With the final decision made about having the surgery, now I wait for all the players to communicate and come up with a plan.
Because my surgeon was booking elective surgeries into December, she decided that I needed to be treated like an emergency patient, and admitted to the hospital so it can be done Saturday. So on October 27th I was admitted for a fourth time this year and spent the 29th, 30th and 31st days this year in the hospital. It was a little bit different this time because I didn’t have to go through Emergency but it also added a lot of confusion for the Bed Allocation department, the Welcome Centre and the nurses station.
Once they figured out where I needed to go, I was brought up to Paediatrics in a private room. I like being in Paeds. because the walls are colourful, it’s quieter and you get free TV. Since I wasn’t being treated medically though, the nurses didn’t really have to do much with me and I was left alone most of the time.
I then met with 2 dieticians who were concerned about my nutrition, or lack there of. I try to avoid dairy to minimize any additional cause for diarrhea however they pushed for me to have the Ensure, high calorie drinks. I am completely grossed out by those and ensured them I could not drink it. They did decide though that with the surgery so close I didn’t need TPN and could just continue with my own regular diet, or whatever the hospital brings.
I then also met with an anesthesiologist who quickly went through the procedure with me. He let me know that I’ll have a breathing tube and depending on what anesthesiologist I have, I will perhaps have an epidural in case they needed to open me up. His visit was short and I think just part of the protocol.
Then the stoma nurses came. The first one was there to measure out a placement for the stoma. She used 4 fingers to the left of my bellybutton and 4 fingers down. They mark the spot while I’m lying down and then again when I’m sitting to make sure it’s not placed in any creases. The second nurse stayed with me for almost an hour giving me a stack of literature and information. She also gave me a little bag of supplies and samples used to change the bag. We went though the process and then she had me practice on a dummy stoma. It didn’t seem too hard and she was reassuring that she would be with me all next week to help during my recovery.
I met with my GI as well and we talked about how I was feeling and whether or not to put me back on steroids to hold me over until the day. We decided not to because they probably wouldn’t give me much relief anyways and having surgery while on steroids opens up to a higher risk for infection. We then started talking about the second surgery and when to start that process. She said usually they like to wait about 6 months but since I haven’t been on the steroids they might be able to get me in sooner. However since I’m going away in March it might be tight to squeeze it in before then. We decided that once I’m recovered from the colectomy she’ll make the referral at Mount Sinai Hospital and I can at least begin having my consults and they can start looking at scheduling OR time. Then hopefully when I’m back from Costa Rica in March the second surgery won’t be long after that.
I then briefly met with the surgeon who said everything looked good and we were on schedule. She decided to give me a pass to come home for a couple of nights and then instructed me to come back at 7:15am Saturday morning to check in to the surgical floor.
And that’s where we are: waiting at home in the comfort of my own bed and bathroom, with the company of family and friends. My colon and I had a day out on the town before his demise and we will have a last supper this evening before we part ways. Good riddance.