Today is also a big deal because my hole is finally closed. This is the real deal folks. I even have pictures of it to show you. I promise they are not grotesque, although my perception of the grotesque has become slightly askew in the last few months. Bottom line: if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. This is a UC blog and, quite frankly, UC is not a pretty disease.
At 4 weeks post-op I am feeling remarkably well. The recovery from this last surgery has been a bit tougher than I expected. Yet, as should be duly noted, it's a breeze compared to the first. Maybe it was the abscess. Maybe it was the hole. Or perhaps it was just my high expectations. I'm sure those of you that have gone through these surgeries would understand where I am coming from when I say that I had a tendency to view that 7:30am surgery time on June 23 as the end of the line; my long-awaited moment to kiss UC goodbye forever. I kind of forgot there was another recovery. Well, I feel like I've finally reached that light at the end of the tunnel. But, let's cross our fingers. I have bad luck.
The two pictures below are of what my abdomen looks like today. The sump scar on the left side of my belly is healing nicely, although it is still a bit purple. The sump was a drain that was placed into my abdomen to drain the fluids from my abdominal cavity during the first surgery and was left in until 3 days post-op. The top half of my central incision is healing unbelievably well (my scar continues pretty much all the way down my torso). It is almost completely white and, even up close, the staple scars are barely perceptible. The scar on the right side of my abdomen is where the hole was (and where my ileostomy used to be). They did what is called a "key-hole" whereby they stapled just the bottom of the hole and then left the rest open to heal and close on its own. It is amazing how much smaller the scar is than the hole was. I would guesstimate that the hole was around 2-3 times the width right after surgery than it is now. Note: The sump scar and central incision are from surgery #1, the key-hole scar is from surgery #2.
And for anyone who may be interested, this is a very well-written and engaging article about life with UC from the New York Times: Loren Berlin Article