I realized it's been a few weeks since I have given a status update on my condition. I saw Dr. Procaccino (my surgeon) a week ago for a follow-up sigmoidoscopy to see how the J-Pouch is healing. While this was one of the more unpleasant procedures I have had in a while (think raw scar tissue from a freshly-created organ), the prognosis was very promising. The J-Pouch is looking "perfect" as Dr. Procaccino said, and we will be doing another follow-up procedure the first week of June to determine whether the J-Pouch is ready to be used. This will entail injecting dye into the J-Pouch and then a subsequent X-Ray to show whether the J-Pouch has any leaks. If all goes well, I will be ready for Surgery #2 (from a colorectal point of view).
I also saw my vascular surgeon (Dr. Krisnasastry) last week for a follow-up on the PVT (blood clots). I begged him to let me have my next surgery at the end of June since I want to be streamlined and bag-less for my October wedding. He found that funny. "We all wish that things would go perfectly, but sometimes they don't," he reminded me with a chuckle. Though he didn't make any promises, he did make a few concessions. He moved up the follow-up CT Scan to the first week of June and said if the PVTs showed any sign of resolution he would allow me to have my next surgery at the end of June. He added that there was almost no chance they would be completely resolved or recanalized, as PVTs take at least three months to begin this process. However, he would not be looking for complete resolution at this point and he would feel confident going into my next procedure as long as the PVTs looked better than they did in the first CT Scans. The issue of whether I will remain on the Coumadin for 3 months, 6 months, or indefinitely will also be determined at this juncture.
Physically, I am feeling great. Dr. Procaccino said to me last week, "I told you that you would be feeling well after 6 weeks!" I said, "Hell, I was feeling great at 4!" I have been very happy with my recovery from this first surgery, but I must say it takes work. I have been walking every single day at least 1.5 miles since week 4 (I was told by my doctors that walking will speed recovery). I have been scrupulous about not lifting anything heavy (more than 5-10lbs.) and have made sure to get a lot of sleep. I still have minimal pain and discomfort in my abdomen and I feel considerably more fatigued at the end of the day than I did pre-op, but these are my only complaints. Overall, I feel much healthier and happier than I did living with U.C. and, despite the complications from the surgery, I am very happy that I followed through with the panproctocolectomy.
As far as our CCFA Benefit Concert goes, we are hard at work pulling together the details and are on the brink of confirming a venue. I'll keep you all on your toes, but hope to reveal the location by this weekend or early next week!