicine they prescribed kept me quite comfortable and I was able to discontinue those after about a week at home.

New SLU Hospital construction site
There was a lot to be desired about the patient rooms at SLU, but at least I got an interesting view of the new hospital being built.

I still get a small twinge once in a while if I’m really straining my abdomen, but for the most part I feel totally back to normal and my scars are quite healed.

The pathology report that came back looked good, in fact it didn’t even show any active Crohn’s disease. The problem was indeed scar tissue.

That said, while I should now not have to worry about developing obstructions, for the most part I feel exactly the same. Which, was to be expected. This surgery was only going to “cure” the narrowing that kept getting obstructed. It wouldn’t do anything for the overall fact that I have chronic joint pain, fatigue and just generally feel like crap. What hopefully will fix that is the new medication, Remicade.

pug and pugs
The boys welcoming me home. I had to use a pillow shield for the first couple weeks to keep Pugs off my incision sites.

Unfortunately, I can’t start doing the Remicade infusions until 3 months post-op. Which, makes sense, it’s an immunosuppresant and they want to make sure I’m totally and completely healed from surgery. But, I’m obviously anxious to start. Best case I actually start feeling better, worst case I don’t respond again and we can try the next option. While I would definitely prefer a medication that I can take at home, if it makes me feel better having to do an infusion once a month will be well worth it.

So, my next update will be in about 6 weeks when I am able to get my first Remicade infusion.